Brian Kubicki claimed that the small frog is delicate and “is a good indicator of the general health of the eco-system.” Kubicki named the frog “Hyalinobatrachium dianae” in honor of his mom, Janet Diane Kubicki, according to USA Today. Brian Kubicki worked on the research with fellow study authors Stanley Salazar and Robert Puschendorf, who were presumably not expecting to find a Kermit lookalike in the Costa Rican jungle.
New species is 14th in Costa Rica
Glass frogs are only found in certain areas of South and Central America, and their name comes from the fact that their skin is so translucent that their internal organs are visible. The new discovery takes the number of different types of glass frogs in Costa Rica to 14.
The latest discovery is differentiated from other glass frogs because of its skin, call and bulbous white eyes which are a major source of comparisons to the fictional Kermit. The Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center (CRARC) reports that this is the first new glass frog species to be identified since 1973.
Researchers collected six specimens at three different sites near the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Scientists are unclear what causes the skin of the glass frog to be translucent: “There is no satisfactory explanation for this transparency,” according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Kermit comparisons reach Wikipedia
It did not take long for the new species to get a Wikipedia page of its own, where similarities to Kermit are acknowledged. “Hyalinobatrachium dianae is a species of frog in the Centrolenidae family,” it says. “It was discovered in 2015 by Dr. Brian Kubicki in Costa Rica. The frog is a lime-green colored amphibian with translucent skin on its underside and has a horizontally shaped pupil that makes it look like Kermit, the Muppet.”
Kubicki appears positive about the comparisons, hoping that it will ultimately aid conservation efforts. “I think it is great that this species is getting so much attention around the world. Hopefully this will help increase the awareness of the incredible amphibians found in Costa Rica and the need to continue studying them and conserve their vital habitats,” he said.
If the Kermit lookalike can help to maintain amphibian habitats in Costa Rica, we may have the Muppets to thank.