New striped creature — with orange groin and unique mating call — found in Australia

Within the damp forests and subtropical regions of eastern Australia, several distinct species of large ground-dwelling frogs flourish.

Scientists have identified seven species of these frogs, known as Mixophyes. That is until recently, when a group of experts discovered that one of the known species was actually two different species of Mixophyes, according to a study published June 2 in Zootaxa.

The study analyzed a group of Mixophyes balbus — also known as stuttering frogs for their unique reproductive calls, the authors from University of Newcastle said. The creatures had so much genetic variation, they were determined to belong to two different species, one of which had never been discovered.

The new species, Mixophyes australis, is the southern cousin of the Mixophyes balbus, the university said in a news release via The frogs are some of New South Wales’ largest — growing up to about 3 inches.

Experts described the frogs as having flat heads, prominent snouts, large eyes and long legs. Their backs are brown but range from a copper color to a dark brown, and their skin has a green tint.

The frogs’ fingers are unwebbed, according to the study.
The frogs’ fingers are unwebbed, according to the study.

The frogs also have shades of burnt orange or peach near their groin, according to the study. Their limbs are adorned with darker, horizontal stripes.

Researchers also noted the frogs’ distinct mating call, which has been compared to a stutter, and is similar among both the northern and southern species.

The reproductive call is composed of a series of one to four short notes in rapid succession, the study said. The notes sound like “krook..krook..krook.….kra-a-ak..kruk..kruk.”

Though the discovery of the new frogs is exciting, researchers identified the species as endangered and have expressed concern about the challenges facing conservation efforts, according to the university.

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