Number 4 – Rare Frog Off the ShelfTop 10 New Species of 2008
Name: Philautus maia
How it made the Top 10: This species was described from a single female museum specimen collected around 1860. It and a number of related species from Sri Lanka are almost certainly now extinct. Its discovery demonstrates the importance of museum specimens in determining baseline information on biodiversity and in documenting the natural heritage of nations. Had this specimen not been collected in the 19th century, it would possibly have never been known.
Reference:Meegaskumbura, M., K. Manamendra-Arachchi, C.J. Schneider& R. Pethiyagoda. 2007.New species amongst Sri Lanka’s extinct shrub frogs Amphibia: Rhacophoridae: Philautus). Zootaxa 1397: 1-15.
Type material: Holotype, Natural History Museum, London.