New frog, gecko and spider found in New Guinea

Kaijende Highlands and Hewa Wilderness, Papua New Guinea  

Sourced from Conservation International

In 2008, Conservation International (CI) led a Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) expedition to the Kaijende highlands and Hewa wilderness of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a truly a collaborative effort with CI’s specialists being joined by other scientists from both PNG and institutions such as the University of British Columbia’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum to explore the region alongside members of the local communities.

LEARN MORE: Follow CI’s previous expedition to the Kaijende Highlands.

As part of the expedition, Montclair State University anthropologist Dr. William Thomas worked with the local Hewa clans to document the natural history and local knowledge of these resources as part of the “Forest Stewards” project, an initiative started by Dr. Thomas and CI’s Dr. Bruce Beehler.

IN DEPTH: Learn more about CI’s work with local communities.

During the survey more than 600 species were documented over a number of different taxonomic groups including; amphibians, mammals, birds, reptiles, plants, and invertebrates. Of the discoveries made, a large number of species were found to be potentially new to science, and of these many are now being published and given scientific names and can now be confirmed as new.

The final results will provide decision makers with the tools necessary to enable them to balance development with protecting biodiversity that benefits both the local communities and the global ecosystem.

Species found include:



This jumping spider was found in the rainforest of the highlands wilderness in Papua New Guinea.


Jumping spiders can jump to a height of at least 6 inches using blood pressure in their legs.


URoballus jumping spider

Nothing is known about the ecology of this species of jumping spider.

Cucudeta jumping spider

This small jumping spider that vaguely resembles an ant was found among leaves on the ground of the dense rainforest at Tualapa.

Yamangalea jumping spider

This species belongs to the subfamily Cocalodinae, a highly distinctive group unique to New Guinea and region that previously had only two known genera.

Tabuina rufa jumping spider

This jumping spider was found on a tree in the rainforest. It is not only a species new to science, but Tabuina is a genus new to science.



This is a large and spectacular new frog and was discovered next to a clear running mountain river.


Frogs from this group can be extremely variable in their appearance, and the sound of their call is one of the best ways both to distinguish among the species.



Oreophryne frog

This tiny species with a sharp chirping call is known only from limestone hills, where it was first found.



A beautiful gecko known only from a single specimen collected in dense rainforest at Tualapa in the Strickland River headwaters.