Kermit the Frog in Costa Rica

Kermit the Frog in Costa Rica


Has Kermit the Frog been found in Costa Rica?  There are 14 other glass frog species that live in Costa Rica. Kermit will be in good company. Brian Kubicki has studied Costa Rican amphibians for 17 years. He has spent many field hours in the tropical rainforests. He definitely did not expect to meet the celebrity, Kermit the Frog.

Kermit the frog, has his own glass frog species. This species of glass frog is called Hyalinobatrachium dianae and it was found in the Caribbean foothills. (singing, “I am a Caribbean amphibian. Frog in a coconut tree.) The frog is named after Janet Diane Kubicki, Brian’s mother.

The Zootaxa journal published a study earlier in the year, authored by Kubicki, Stanley Salazar and Robert Puschendorf, about the new frog species, Hyalinobatrachium dianae, it was described by Kuicki of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center as bright lime green with big white bug eyes that have dark centers. Well, to be frank, it bears an extremely close resemblance to Kermit the Frog. The reason it took so long to discover this species of glass frog is that the call the male frogs use is so unique, no other species of frog has even a similar sound. This was a trait that allowed Kubicki to believe this frog was a new species. The call is a metallic long whistle that sounds more like an insect than a frog.

This new species was found in sites that have not been well studied and normally have irregular activity, so it was easy to miss the nights researchers have been out looking around. There are speculations online concerning whether this frog has a proclivity for high-maintenance, karate chopping. pink beauties and what the chances are of finding other Muppet lookalikes in nature. Maybe Jim Henson created art out of nature when he created Kermit the Frog.

Kubicki is not bothered by the comparison to Kermit the Frog, the more publicity the new species can get, the better. Comparing the H. dianae to Kermit the Frog will get attention around the world and increase awareness of the amphibians in Costa Rica. There is a need to continue to research the amphibians and conserve their habitats. In Costa Rica’s 51,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest, 201 different species of amphibians have been found and documented so far.

H. dianae is getting the attention Kubicki desired as pictures of the translucent Kermit the Frog lookalike are going viral, simply because it resembles Kermit. Six specimens of the glass frog, H. dianae, or little Kermit the Frogs, were found in the Talamanca Mountains. They were 400 to 900 meters above sea level. The frog’s unique call, skin texture, coloring and genetic testing and those big sad Kermit the Frog eyes, were able to determine it was an original species.

Even though 14 species of glass frogs have been documented in Costa Rica, 149 glass frogs have been documented in all, so far. They are referred to as glass frogs because they have translucent skin. Their underbellies are particularly translucent that it is possible to see the outlines of their internal organs. Vacation plans are being made for Costa Rica right now so others can meet Kermit the Frog.

By Jeanette Smith


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Photo courtesy of [Leah] – Flickr License


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