The brightly coloured Diasporus citrinobapheus was found deep in the Panamanian jungle, by scientists from Frankfurt who were attracted by its strange mating call.
The team from the Senckenberg Research Institute were doing field work when in mid-2010 they heard what sounded like a strange mating call echoing out from the trees.
“The call was so different from other frogs that we instantly wondered if it was a new species,” said biologist on the trip Andreas Hertz in a statement released on Wednesday.
He said finding the frog in a dense rainforest was not easy but they followed the calls and found a tiny yellow frog that had not yet been classified.
Just two centimetres in length and a bright yellow in colour, the Diasporus citrinobapheus came with an added surprise – anyone who touched it was left with a yellowy residue on their hands.
“When we touched the animal it turned our fingers yellow,” he said. Tests later showed no toxins in the colour, which he said was relatively easy to wash off, leaving the team mystified at its function.
They spent time between 2008 and 2010 in the Cordillera Central area of Panama, collecting data about the animals inhabiting the wild terrain.