Expeditions to remote areas on the foothill forests on northwestern Ecuador have uncovered a biodiversity treasure, including a new species of glassfrog recently described under the name: Teratohyla sornozai. The expeditions were undertaken by scientists of the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Natural (Ecuadorian Museum of Natural Sciences) during the least four years.
This new species, named after Francisco Sornoza -Ecuadorian conservationist and ornithologist, is diagnosed by having a protruding snout in lateral profile, uniform green dorsal colouration in life, concealed prepollex, extensive webbing between the outer fingers, fully webbed toes, and small body size. It inhabits the Non-Seasonal Evergreen Foothill and Lowland forests in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Imbabura, and Pichincha, north-western Ecuador.
Several new records of different species previously unknown from Ecuador have been obtained in these foothill forests in northwestern Ecuador. Unfortunately, they are severely threatened by habitat destruction, which has already destroyed about 50% of the foothill forests in western Ecuador.
The description of the new Teratohyla sornozai was published in the scientific journal Zootaxa: Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Yánez-Muñoz, M.Y. & Ortega-Andrade, H.M. (2009) Description of a new species of Teratohyla Taylor (Amphibia: Athesphatanura: Centrolenidae) from north-western Ecuador. Zootaxa 2227: 53–62.
Photo by H. M. Ortega-Andrade.