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Extinct amphibian turns out not to be

In “‘Extinct’ Toad Rediscovered” (The Scientist, June 21, 2012), Edyta Zielinska reports, “A yellow-bellied dwarf toad, last sighted in 1876, is rediscovered in Sri Lanka.”

First described in 1872 , the dwarf toad Adenomus kandianus was only observed once after its discovery, and then named extinct. But now, researchers from the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka reported their sighting of the species, according to a study published last week (June 15) in the journal Zootaxa.

The researchers spotted four toads in 2009 on rocks in a flowing stream in the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, reported ScienceNOW. After researchers collected one toad for analysis, they realized that it matched no other known toad, and could only be the long-lost Adenomus kandianus. On a second trip, the researchers discovered more than 100 toads in a 200-square-meter sampling area.

The species still needs protection, of course. But it is one of the many species assumed to be extinct that were simply unnoticed later.

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