26 Mar 2009

Scientists discover 56 new species in PNG

3:01 pm on 26 March 2009

Scientists say they have discovered 56 new species in Papua New Guinea forests, including jumping spiders and a tiny chirping frog.

The discoveries were made during a two-month expedition by British, Canadian and PNG scientists in the virgin tropical forests.

Conservation International, which organised the trip, says the team discovered a wealth of treasures and documented some 600 species.

Among the findings were 50 spider species, two plants, three frogs and an elegant striped gecko which are all believed to completely new to science.

The three new frogs include a tiny brown one with a sharp chirping call, a bright green tree frog with enormous eyes and a torrent-dwelling frog that has a loud ringing call.

Conservation International says much of PNG's forests remain unexplored, and have been kept in pristine condition thanks to the care of the local tribes who inhabit them.