Science

353 New Species Discovered in the Himalayas
The world's smallest deer, a flying frog and catfish that stick to rocks — as well as more than 350 other species — have been discovered over the past decade in the Himalayas, making it one of the world's most biologically rich regions, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
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Litter Frog

Smith's litter frog , identified in 1999, one of five new frog discoveries in the Indian state of Assam, ranks among the most extraordinary-looking frogs in the world. Measuring only a few centimeters, this small frog has a giant pair of piercing, bulging and vivid golden eyes. Smith's litter frog was reportedly discovered in the Mayeng Hill Reserve Forest and Garbhanga Reserve Forest, Kamru District, Assam. (WWF)

Gumprecht's Green Pitviper

Officially discovered in 2002, Gumprecht’s green pitviper is venomous and capable of growing to over four feet in length. Scientists predict that larger specimens exist. The species is known to occur around Putao, at altitudes above 400m in the far north of Myanmar. There are some striking differences between the males and females of this species; females reach a greater size, with a thin, white or whitish-blue streak on the head, and deep yellow eyes; males are shorter, have a red stripe on the head, and bright red or deep red eyes. (WWF)

(Gernot Vogel/WWF Nepal)

Naung Mung Scimitar Babbler

This medium-sized jungle bird reminiscent of a wren is dark brown, with a short tail, long legs, relatively large feet and a long curved bill. This long bill is used to forage and probe for food on the ground. The species was officially described as a new species in 2005. (WWF)

(Christopher Milensky/WWF Nepal)

Liparis Dongchenii

Liparis Dongchenii orchid

(Sudhizong Lucksom/WWF Nepal)

Impatiens Namchabarwensis

Named after the canyon in which it was found, an area of Tibet which started to be explored as recently as the mid-1990s, the rare plant can grow two feet tall and flowers all year round. The color of the flower seems to change with temperature and exposure. They sometimes appear truly blue when in a cool climate and change to purple when temperatures rise; a characteristic unique for this species among impatiens. (WWF)

(Elayne Takemoto/WWF Nepal)

Flying Frog

The bright-green, red-footed tree frog Rhacophorus suffry, a so-called 'Flying frog' because long webbed feet allow the species to glide when falling, was described in 2007.

(Totul Bortamuli/WWF Nepal)

Meconopsis Tibetica

Meconopsis tibetica, described in 2006, is one of 12 new poppy species discoveries. A vast garden stretches across the Eastern Himalayas, a mysterious and alluring landscape that has yielded on average of 24 new plant discoveries every year for the last 10 years. (WWF)

(Margaret Thorne/WWF Nepal)

Zaw's Wolf Snake

Zaw’s wolf snake, discovered dwelling in forests and near streams at elevations of less than 1500 feet in Assam, India, including in the Garbhange Reserve Forest and in northern Myanmar. The black snake, with white bands, can grow to half a meter in length, and feeds mainly on geckos. (WWF)

(Pawar Samraat/WWF Nepal)

Heterometrus Nepalensis

Among the new fi nds are three species of scorpion, one of which was described from the Chitwan National Park in Nepal in 2004. This discovery was particularly significant as it was the first species of scorpion ever to be discovered in the country. The 8cm long, reddish-black species has a smooth carapace, and a reddish-brown tail tip or telson that contains the venom. (WWF)

(Frantisek Kovarik/WWF Nepal)

Calanthe Yuksomnensis

Calanthe yuksomnensis

(Sudhizong Lucksom/WWF Nepal)

Arunachal Macaques

Described as a new species in 2005, the relatively large brown primate with a short tail was a significant discovery as, at the time, it represented the first new monkey species identified anywhere in the world in over a century. The newly described macaque species is stocky in build and has a darker face than other closely related species. It is the highest-dwelling macaque in the world, occurring between 1,600m and 3,500m about sea level. (WWF Nepal)

(Anindya Sinha/WWF Nepal)

Asian_Babbler_Bird

The bugun liochicla species predominantly inhabits open-canopied hill forests with dense shrubs and small trees, and so far is known to be restricted to 2 sq km at an altitude of between 2,000m and 2,350m.

