Biotech Updates

Geneticists Discover New Toadlet in Pilbara, Australia

August 26, 2011

A new small frog has been discovered in Pilbara, Western Australia with the help of genetic techniques used by scientists from the Austalian National University, the Western Australian Museum, and the University of Western Australia. According to Renee Catullo, lead author of the study, the new species of burrowing frog called Pilbara toadlet (Uperoleia saxatilis) was an unknown species prior to their research. The toadlet is just over two centimeters long and has been found following cyclonic rains and inhabits rocky gorges and creeks in the region.

"Genetic techniques are increasingly being used to identify new species across Australia that use calls, pheromones, or behavior to tell each other apart," Catullo said. "In these cases genetic techniques can tell us which groups are interbreeding, even when it's hard to visually differentiate them…This new breakthrough emphasizes the need for further research into understanding the biodiversity of Australian deserts."

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