KUALA LUMPUR: Asia's tiniest frog, a creature the size of a pea, has been discovered in a national park in Sarawak, researchers said today.
Herpetologist Indraneil Das said he and Hamburg University colleague Alexander Haas discovered the orange-and-red frog when returning from a field trip at the Kubah National Park in 2004.
They finally announced their discovery after taxonomic journal Zootaxa published their findings.
"We heard the calls of this frog and we knew the calls of all frogs in the area and this was different," Das said.
"At first we couldn't see it but eventually we found it and I had to trap the frog in one of my baby son's clean white diapers in order to really see what it looked like, it was so tiny."
The frog measures just 3.0 millimetres when it metamorphoses from a tadpole, and grows to about 9.0 to 11.0 millimetres as an adult. It belongs to the Microhylid family of frogs, which are all under 15.0 millimetres in length.
"The frog is as small as the South American species (of miniature frogs) and is definitely the tiniest in Asia, Africa and Europe," Das said.
It was named Microhyla nepenthicola after the Nepenthes ampullaria, a miniature pitcher plant in which it lives.
Das said the plant lives off decomposing organic matter that collects within it and the frog uses this as a habitat, laying its eggs in the pitcher. When the tadpoles hatch, they live in the gathered liquid until they mature.
"This just shows how much more there is left to discover in the jungles of Borneo, it's just the tip of the iceberg," said the scientist, head of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Sarawak and neighbouring Sabah states make up Malaysia's half of Borneo island, which is shared with Indonesia.
Das said he will be leading a team into the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia next month to search for a supposedly extinct toad last seen in 1922, as part of a global project to rediscover 100 species of "lost" amphibians.
Lahir di Perak dan di besarkan di Lembah Jaya. Bersekolah rendah di Sekolah Jalan Raja Muda sebelum ditutup dan berpindah ke Sekolah Polis Depot. Sekolah menengah di Sekolah Alam Shah, Jalan Tenteram, Bandar Tun Razak dari 1979 hingga 1983. Melanjutkan pelajaran ke Universiti Malaya untuk Kursus Persediaan ke Jepun selama 2 tahun. Melanjutkan pelajaran di bidang Business Admin di Saitama University, Japan. Kini menetap di Shah Alam kerana rezki yang telah Allah tetapkan berada di Shah Alam walaupun 2 kali kes syarikat tutup akibat kegawatan ekonomi. Kini bekerja di Toyota Auto Body di bahagian Human Resource. Bermula 1 Oktober 2010 secara rasminya saya pencen! ha ha ha