Frogs of New Species In the Andes, it was discovered. Led Zeppelin was the inspiration for the name.
What does a new species of terrestrial frog have in common with Led Zeppelin? To begin with, there’s their name.
On June 13, scientists David Brito-Zapata and Carolina Reyes-Puig disclosed that their amphibious discovery had been named after the famed British rock band in an article published in the scholarly journal Neotropical Biodiversity. Led Zeppelin formed in London in 1968 and went on to produce some of the most commercially successful songs in music history, including “Whole Lotta Love” and “Stairway to Heaven,” among others.
Brito-Zapata and Reyes-Puig said, “The name honors Led Zeppelin and their great music,” crediting the band with the rise “of both hard rock and heavy metal.”
Other well-known singers and songwriters have received similar honors. Australian entomologists, for example, named a new species of horse fly after Houston-born singer Beyonce in 2012. “The distinctive dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen encouraged me to name this fly in honor of the performer,” said co-author Bryan Lessard in a statement.
The frog, which is the newest addition to the Pristimantis genus, is only a few millimeters long. According to The Guardian, its Latin name is Pristimantis ledzeppelin, and its English name is Led Zeppelin’s Rain Frog. According to the study, it has “coppery-red” eyes and mottled olive skin and is native to the cloud forests of the Cordillera del Cóndor, a little-studied area of the Ecuadorian Andes. To put it another way, it has no resemblance to its namesake.
“Due to the high endemism of the Cordillera del Cóndor, the new species here described is likely to be found only in this restricted area, therefore it is important to consider new long-term initiatives for small vertebrate conservation actions,” Brito-Zapata and Reyes-Puig wrote.
Thus far, the scientists have catalogued three specimens, two of which were males. They were found “on shrub vegetation surrounding streams inside mature forest, where they perched on bush leaves,” Brito-Zapata and Reyes-Puig wrote.
While the frog is new to science, it may well already be endangered. Its range is likely isolated to a small triangle of forest in the Comunidad Río Blanco. One of the most “threatened ecoregions in the world,” the tropical Andes faces possible decimation by local ranching, logging and mining initiatives, according to the study.
In May, scientists in Brazil announced that they had discovered another new. This is a brief summary.