Team of Lin Si Min from Dept. of Life Science Discover Buergeria Otai
Do you know that the sound made by frogs can be the clue to discover a new species? Prof. Lin Si Min with students Wang Ying Han, Hsiao Yu Wei discovered a new species of tree frog in Taiwan through sound and behavior. The result, “Acoustic differentiation and behavioral response reveals cryptic species within Buergeria treefrogs (Anura, Rhacophoridae) from Taiwan”, was published in September on PLOS ONE.
The academic research press conference was held on September 19th. Dean of the College of Science, Chen Kwun Min, was the host and the team of Prof. Lin announced the discovery of a new species, which was considered Japanese frog.
The sound made by frogs is the most important tool when mating and is also the clue to distinguish one species from another. However, researchers in Taiwan are still in a basic level of frog sound, which is rarely used in research about frog behavior.
Around five years ago, researchers knew that the Japanese frog in different places in Taiwan are not the same species due to genetic trace. However, the two kinds of frogs are really similar in appearance and there are no other taxonomic evidence in sound or behavior.
Wang Ying Han, who just graduated from college and started her master, recorded the sound and founded that the frogs croak differently. The Japanese frog reside in north-west Taiwan makes sounds likes insects. The ones in East and South makes another kind of sound that changes in volume. With the sound, difference in genetic trace, and the patterns on frogs, the researchers can finally name the new species as Buergeria otai, and the paper was published on PLOS ONE.
The name comes after Dr. Hidetoshi Ota, one of the greatest expert on amphibian in East Asia, to pay tribute to his contribution on amphibian in East Asia and Taiwan.
This research shows that even in such a small island, the biodiversity is still so complicated and underestimated.
Two years ago, a new category of Pareatidae was introduced by the team of Prof. Lin, and Pareas atayal was found as the first snake founded by Taiwanese.