text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text
Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
design element
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
News Archive
Press Releases
Media Advisories
News Tips
Press Statements
Speech Archives
Frontiers Archives

Biotic Surveys Program Uncovers Smallest Frog

September 1997

And the award for the smallest frog in the Northern Hemisphere goes to Eleutherodactylus iberia, a one-centimeter-long frog from Cuba. Eleutherodactylus is tied for the world record with the Southern Hemisphere's smallest frog.

The discovery of the Northern Hemisphere frog is another example of work going on in NSF's Biotic Surveys and Inventories Program. "The program is unique in that its purpose is funding the discovery of species new to science," says Program Director Meredith Lane.

Cuban scientist Alberto Estrada discovered the tiny orange-striped black frog living under leaf litter in a humid rainforest on Cuba's Monte Iberia. Estrada was working with S. Blair Hedges, a biologist from Pennsylvania State University.

Their find was published in the journal Copeia, where they announced the name Eleutherodactylus iberia--two words that are more than three times as long as the frog itself. Says Lane, "Hedges' results are gratifying because a high proportion of Cuba's species remains to be discovered."

Cuban scientists are restricted by their country's economic conditions, and often team with foreign colleagues.

"The tropical forests in Cuba are even more fragile and more threatened than those in the Amazon of South America," says Hedges. "Cuba's forests are small and they are now being cut down at an increasing rate. We still have an incomplete knowledge of the biodiversity of this planet, including areas like Cuba that are very close to the United States."

Return to September 1997 Frontiers home page   Other Contents of This Issue
Visit Other Frontiers Issues page   Other Frontiers Issues
Visit Other NSF Publications page   Other NSF Publications
Visit Office of Legislative and Public Affairs page   Office of Legislative and Public Affairs


Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page