Flying frog discovered in Vietnam

With big webbed feet this frog parachutes from high trees in the forest. Surprisingly found near Vietnam's biggest city.

This handout picture taken by Jodi Rowley in 2009 and released by Australian Museum on January 15, 2013 shows Helen's Flying Frog, a new species of flying frog near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. (Photo: AFP)


Click button to listen to Flying Frog download

Wildlife

New species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam

15 Jan 2013

An Australian researcher who discovered a new species of flying frog near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and named it after her mother said it was a rare find so close to such a big city.

Helen's Flying Frog was first discovered by Jodi Rowley, an amphibian expert from Sydney's Australian Museum, in 2009 during a field trip to the forests fringing the city previously known as Saigon.

Ms. Rowley initially thought the tree-dwelling flying frog, so named for the huge webbed feet that allow it to glide or parachute across the forest canopy, was a familiar species when she saw it sitting on a log beside a path.

It was not until a later trip, when she saw a specimen of the original type of frog in another part of Vietnam, that she realised her creature was something quite different.

"The new species has a bright white belly and white whites of the eyes, whereas the species that I thought it was -- its closest relative -- has a lemon yellow belly and yellow whites of the eyes," Rowley told AFP

There's also differences in the colour of the webbing, colour of the thighs, and we did look at body type as well so it does seem to be bigger than the other species.

Molecular analysis confirmed Rowley's suspicions and she had the honour of naming the new species rhacophorus helenae or Helen's Flying Frog after her mother, who had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

She said the "big, impressive" species, which is 10 centimetres (four inches) long was a surprising find in the low-lying evergreen forest surrounded by rice paddies on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's most populous city

"What's rare about this discovery in particular is the fact that I found the lone individual less than 90 kilometres from the middle of Ho Chi Minh City, one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia," said Rowley.

Researchers are now working to establish whether Helen's frog is endangered. Specimens have only been seen in the lowland forests of southern Binh Thuan and Dong Nai provinces and Rowley said there were real fears for its survival.

"We are worried particularly because it is a lowland forest and it's the same kind of forest (as where) the Javan rhinoceros went extinct in 2011 as well. Habitat loss is a huge issue," she said.

Rowley's discovery, made with researchers from Ho Chi Minh city's University of Science, was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Herpetology.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Asia, New species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam, 15 Jan 2013, link)

 
Frog Vocabulary

frog - (See Wikipedia)
flying frog - (See Wikipedia)

Helen’s Tree Frog (Rhacophorus helenae- the frog discussed in this article (See Wikipedia)

amphibian - an animal such as a frog that lives mostly on land but lays it eggs and grows into an adult in the water (See Wikipedia)
herpetology -  the science of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles) (See Wikipedia)

discover - find, meet or encounter something (during a search or research) ค้นพบ,  เจอ, พบ, ค้นหา, ตรวจพบ
discovered a new species of flying frog

species - a set of animals or plants in which the members have similar characteristics to each other and can breed with each other พันธ์,จำพวก
new species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam

extinct - when a kind of animal (species) does not exist anymore (ceases to exist) (See Wikipedia)

habitat - the place where an animal lives (such the jungle)
habitat loss -when the place that a kind of animal (species) usually lives in disappears which makes the species extinct, habitat destruction (See Wikipedia)

issue
- a problem that needs to be considered; a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
is a huge issue - a very big and important issue 
habitat loss is a huge issue

handout picture - a photo that was given or "handed out" to the media and other people
released - made available to the public

research - to make a detailed study of something to find new facts about it การวิจัย
researcher - a person who does research นักวิจัย

named it after ... - to get a name for something from ...
named it after her mother

rare - not often seen or found; uncommon, unusual หาได้ยาก  ซึ่งหายาก
a find - something that a scientist finds when doing research
a rare find - something not found often
it was a rare find so close to such a big city
this species was a surprising find

An Australian researcher who discovered a new species of flying frog near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and named it after her mother said it was a rare find so close to such a big city.

expert -  a person who knows a lot about a subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ,
amphibian expert

field trip -
a trip or visit to the place where where you can see and study somthing in its real environment and surroundings (rather than in a n artificial classroom or a laboratory)

fringe
(noun) - the outside edge or rim of something ตะเข็บ, ริม
fringe (verb) - ใส่ริม, ใส่ตะเข็บ

fringing the city - around the edge of the city
the forests fringing the city

a field trip to the forests fringing the city

Helen's Flying Frog was first discovered by Jodi Rowley, an amphibian expert from Sydney's Australian Museum, in 2009 during a field trip to the forests fringing the city previously known as Saigon.

