Dr Indraneil Das of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said the sub-species had originally been mis-identified in museums.
“Scientists presumably thought they were juveniles of other species, but it turns out they are adults of this newly-discovered micro species,” he said.
Das published the paper with Alexander Haas of the Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg, Germany. The mini frogs were found on the edge of a road leading to the summit of the Gunung Serapi mountain in the Kubah National Park in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The scientists said they tracked the frogs by their call, a series of “harsh rasping notes” that started at sundown. They then made the frogs jump onto a piece of white cloth to study them.
The find was part of a global search being undertaken by Conservation International and International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Amphibian Specialist Group to “rediscover” 100 species of lost amphibians (www.conservation.org/lostfrogs).