The green tree frog has a newly discovered chocolatey ancestor

By Australian Geographic 28 May 2021
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Meet the chocolate frog.

No, that’s not a Freddo, that’s the newly described species of frog from New Guinea, the chocolate frog (Litoria mira). 

Milky brown in appearance, this new species has already set itself apart from other tree frogs, however, they still have a strong connection. 

“The closest-known relative of Litoria mira is the Australian green tree frog,” says Queensland Museum’s Paul Oliver, the lead author of the paper published today describing the chocolate frog.

“The two species look similar except one is usually green, while the new species usually has a lovely chocolate colouring.

“What’s a little surprising about this discovery is that the well-known and common green tree frog of Australia has a long-overlooked relative living in the lowland rainforests of New Guinea.”

It really does look like smooth chocolate! (Image credit: Steve Richards)

Australia shares a lot of animals with New Guinea. Take for example the adorable striped possum and the pig-nosed turtle.

“While New Guinea is not a place most Australians know well; many animal groups are shared,” says co-author of the paper Steve Richards. “So understanding biodiversity in New Guinea helps us to understand the history and origins of Australia’s unique fauna.”

If you’re interested in frogs that look weirdly like chocolate, you have to check out the Annam flying frog