CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

Alumnus Andrew Crawford part of team that discovered a new frog species in Colombia

Pristimantis dorado, a newly discovered frog species found in the Andean cloud forests. 

Andrew Crawford (PhD 2000) was recently interviewed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute News for being part of a team of scientists who discovered a new frog species from the cloud forests of the high Andes in Colombia. Andrew is a research associate with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and a faculty member at the Universidad de Los Andes. 

An excerpt of the article is below. Click here to read the entire article. 

A team of scientists including a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) research associate announced the discovery of a new species of pale-gold colored frog from the cloud forests of the high Andes in Colombia. Its name, Pristimantis dorado, commemorates both its color (dorado means “golden” in Spanish) and El Dorado, a mythical city of gold eagerly sought for centuries by Spanish conquistadores in South America.

“The Spaniards assumed Colombia’s wealth was its gold, but today we understand that the real riches of the country lie in its biodiversity,” said Andrew Crawford, a STRI research associate and faculty member at the Universidad de Los Andes. The extraordinarily diverse group to which the new species belongs, Pristimantis, includes 465 recognized species, 205 of them from Colombia. The mountainous terrain of the Andes probably led to the evolution of so many different ground-dwelling frogs, in which the eggs develop directly into tiny baby frogs without going through a tadpole phase. At seven-tenths of an inch long, the species is among the smaller species in the group. The largest species grow to be 2 inches in length.

Click here to read the article.