Jakarta, CNN Indonesia – The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has discovered a new species of frog in Mimika Regency, Papua. LIPI worked with the South Australian Museum for the discovery, with the funds from PT Freeport Indonesia.
The new frog species, named Litoria lubisi, is a large green tree frog from the Pelodryadidae family and closely related to the species Litoria infrafrenata, or the white-lipped tree frog. Litoria lubisi is found only in the sago forest in Mimika.
“The frog species was named after Dr. Rusdian Lubis, who served as the senior vice president for environment and work safety of PT Freeport Indonesia,” PT Freeport Indonesia spokesperson Riza Pratama said in a written statement received by Antara news agency on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
Pratama said the discovery had been published in the international journal Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed journal for animal taxonomists.
The size of Litoria lubisi is considered large with a length of up to 70 millimeters. Meanwhile, its color is more striking compared to other green frogs, with the lower side body and the tips of the toes are yellow, the skin folds are pale blue, and the abdomen and foot membranes have reddish-brown lines.
The journey to discover Litoria lubisi commenced in 2006 by author and researcher Stephen Richards of the South Australian Museum and independent researcher Burhan Tjaturadi, who has worked in Papua since 1999.
Richards and Tjaturadi studied biodiversity in the sago swamp forest in southern Timika and managed to collect one specimen of an additional species that exhibit the morphological attributes of the Litoria infrafrenata.
The study was then continued by the LIPI research team consisted of Mumpuni, Hellen Kurniati, and Evy Arida. After fifteen years of research, the team was finally able to confirm that the species under study was a new species that had never been recorded in the taxonomy.
The research is considered difficult due to the terrain where the habitat of the frog is.
PT Freeport Indonesia’s Environmental senior manager Gesang Setyadi said that the area of PT Freeport Indonesia potentially had more flora and fauna yet to be discovered. “For this reason, we always try to contribute to biodiversity conservation as a part of our environmental policies,” he said.