Seven new species of miniature frogs, each fitting onto the tip of a thumb, have come out of hiding in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, scientists report in the journal PeerJ. The teeny-tiny frogs live on isolated mountaintops in cloud forests. Here's a look at the colorful cuties. [Read full story on the tiny frogs from Brazil]
Brachycephalus mariaeterezae. The intensity of the light of the ﬂash during photography led the light-blue coloration along their vertebral column to become less apparent.
Dark stripeThe tiny frog Brachycephalus fuscolineatus has yellow skin and a dark green-and-brown stripe running down its back. It was discovered in October 2010 in the municipality of Ilhota, state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.
This frog has warts: Brachycephalus verrucosus has orange-hued skin covered with brownish-green bumps. An adult female of the species was collected on Jan. 25, 2011, at Morro da Tromba, municipality of Joinville, in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.
Frog spotsBrachycephalus leopardus sports yellow skin covered with dark spots (hence it's "leopardus" species name).
PiggybackingResearchers spotted a pair of Brachycephalus leopardus during part of their mating process called amlexus. The male climbs onto the female's back and while piggybacking he fertilizes the eggs she releases into the water.
Hiding outLike the other tiny frogs, Brachycephalus boticario was found living in the leaf litter on the floor of patches of the cloud forest. The researchers spotted an adult male on Oct. 29, 2012, at Morro do Cachorro, on the border between the municipalities of Blumenau, Gaspar, and Luiz Alves, state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. This species is orange with darker, bumpy flanks.
Olive skinBrachycephalus olivaceus is the color of a greenish-brown olive. Researchers collected an adult female of this species at the base of the Serra Queimada mountain in Santa Catarina's municipality of Joinville, on Jan. 23, 2011.
Sky island"Sky islands" in the southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Species evolve in isolation on these mountaintops, meaning most can be found only on one or two peaks.