Colour variation and behaviour of the cryptic New Zealand frog Leiopelma archeyi

Understanding the ecology of cryptic species is essential for designing effective monitoring and conservation strategies. Leiopelma archeyi is a native New Zealand frog with cryptic colouration, patterning, and behaviour. Our study examined dorsal colour variation and climbing behaviour in this species. Our first aim was to investigate if L. archeyi demonstrates colour crypsis by background-matching. Secondly, we determined if green pigmentation is lost as frogs age by comparing frog body size (a proxy for age) with the percentage of green on their dorsal surface.

Do New Zealand invertebrates reflect the dominance of birds in their evolutionary history?

Pre-human New Zealand had some unusual feeding guilds of birds (e.g. the herbivorous moa fauna), thought to have developed as a result of the absence of a ‘normal’ mammal fauna. Insectivorous birds, on the other hand, are an integral part of all the world’s ecosystems, regardless of the presence or absence of mammals.