(� Ramana Athreya / WWF Nepal)

Oldest_Fern_Remains

The oldest fern, found in Cretaceous amber from Burma which includes a plethora of plant and invertebrate remains. (George Poinar/WWF Nepal)

(� George Poinar / WWF Nepal)

Termite_Fossil

Termite that has intestinal protozoa found in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar which includes a plethora of plant and invertebrate remains. (George Poinar/WWF Nepal)

(� George Poinar / WWF Nepal)

Leaf_Deer

The world's smallest deer species, a miniature muntjac, discovered in 1999. Standing 60-80cm tall and weighing just about 24 pounds, was first seen by a team of scientists undertaking field surveys in the Himalayan region of northern Myanmar.

(� Alan Rabinowitz / WWF Nepal)

Oldest_Known_Mushroom_Fossil

The oldest known mushroom found in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar which includes a plethora of plant and invertebrate remains. (George Poinar/WWF Nepal)

(� George Poinar / WWF Nepal)

Macrobrachium_Agwi_Shrimp

Macrobrachium agwi -- a new species of shrimp. A recent shipment of freshwater prawns imported into Europe from Cooch Behar, Bengal, had among their number a surprise stowaway; a previously unknown species to science. With its tinted reddish-brown color, the medium sized new species Macrobrachium agwi was described in 2008.

(Werner Klotz / WWF Nepal)

Saramati_Palm

The species is the most recent addition to the Trachycarpus genus, and the most interesting yet according to some scientists. The palm was discovered in Assam, on the border with Myanmar. Growing to a height of 50 feet, the tree has a hairless trunk, one foot in diameter. (Keshow Chandra Pradhan/WWF Nepal)

(� Keshow Chandra Pradhan/ Michael Lorek / WWF Nepal)

Assamese_Cascade_Frog

Cascade frogs or torrent frogs as they are also known as, have adapted to life amongst the torrents, waterfalls and wet boulders that cascade out of Asia's rainforests. (Abhijit Das/WWF Nepal)

(� Abhijit Das / WWF Nepal)

Eastern_Himalayas

The Eastern Himalayas (Murat Selam/WWF Nepal)

(� Murat Selam / WWF Nepal)

Coelogyne_Pantlingii_Orchid

Coelogyne pantlingii orchid, found in Sikkim. (Sudhizom Lucksom/WWF Nepal)

(� Sudhizong Lucksom / WWF Nepal)

Erethistoides_Ascita_Fish

Erethistoides ascita, described in 2005 from the Ganges river drainage in the terai of Nepal.

(� NG Heok/ David Edds / WWF Nepal)

Erethistoides_Cavatura_Fish

Erethistoides cavatura, described in 2005 from the Ganges river drainage in the terai of Nepal.

(� NG Heok/ David Edds / WWF Nepal)

Itagonia_Cordiformis_Beetle

Itagonia cordiformis beetle

(� Shi & Ren / WWF Nepal)

Orange_Spotted_Snakehead_Fish

The orange-spotted snakehead, endemic to the forest streams, ponds, and swamps adjacent to the Brahmaputra river in the subtropical rainforest of northern Assam. The species is remarkably striking, with a vibrant pattern of purple and orange adorning the length of its body. Discovered in 2000, and measuring up to 40cm in length, the fish is also known as the 'orange-spotted snakehead,' as its head looks like that of a snake. It is carnivorous and predatory,
enjoying a diet of smaller fish and invertebrates.

Impatiens_Namchabarwensis_Flower

Named after the canyon in which it was found, an area of Tibet which started to be explored as recently as the mid-1990s, the rare plant can grow two feet tall and flowers all year round. The color of the flower seems to change with temperature and exposure. They sometimes appear truly blue when in a cool climate and change to purple when temperatures rise; a characteristic unique for this species among impatiens.

(� Elayne Takemoto / WWF Nepal)

Cretacegekko_Burmae_Gecko

Cretacegekko burmae -- a 100 million year old gecko -- preserved in cretaceous amber. The fossil remains from the amber include a plethora of plant and invertebrate remains but vertebrate fossils are very rare.

(� George Poinar / WWF Nepal)

353 New Species Discovered in the Himalayas

The world's smallest deer, a flying frog and catfish that stick to rocks — as well as more than 350 other species — have been discovered over the past decade in the Himalayas, making it one of the world's most biologically rich regions, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

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