Hundreds of species new to science discovered in South-East Asia

Trending 2 weeks ago


A WWF study catalogues a cornucopia of plants and animals recently identified successful nan Greater Mekong region successful 2021 and 2022, but galore of them are endangered

By Jason Arunn Murugesu

01GMT May 22 Calotes goetzi The Cambodian blue-crested agma, an fierce peep that changes colour arsenic a protect system ? Henrik Bringsoe

The Cambodian blue-crested agama, a type named successful 2021

Henrik Bringsoe

The Greater Mekong region successful South-East Asia is 1 of nan astir biologically divers regions successful nan world, and caller type proceed to beryllium recovered location astatine an astonishing rate.

Between 2021 and 2022, 380 animals and plants caller to subject were discovered successful Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, according to a report by nan biology kindness WWF.

The region is truthful biologically divers for a scope of reasons, says Mark Wright astatine WWF. “The tropics thin to person much type diverseness than elsewhere,” he says. “But connected apical of that, nan Mekong region has very divers habitats, specified arsenic rainforests and mountains complete 5000 metres tall. Each of these is location to its divers scope of species, making this 1 of nan top biodiversity hotspots connected nan planet.”

One of nan astir enchanting caller discoveries made successful nan region is nan Cambodian blue-crested agama (Calotes goetzi). Males of this species, for illustration nan 1 pictured above, person agleam bluish heads, while some males and females person acheronian brownish spots moving on their backs.

The lizards tin climb to heights of 10 metres up trees and chiefly provender connected insects. Older individuals tin moreover alteration colour arsenic a defence system erstwhile guarding their eggs buried successful soft soil.

Khoi’s mossy frog, recovered successful Vietnam successful 2022

Nguyen Thien Tao

Another captivating caller species, Khoi’s mossy frog (Theloderma khoii), was discovered during regular fieldwork successful north-east Vietnam. The frog has irregular ridges and warts connected its skin, allowing it to blend successful amended pinch moss and lichen connected trees. “Just seeing nan perfection of its camouflage reminds us, yet again, of really bonzer nan earthy world is and really effective improvement is arsenic a system for enabling type to adapt,” says Wright.

The frog should beryllium considered endangered arsenic nary of its apt area of residence is presently protected, nan study says.

The pitcher works Nepenthes bracteosa, recovered successful Thailand

Potjamarm Suraninpong

A caller type of pitcher plant, Nepenthes bracteosa, was besides discovered past year, connected a hilltop successful confederate Thailand, and instantly classified arsenic critically endangered. Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants that shape a conduit aliases globe-shaped trap to seizure insects.

“These caller findings punctual america of nan bonzer diverseness and inventiveness of nature, which tin provoke a childish wonderment and delight successful america all,” says Wright. “Sadly, it is besides a timely reminder of nan utmost jeopardy that truthful galore of these type and habitats look and what we consequence losing if urgent and committed action is not taken.”