for the martians

200 New Species of Frogs, Spiders, Mammals and More Discovered


Betsy Mason, Wired

In just two months of searching through a remote, mountainous rainforest in Papua New Guinea, scientists discovered 200 new species of animals and plants, including spiders, frogs, insects and mammals.

The surveys were done in 2009 in the Nakanai Mountains on the island of New Britain, which the country has nominated for World Heritage status. The new species could offer a boost to that effort.

“While very encouraging, these discoveries do not mean that our global biodiversity is out of the woods,” Leeanne Alonso of Conservation International said in a press release Oct. 5. “On the contrary, they should serve as a cautionary message about how much we still don’t know about Earth’s still hidden secrets.”

Some of the newly discovered species are truly spectacular, such as the pink-eyed beauty above, one of 20 leaf katydids found in the surveys.

Within the relatively small sample of 42 individuals of the leaf katydids in the Muller Range mountains, scientists Piotr Naskrecki and David Rentz found at least 20 new species.

We’ve got some of the most beautiful, strange and interesting of the new species in this gallery, along with a few very rare ones that hadn’t been seen in the area before.

Captions are adapted from Conservation International, which coordinated the surveys in partnership with Papua New Guinea’s Institute for Biological Research and A Rocha International, with funding from the Hans Wildorf Foundation.

Betsy Mason, Wired


his tube-nosed fruit bat Nyctimene sp. from the Muller Range mountains does not yet have a name but has been found in other parts of New Guinea. It is likely restricted to hill forests on the island. Fruit bats are important seed dispersers in tropical forests.



A beautiful member of the Litoria genimaculata group, this newly discovered frog has extremely variable color patterns and distinct yellow spots in the groin.



A new species of Anelosimus from the Nakanai Mountains of New Britain, one of 4 new species of this genus, previously not documented from New Guinea, was discovered in the two expeditions. The new species include both solitary and subsocial species that seem to have diversified within New Guinea.



Mossula Katydid. This is one of five new species of this genus discovered during Conservation International's September 2009 survey of the Muller Range. It has an especially interesting defense mechanism: Its hind legs are exceptionally large and spiny, and when threatened it holds them vertically above their head and tries to jab you with the spines (very painful).



Pheidole Ant These tiny, spiny ants were common foragers on the forest floor at mid elevation (1600m) in the Muller Range, in Papua New Guinea. The large majors have heads that are several times the size of the workers' heads. The huge mandibles are controlled by powerful muscles, which allow them to crush food that the workers bring back to the nest.


look at that ant head! IT’S HUGE!

these new species are so beautiful to look at.

i hope future martians will be able to enjoy the plenties of life