The world’s first fluorescent frog has been discovered near Santa Fe in Argentina.
Scientists at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires made the discovery by accident.
They studying the pigment of polka-dot tree frogs, a species common across the continent.
In normal light the frog appears to have a dull, mottled browny-green skin with red dots, but under UV light it glows a bright fluorescent green.
Fluorescence – the ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths – is uncommon in creatures that are land dwellers.
The translucent frog was found to use a blend of lymph and glandular emissions to fluoresce.
The researchers, who published their discovery on 13 March in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the trait enhanced the brightness of the frog by 19-29%.
This is depending on the level of ambient light in its surroundings.
The compound causing the blue–green glow of the polka-dot tree frog was not previously thought to exist in vertebrates.
The discovery opens up the possibility that other amphibians may be able to fluoresce, particularly those with translucent skin similar to that of the tree frog.