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July 24, 2017

New species discovered in the Amazon


More than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates have been discovered in the Amazon over the past decade – a new species every three days – according to a new WWF report, Amazon Alive! that summarises discoveries between 1999 and 2009. The new species include 637 plants, 257 fish, 216 amphibians, 55 reptiles, 16 birds and 39 mammals, confirming that the Amazon is one of the most diverse places on Earth. This is the Rio Acari Marmoset discovered in 2000

Among the findings are the first new species of anaconda identified since 1936. Described in 2002 from Bolivia’s north-eastern Amazon province, and then found also in the floodplains of Bolivia’s Pando province, the 4 meter long Eunectes beniensis was initially believed to be the result of hybridization between green and yellow anacondas, but was later determined to be a distinct species

Ranitomeya amazonica – a frog with an incredible burst of flames on its head, and contrasting water-patterned legs. The frog’s main habitat is near the Iquitos area in the region of Loreto, Peru, and is primary lowland moist forest. The frog has also been encountered in the Alpahuayo Mishana National Reserve in Peru

Pyrilia aurantiocephala – a member of the true parrot family has an extraordinary bald head, and displays an astonishing spectrum of colours. Known only from a few localities in the Lower Madeira and Upper Tapajos rivers in Brazil, the species has been listed as ‘near threatened’, due to its moderately small population, which is declining owing to habitat loss

A ‘tiger-striped’ tarantula – the Cyriocosmus nogueiranetoi, was found in Rio Branco, the capital of Acre state, Brazil. This reddish-brown species, officially described in 2005, has the unusual pattern of five clear ‘tiger-stripes’ on its back

The Amazon River dolphin or pink river dolphin was recorded by science in the 1830s, and given the scientific name of Inia geoffrensis. In 2006, scientific evidence showed that there is a separate species – Inia boliviensis – of the dolphin in Bolivia, although some scientists consider it a subspecies of Inia geoffrensis. In contrast to the Amazon River dolphins, their Bolivian relatives have more teeth, smaller heads, and smaller but wider and rounder bodies

The Blue Fang Skeleton Tarantula (Ephebopus cyanognathus)


A blind and tiny, bright red new species of catfish that lives mainly in subterranean waters. Found in the state of Rondonia, Brazil, the fish Phreatobius dracunculus began to appear after a well was dug in the village of Rio Pardo, when they were accidentally trapped in buckets used to extract water. The species has since been found in another 12 of 20 wells in the region

Whilst many parts of the Amazon remain relatively undisturbed, threats to the region are rapidly increasing. During the last 50 years humankind has caused the destruction of at least 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest – an area twice the size of Spain. This is lizard is Anolis cuscoensis

Rapid expansion in regional and global markets for meat, soy and biofuels, unsustainable development models and increasing energy demands all put pressure on the Amazon’s resources. Dart frog (Ameerega pepperi)

Ghost knifefish (Compsaraia samueli)

Apistogramma baenschi

Gonatodes alexandermendesi

Hypsiboas liliae

The Cryptic Forest-falcon (Micrastur mintoni)

A species of ant (Martialis heureka)

The Rufous Twistwing (Cnipodectes superrufus)

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