initially - at first; at the beginning ในเบื้องต้น ; ในระยะต้น
familiar - something that people know about, have seen many times and are experienced with ซึ่งเป็นที่รู้จัก,  คุ้นเคย
she initially thought the tree-dwelling flying frog was a familiar species

log - a thick piece of tree trunk or branch, especially one cut for burning on a fire โค่นต้นไม้
path - a place to walk (through a forest, for example), a trail, a walkway ทางเดิน
beside a path - next to a path or walkway

she saw it sitting on a log beside a path

web
(noun) - ใยแมงมุม
webbing (noun) - สายรัด
webbed (adjective) - ซึ่งมีใยแมงมุม

glide - move smoothly across some surface  แล่น, ลื่นไถล, ร่อน
parachute
(verb) - use something wide like a "parachute" (ร่มชูชีพ) to float through the air กระโดดร่ม

canopy -
a cover that is located or hanging above something สิ่งที่ใช้คลุมเพื่อปกป้องสิ่งอื่น
forest canopy - the top part of the forest (the branches and leaves of trees) that block the sunlight from the forest floor

named for the huge webbed feet that allow it to glide or parachute across the forest canopy

specimen  -
an example of something (such as an animal or plant) that a scientist finds and keeps ตัวอย่าง, ตัวอย่างสำหรับทดสอบ
original - the first one of many things, of a series of things ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ,  ซึ่งเป็นต้นฉบับ, ที่เป็นอันแรก

she saw a specimen of the original type of frog in another part of Vietnam

realised - came to understand
creature -
an animal
she realised her creature was something quite different

bright - full of light or very strong in colour สว่าง, สดใส
belly - outside of the stomach
the new species has a bright white belly and white whites of the eyes

relative - a member of a family ญาติพี่น้อง
close relative
closest relative
the closest relative to the species

whites of the eyes - the outside part of the eyes that surrounds the lens in the center (that are white for humans), not the center of the eye 
that species has a lemon yellow belly and yellow whites of the eyes

differences - thigns that are not the same (when comparing two things) ความแตกต่าง
thigh - the upper part of the leg ต้นขา
differences in the colour of the webbing, colour of the thighs

confirm - say that a claim is true, verified  ยืนยัน, พิสูจน์ว่าจริง
suspicion - ความสงสัย
confirm suspicions - find evidence to prove what you think is true

molecule
(noun) -  the small chemical pieces used to build bigger chemicals โมเลกุล, อณูของสารประกอบ,
molecular (adjective)  

analysis -  การวิเคราะห์
molecular analysis

molecular analysis confirmed Rowley's suspicions

had the honour of - when a person is able to do (have the opportunity to do) something very important ...
she had the honour of naming the new species rhacophorus helenae

diagnosed - when a doctor finds or determines that a person has a disease
her mother, who had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

impressive - makes you think very highly of it (because it is very large, lifelike, colourful, beautiful, etc) ประทับใจ ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
the big, impressive species  is 10 centimetres long

evergreen forest - a forest of evergreen trees (See Wikipedia)
evergreen tree - a tree that has leaves in all seasons (See Wikipedia)

low-lying  forest - forests not in the mountains (but on low land)
the low-lying evergreen forest

lowland forests - forests not in the mountains (but on low land)
specimens have only been seen in the lowland forests

rice paddies - rice fields
rice paddies on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh City

the low-lying evergreen forest surrounded by rice paddies on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh City

populous - having a lot of people living there ซึ่งมีพลเมืองหนาแน่น
Vietnam's most populous city

this species was a surprising find in the low-lying evergreen forest surrounded by rice paddies on the fringes of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's most populous city

lone - single เดี่ยว หนึ่งเดียว
individual - relating to or involving a single, separate person or thing แต่ละบุคคล
the lone individual

in particular -
talking about one thing (and its "unique" qualities) 
what's rare about this discovery in particular is the fact that I found the lone individual less than 90 kilometres from the middle of Ho Chi Minh City, one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia

establish - to show or prove something to be true
establish whether ... - to prove or show if

endangered - at risk or in danger of being harmed, damaged or destroyed เป็นอันตราย
researchers are now working to establish whether Helen's frog is endangered.

survival - when something continues to exist (does not die or disappear)
there were real fears for its survival

rhinoceros - a very large thick-skinned animal from Africa or Asia, which has one or two horns on its nose แรด
...as well -
... also

it is a lowland forest and it's the same kind of forest (as where) the Javan rhinoceros went extinct in 2011 as well.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer