Lazarus Species

‘Extinct’ cave frog rediscovered in Zimbabwe

‘Extinct’ cave frog rediscovered in Zimbabwe

Amphibians, Lazarus Species December 13, 2017 at 10:51 pm

(Reports first published Jan 2017)  A very viable population of frogs not seen for 54 years has been found again, atop Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani Mountains, by researchers from Zimbabwe’s Natural History Museum..  The species inhabits caves and grasslands in the area. They are believed to undergo direct development, skipping the tadpole stage and hatching from their eggs as fully formed, miniature adults.

A 130-Year-Old Specimen Brought Back to Life

A 130-Year-Old Specimen Brought Back to Life

Insects, Lazarus Species November 29, 2017 at 10:29 am

A moth has been observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat, 130 years since only specimen was collected.  A clearwing moth known only from a single specimen from 1887 (which is is missing important morphological features), was observed and filmed for the first time in its natural habitat.   The moth’s known ecosystem is vanishing rapidly due to extensive human activity.  The authors recently filmed and described a new wasp-mimicking clearwing moth from the same area.

Orchid thought to be extinct blooms in a botanical garden

Orchid thought to be extinct blooms in a botanical garden

Lazarus Species November 21, 2017 at 9:24 am

Thought to be extinct for almost eight decades, a rare orchid from the Ogasawara island chain 1000 km south of Tokyo is blooming at a botanical garden.  Discovered on a survey of the island, three bulbs of the unknown plant were taken as samples to Japan national museum’s Tsukuba Botanical Garden to be raised.  People are prohibited from landing on the island,  a World Natural Heritage site, which this may be the reason the rar eorchid has managed to survive.  The last time the species on Chichijima was reported collected was 1938.

Little Frogfish “Rediscovered” After More Than a Century

Little Frogfish “Rediscovered” After More Than a Century

Fish, Lazarus Species, New Species November 14, 2017 at 12:12 pm

While only four individuals of this fish has been reported since first described, this small frogfish has actually been hiding in plain sight all along, with countless photographs posted on the internet.   The rarity of Nudiantennarius was really nothing more than a case of mistaken identity.  As it turns out, N. subteres is identical to a fish that divers have been photographing across the Coral Triangle for years. It has been referred to variously as the Ocellated Frogfish or the Lembeh Frogfish, after the Lembeh Straits, where the species is particularly abundant.   Authors reexamined the 1909 specimen, along with a handful of others that matched up withRead More

Jackson’s Climbing Salamander Rediscovered in Guatemala 42 Years After Last Sighting

Jackson’s Climbing Salamander Rediscovered in Guatemala 42 Years After Last Sighting

One of the “ten Most Wanted missing amphibian species in the world” has been rediscovered, in recently protected cloud forests of the Cuchumatanes mountains, Guatemala.  A guard at the Finca San Isidro Amphibian Reserve, Ramos León, discovered a juvenile Jackson’s climbing salamander—only the third individual ever seen—on the edge of the reserve while out on patrol this month. He sent a photo to Carlos Vasquez, curator of herpetology at USAC University in Guatemala, coordinator of the amphibian conservation program partnered with the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), who confirmed that the species in the photo was, indeed, the Jackson’s climbing salamander. Jackson’sRead More

Rediscovery of a lizard in Argentina after decades of searching

Rediscovery of a lizard in Argentina after decades of searching

Lazarus Species, Reptiles September 28, 2017 at 8:50 am

Liolaemus rabinoi, a species from Argentina has formerly been considered extinct. It was first found in 1972 on the margins of the El Nihuil dam in San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina. In November 2010, new specimens of lizards assignable to L. rabinoi were found in an area of large sand dunes, 10 km from where it had been searched for in vain for years.

‘Extinct’ flower found near popular walking route in Derbyshire

‘Extinct’ flower found near popular walking route in Derbyshire

Lazarus Species, Plants September 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

A plant thought to be globally extinct has been rediscovered growing near a popular country walking route in Derbyshire, UK.  The  dandelion-like flower, the Leek-coloured hawkweed was discovered in Derbyshire in 1898 but not confirmed as a new species until 1942.  It disappeared from the area in the 1950s and died out at its only other site in Staffordshire some years ago.   There are more than 400 species of hawkweed in Britain.

