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Pregnant creature — with ‘light orange’ bumps on its skin — is a new species. See it

A four-legged creature perched atop a rock, its copper-silver eyes scanning its surroundings in an evergreen forest in China. That’s when it emitted a high-pitched, four-note call.

At the same time, a group of researchers was trekking through the Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve and heard the creature’s “unique” advertisement.

The team spotted the amphibian on its rock near a stream. Nearby, they found even more of the creatures, including pregnant females carrying eggs.

Scientists collected 14 of the creatures — four males and 10 females — and after analyzing them, realized they had discovered a new species of leaf litter toad, according to a study published Feb. 22 in the journals ZooKeys.

The toads have bi-colored eyes and orange bumps along their sides.
The toads have bi-colored eyes and orange bumps along their sides.

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The new species is known as Leptobrachella guinanensis or the Gui Nan Leaf Litter Toad, scientists said. The toads were distinguished from other species by their body size, skin pattern and “unique” call — which includes “the highest dominant frequencies ever recorded.”

Gui Nan Leaf Litter Toads are larger than other species, researchers said. Males measured about 1.2 inches long, while females measured between about 1.5 and 1.6 inches long.

Experts said the toads have rough brown skin with an “inverted triangle” pattern between their eyes. Their smooth front side is “creamy white,” and their throat is “immaculate creamy white” with brown spots at its edges.

The toads have “light orange” bumps and “irregular black spots” on their sides as well as “irregular markings” decorating their shoulders and back.

Photos show the patterned creature, which has a “protruding snout” and bi-colored eyes. The upper-half of the new species’ eye is copper, while the lower half is silver.

Scientists found the creatures near a stream in an evergreen forest, they said.
Scientists found the creatures near a stream in an evergreen forest, they said.

Male Gui Nan Leaf Litter Toads have a “unique” call, researchers said. The four-note pattern typically lasts between 23 milliseconds and 31 milliseconds, and the toads wait between 55 milliseconds and 133 milliseconds between calls.

Female toads were found pregnant, carrying “creamy white eggs,” according to experts.

Females were found pregnant with “creamy white eggs,” researchers said.
Females were found pregnant with “creamy white eggs,” researchers said.

The species was discovered near a stream in an evergreen forest in the Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve, scientists said. The toads are named after Guangxi, the autonomous region in southern China where the reserve is located.

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