• The researchers named the new frog species Scinax pyroinguinis, meaning "groins of fire"
  • They named it after an interesting feature on its body and a threat it is facing
  • They hope that the discovery could inspire people to save the Amazon forest

Researchers have given a rather interesting name to a new frog species they discovered: "groins of fire." They have reportedly done so for two important reasons.

The researchers discovered the new species in a "well-visited" area, South American herpetologist Germán Chávez, one of the scientists who discovered the species, wrote in a guest post on the Pensoft blog.

It was clearly different from other similar frog species, Chávez noted, expressing amazement that other scientists had missed it.

"We could not believe that a medium-sized arboreal frog had passed in front of other researchers' eyes, and remained unseen," he said.

Although they had only a few specimens at hand, the researchers were quite aware that it was a new species, something they were able to confirm through further analysis.

They then named it the Scinax pyroinguinis, with pyroinguinis meaning "groins of fire." "Pryo" in Greek means fire, while "inguen" pertains to the groin in Latin, the scientists explained in their paper describing the new species, which was published this month in Evolutionary Systematics.

They named the frog as such for two interesting reasons. For one, the frog has a rather striking appearance that features bright orange blotches around its groin area.

More photos of its rather interesting feature can be seen here.

The other reason is that its fiery feature, unfortunately, reminded the researchers of the fact that its habitat in the Amazon jungle is being threatened by wildfires. They even shared photos of a wildfire in the species' locality while they were conducting their fieldwork.

"(O)ur field sampling and comparisons with populations of sympatric species suggest that Scinax pyroinguinis is an uncommon species in the area," the researchers wrote, noting that they only found two specimens in 108 days of surveys from 2021-2022. "Also, the patch of forest where S. pyroinguinis lives is under pressure from wildfires caused by farmers who try to expand their pastures or clean the ground for agriculture."

Unfortunately, environmental policies don't seem to be enough. They have largely been "ineffective" and were unsuccessful at preventing forest loss in the Amazon, the researchers said.

With the threat of fires, along with the fact that the species is uncommon and that the area is also faced with threats of deforestation, the researchers recommend the new species' International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria to be "Near Threatened."

Their hope now, Chávez said, is that such discoveries could serve as an inspiration to protect these forests.

"If these forests disappear, we will probably lose a diversity that we do not even know now yet, and may never will," Chávez said. "It is sort of a race against deforestation and habitat loss, but this doesn't mean there's nothing we can do."

The researchers titled their paper "Rising from the Ashes: A New Treefrog (Anura, Hylidae, Scinax) from a Wildfire-Threatened Area in the Amazon Lowlands of Central Peru."

Representative image of a frog. Pixabay