When testing was complete, the first hunch of the Malaysian team proved right: "Sure enough, results from Rafe's genetic analysis showed that the frog from Peninsular Malaysia was genetically too distant from the Siberut Island Frog to be considered the same species, so we decided to describe it as a new species."
As lead author, Chan published the team's findings in a recent issue of the journal Herpetologica.
"We decided to call it 'Hylarana centropeninsularis' because it's currently only known from central Peninsular Malaysia," he said. "The name is constructed from the Latin word 'centro' that means center and 'peninsularis,' in reference to Peninsular Malaysia."
To date, Chan has described seven species of frogs and three species of lizards, all from Peninsular Malaysia, that are new to science.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Chan took interest in nature as a child, interacting with jungle plants and animals then keeping snakes and lizards as pets.
"At one point, I had as many as 25 species of pet snakes in my room," said the KU researcher.
At the National University of Malaysia, Chan found himself under the tutelage of herpetologist Norhayati Ahmad and Lee Grismer of La Sierra University, California, a world-renowned herpetologist with research interests in Malaysia.
"I knew about Rafe Brown and KU through their research and publications and first met him at a conference in Borneo," Chan said. "My research interests aligned well with Rafe we both work on frogs in Southeast Asia and are generally interested in answering the same type of questions."
For would-be herpetologists looking to follow in Chan's species-find
|Contact: Brendan M. Lynch|
University of Kansas