Paedophryne amauensis
Paedophryne amauensis

Paedophryne amauensis is a species of microhylid frog endemic to eastern Papua New Guinea. At 7.7 mm (0.30 in) in snout-to-vent length, it is considered the world's smallest known vertebrate.

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The species was listed in the Top 10 New Species 2013 by the International Institute for Species Exploration for discoveries made during 2012.

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P. amauensis, attaining an average body size of only 7.7 millimetres (0.30 in), is 0.2 millimetres (0.0079 in) smaller than the previous record-holder as the world's smallest vertebrate, a species of cyprinid fish (Paedocypris progenetica ; 7.9 mm ) from Indonesia and a species of goby fish (Schindleria brevipinguis ; 7.7 mm ) from Australia.

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The frog lives on land and its life cycle does not include a tadpole stage. Instead, members of this species hatch as 'hoppers': miniatures of the adults. The skeleton is reduced and there are only seven presacral vertebrae present. They are capable of jumping thirty times their body length. The frog is crepuscular and feeds on small invertebrates. Males call for mates with a series of very high-pitched insect-like peeps at a frequency of 8400–9400 Hz.

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Biogeographical realms

P. amauensis occurs in tropical wet lowland and hill forest at elevations of 177–800 m (581–2,625 ft) above sea level. Due to having a high surface to volume ratio, the Paedophryne amauensis are subject to water-loss and dependent on the high-moisture content of leaf litter. Similar to all species of Paedophryne known so far, members of Paedophryne amauensis live in the leaf litter on the floors of tropical forests.




P. amauensis is known from its type locality near Amau village (Central Province) and from the Variarata National Park (National Capital District), both in eastern Papua New Guinea. It is likely to have a much wider range. It is very abundant locally. As large areas of suitable habitat remain, this species is not considered to be threatened at present.


1. Paedophryne amauensis Wikipedia article -
2. Paedophryne amauensis on The IUCN Red List site -

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