A scientific expedition has discovered 60 new species, including frogs, snakes and fish, in the least accessible jungle region of southeastern Suriname, South America, Conservation International says.


A team of biologists from several countries explored remote areas of Suriname where there is no human presence and came across dozens of species native to that area which have never been catalogued before.

The expedition was undertaken during 2012 in the thinly-populated country north of Brazil and bounded by Guyana, French Guiana and the Atlantic Ocean. It included a team of 16 scientists participating in a Conservation International program.

The scientists’ work resulted in the discovery of 60 completely new species, including six types of frogs, one snake, 11 types of fish and a number of insects.

The discoveries were made in the upper basin of the Palumeu River where, for example, the team reported the existence of the “cocoa frog”, a chocolate-coloured arboreal species that is helped by the rounded shape of its fingers to position itself in the treetops.

Another of the more noteworthy finds of the expedition was that of a small Lilliputian beetle just 2.3 millimetres long. It is considered to be, probably, the second-smallest such insect in South America with antennae that allow it to sense smells from a great distance away.

Suriname contains 25 per cent of the world’s rainforests and 95 per cent of its territory is unspoiled jungle, Conservation International said.

The organisation has worked with Suriname’s government for more than 20 years to protect its most important asset: the rainforest with its astounding biodiversity.