Indonesian frog species displays unique reproductive behaviour

Limnonectes larvaepartus is the only species of frog known to give birth to live tadpoles

By DTE Staff
Published: Saturday 03 January 2015

A male and female of the species Limnonectes larvaepartus (Image Courtesy: Jim McGuire/AFP)

A species of frog found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been found to be giving birth to live tadpoles – a unique behavior among the world’s 6,000 frog species.

This was revealed in a study by an international team published in the journal Plos One, according a report on the BBC.
Most frogs lay eggs and although some species give birth to froglets, newborn tadpoles are new to science, the BBC report said.

The report quoted lead author of the study Jim McGuire from the University of California, Berkeley, as saying, “This new frog is one of only 10 or 12 species that has evolved internal fertilization, and of those, it is the only one that gives birth to tadpoles, as opposed to froglets or laying fertilized eggs."

Prof Djoko Iskandar, a collaborator of Dr McGuire's from the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia, first spotted the frog species in the 1990s but they had not been confirmed as a distinct species until now.

The scientists called the new species Limnonectes larvaepartus. The Limnonectes family are known as fanged frogs because of twin projections on their lower jaws that are used in fighting.

There are thought to be up to 25 species of Limnonectes frogs on Sulawesi, but only four have been described so far - including the new larvaepartus.

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