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A whole lot of species new to science found in South-East Asia



The Cambodian blue-crested agama, a species named in 2021

Henrik Bringsoe

The Larger Mekong area in South-East Asia is among the most biologically numerous areas on the planet, and new species proceed to be discovered there at an astonishing price.

Between 2021 and 2022, 380 animals and vegetation new to science had been found in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, in accordance with a report by the environmental charity WWF.

The area is so biologically numerous for a spread of causes, says Mark Wright at WWF. “The tropics tend to have more species diversity than elsewhere,” he says. “But on top of that, the Mekong region has very diverse habitats, such as rainforests and mountains over 5000 metres tall. Each of these is home to its diverse range of species, making this one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots on the planet.”

One of the vital enchanting new discoveries made within the area is the Cambodian blue-crested agama (Calotes goetzi). Males of this species, just like the one pictured above, have shiny blue heads, whereas each men and women have darkish brown spots working alongside their backs.

The lizards can climb to heights of 10 metres up bushes and primarily feed on bugs. Older people may even change color as a defence mechanism when guarding their eggs buried in tender soil.

Khoi’s mossy frog, present in Vietnam in 2022

Nguyen Thien Tao

One other charming new species, Khoi’s mossy frog (Theloderma khoii), was found throughout routine fieldwork in north-east Vietnam. The frog has irregular ridges and warts on its pores and skin, permitting it to mix in higher with moss and lichen on bushes. “Just seeing the perfection of its camouflage reminds us, yet again, of how extraordinary the natural world is and how effective evolution is as a mechanism for enabling species to adapt,” says Wright.

The frog must be thought-about endangered as none of its doubtless space of habitat is presently protected, the report says.

The pitcher plant Nepenthes bracteosa, present in Thailand

Potjamarm Suraninpong

A brand new species of pitcher plant, Nepenthes bracteosa, was additionally found final 12 months, on a hilltop in southern Thailand, and instantly categorised as critically endangered. Pitcher vegetation are carnivorous vegetation that kind a tube or globe-shaped lure to seize bugs.

“These new findings remind us of the extraordinary diversity and inventiveness of nature, which can provoke a childish wonder and delight in us all,” says Wright. “Sadly, it is also a timely reminder of the extreme jeopardy that so many of these species and habitats face and what we risk losing if urgent and committed action is not taken.”


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