The little frogs are terrestrial, but we doubt they listen to much music.
If you’re passionate about music then it can bleed into all areas of your life. Many people listen to music while they work, but few have the inclination to name their projects or discoveries after their favorite bands. However this is not the case for 2 herpetologists named David Brito-Zapata and Carolina Reyes-Puiga who have named a new species of frog after the British rock band, Led Zeppelin.
According to the authors of the study, “The name honours [sic] Led Zeppelin and their extraordinary music. Led Zeppelin was a British rock band formed in London in 1968, one of the most influential bands throughout the 1970s, and progenitors of both hard rock and heavy metal.” The species was announced in an article in the scientific journal, Neotropical Biodiversity, in June 2021. Neotropical Biodiversity is a peer-reviewed journal.
Pristimantis ledzeppelin is a new species found in Ecuador. The small frog is described as having “coppery red eyes” with speckled skin of black, yellow, green, and orange. So far 569 species fall under the Pristimantis genus, with 14 having only been recently discovered in the Andes mountains of Ecuador.
The highest concentration of Pristimantis species have so far been found in the Lower Andes of Ecuador near the border with Peru in the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range. The Andes are classified into 3 regions: dry, wet, and tropical. This new species hails from the tropical portion of the Andes, which is rich in moisture and home to a diverse array of animal and plant species living in the lush landscape.
The P. ledzeppelin species is known to thrive in montane cloud forests in the province of Zamora Chinchipe, rich in moisture at an elevation of 1700-feet. The largest of the species can reach about 3.6cm in length.
The discovery of P. ledzeppelin in areas near rivers and streams in the region shows that they live alongside many other species of similarly-sizes frogs. P. ledzeppelin attach themselves to leaves and live much of their lives within the forest canopy.
The Cordillera del Cóndor area is one that is remote, but is threatened by human activity nonetheless. Encroaching farm operations, logging, mining, and global warming are all potential dangers to the vibrant ecosystem in the region.
Future conservation efforts are important in home area of P. ledzeppelin since this species is thought likely to only live in a small zone of the Cordillera del Cóndor.
In response to the new name, Robert Plant, vocalist for Led Zeppelin, tweeted a link to an article about the new species. The craze for naming new species after favorite bands or musicians has been going strong the past 5 years or so with a species of bat named after Ozzy Osbourne, a tarantula named after Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, and a clear deep-sea crustacean named after Metallica.