Andean Toad thought to be extinct, rediscovered in the Andes of Ecuador

Andean Toad thought to be extinct, rediscovered in the Andes of Ecuador

Amphibians, Lazarus Species August 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Ecuadorian and British scientists have rediscovered one of the rarest amphibians of Ecuador, thought to have gone extinct more than three decades ago.  The Carchi Andean Toad (Rhaebo colomai) inhabits a small region in the border area between Ecuador and Colombia. The last time a specimen was observed in Ecuador was in 1984.  An expedition in July 2017 found a small population in the Dracula Reserve, in the northwestern Andes of Ecuador. The expedition was carried out by scientists from the Laboratory of Terrestrial Zoology of University San Francisco de Quito USFQ, the Natural History Museum of London, and the InstitutoRead More

Mistaken identity of East Asian vine species resolved after 100 years

Mistaken identity of East Asian vine species resolved after 100 years

Lazarus Species, New Species, Plants July 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

New light has been shed on a misclassified vine species in the Ryukyu Islands of East Asia. This plant was first discovered in 1917 in Taiwan, when it was provisionally identified as Kadsura japonica. The plant was recently spotted again after 100 years, and further investigation proved that it was in fact a different species: Kadsura matsudae.

The Longnose Harlequin Frog, Rediscovered

The Longnose Harlequin Frog, Rediscovered

Lazarus Species, Species Discovery July 3, 2017 at 11:51 am

A miracle.  That’s how Ecuadorian herpetologist Dr. Luis Coloma describes his team’s rediscovery of a striking yellow-spotted frog, the Longnose Harlequin Frog, which had been lost to science since 1989 and feared extinct.  The Longnose Harlequin Frog suddenly and mysteriously vanished then, along with nearly a dozen other Ecuadorian amphibian species.

Boa not seen for 64 years, rediscovered alive after ‘wanted posters’ posted

Boa not seen for 64 years, rediscovered alive after ‘wanted posters’ posted

Lazarus Species, Reptiles June 20, 2017 at 11:18 am

1953 was the last time any researcher saw a Cropan’s boa (Corallus cropanii) alive, which lives in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest south of São Paulo. Since then, the snake—thought to be the rarest boid in the world—has been recorded by scientists just five times. In January, a 1.7-meter-long female was captured by a group of rural workers in January.  The recently-captured boa is lucky: One of its captors was about to hack it to death, when the other two recalled “wanted signs” that had been posted by researchers from the University of São Paulo’s Museum of Zoology and the Butantan Institute,Read More

Chameleon discovered again, after 180 years

Chameleon discovered again, after 180 years

Lazarus Species, New Species, Reptiles June 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

Distinctive white dots on its shoulders helped researchers realize the new species had been collected before, in the 1830s by a naturalist in the Dutch East Indies government, but never named nor described.    

Literally lost in the early 1800’s, a monitor lizard species is rediscovered in Papua New Guinea

Literally lost in the early 1800’s, a monitor lizard species is rediscovered in Papua New Guinea

Lazarus Species, New Species, Reptiles May 9, 2017 at 7:59 am

A monitor lizard lost to science in an 1800s shipwreck has been rediscovered on New Ireland, an island in Papua New Guinea. The medium-size monitor, Varanus douarrha, was first identified by French naturalist René Lesson in 1823. The specimen of the lizard collected by Lesson went down in a shipwreck off the Cape of Good Hope in 1824, however, so the monitor lizard was never systematically studied.  Varanus douarrha is now identified as a distinct from a the common mangrove monitor species (Varanus indicus) found all over New Guinea.  

New Guinea highland wild dog rediscovered in the wild

New Guinea highland wild dog rediscovered in the wild

Lazarus Species, Mammals, New Species April 9, 2017 at 8:21 am

Unseen for more than 50 years, the New Guinea highland wild dog has at last been confirmed in its natural island habitat. Scientists are crooning over new pictures that confirm the survival of the New Guinea highland wild dog, which until now was feared to be extinct in its natural habitat on the South Pacific island Thought to be among the rarest species of canine, the highland wild dogs are either the same as or close relatives of the famous singing dogs of New Guinea, which exist only in captivity. More than a hundred camera-trap pictures taken in 2016 showRead More

Land snail species seen for first time in 100 years, from photo posted to citizen science website

Land snail species seen for first time in 100 years, from photo posted to citizen science website

Citizen Science, Invertebrates, Lazarus Species July 7, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Scientists have rediscovered a snail species not seen for over a hundred years after spotting a picture of the species on a citizen science website inaturalist.com.   Though the snail is common on Hon Cau Island, it is so rarely visited due to national park restrictions and its distance from Con Son Island off the southeast coast of Vietnam, that no researcher had ever traveled there to document the local flora and fauna.  Fortunately, citizen scientists are documenting species and habitat in the most far reaching locales.