The amazing new species discovered in Greater Mekong

A skydiving gecko, a fish with genitals in its head and a cave-dwelling spider that has lost its eyes are just some of the 367 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region of south-east Asia over the past two years.

One of the 15 species highlighted in the World Wildlife Fund's report is a new species of flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus laoensis), discovered in 2013 after being described for the first time from a single animal skin found in a bush-meat market in Laos.

The newly-discovered parachute gecko (Ptychozoon kaengkrachanense), found in Thailand's Kaeng Krachan National Park, extends flaps of skin on its flanks and between its toes to help it glide from branch to tree trunk.

Another new species, the Cambodian tailorbird, was described in 2013 by scientists after it was discovered in “plain sight”, living in dense shrub on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh. The species has already been listed as “near threatened”.

Helen’s Flying Frog (Rhacophorus helenae), was discovered less than 60 miles from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The huge green amphibian managed to evade biologists until recently by gliding between treetops using its large, webbed hands and feet and only coming down to breed.

(Pictures: Jodi J L Rowley/Australian Museum/WWF)

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