World’s smallest snail

Borneo has once again claimed another world record – this time for the world’s smallest land snail.

Its shiny, translucent, white shell has an average height of 0.027 inches (0.7 millimeters), breaking the previously held record by about a tenth of a millimeter. The former champion — the Chinese snail Angustopila dominikae —is the world’s second-smallest snail, with an average shell height of 0.033 inches (0.86 mm), the researchers said.

Dutch and Malaysian researchers named the newfound snail Acmella nana; its species name (nana) is a reference to the Latin nanus, or “dwarf.” Acmella nana is so small that the researchers couldn’t see it in the wild without a microscope

Read more at livescience.com

 

Borneo’s Must-see Flora

I’ll be the first to admit that compared to wildlife and birds, plants do not interest me much. But I would definitely make an exception for these spectacular flora of Borneo.

Rafflesia keithii

Rafflesia keithii

1. Rafflesia

This flower needs no introduction. The largest flower in the world (it grows up to 1m), rafflesia species can only be found in South East Asia. Its short blooming period (5 to 7 days) and inaccessible habitat (deep in the rainforest) means that a sighting of this flower makes you a very lucky person. The best place to see one of these giants is around Poring Hot Springs, which has the largest concentration of known rafflesia sites in the world.

Nepenthes rajah

Nepenthes rajah

2. Nepenthes rajah

Another must-see for flora enthusiasts is the Nepenthes rajah, the largest pitcher plant in the world. It is so big that rats, frogs and lizards have been found in its pitcher. Endemic to Mount Kinabalu and Mount Tambuyukon in Kinabalu Park, Sabah, the place to see this is at Mesilau Resort.

Rothschild's Slipper Orchid

Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid

3. Paphiopedilum rothschildianum

The most expensive flower in Borneo, this species of slipper orchid is endemic to Kinabalu Park. Its location in the wild is limited to 2 sites, both of which are kept secret, to prevent people from getting their hands on these beautiful flowers. A cultivated plant can sometimes be seen inside the botanical garden in Kinabalu Park.

Podochilus microphyllus

Podochilus microphyllus

4. Podochilus orchid

Not all things in Borneo are gigantic. This orchid is one of the smallest in the world, and is quite common around the trails in Kinabalu Park, that is if you can find it.

Smallest frog in Asia

From a lost frog to a frog the size of a pea…
Sourced from MSNBC 25/8/2010
Image: The new species of a mini frog
Indraneil Das / IBEC via ReutersA specimen from a miniature frog species named Microhyla nepenthicola sits on a tip of a pencil. The frog was found on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.
One of the tiniest frogs in the world, and the smallest ever seen outside of North and South America, has been discovered in the forests of the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.

The pea-sized amphibians (Microhyla nepenthicola) were found near a mountain in Kubah National Park.

Read more at MSNBC

More about frogs:

Top 10 most wanted frog rediscovered

First lungless frog discovered in Borneo

Top 10 most wanted frog rediscovered

Doing some research on frogs to broaden my knowledge and what do you know, frogs are interesting! This is the first of my few frog discoveries.

Sourced from http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14151541 14 July 2011

Lost rainbow toad is rediscovered

Long-legged Borneo rainbow toad (Image: Indraneil Das)Prior to this sighting, the toad was last spotted in 1924

A colourful, spindly-legged toad that was believed to be extinct has been rediscovered in the forests of Borneo.

Scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) found three of the missing long-legged Borneo rainbow toads up a tree during a night time search. The team had spent months scouring remote mountain forests for the species. Prior to these images, only illustrations of the toad had existed. These were drawn from specimens that were collected by European explorers in the 1920s.

Conservation International, which launched its Global Search for Lost Amphibians in 2010, had listed the toad as one of the “world’s top 10 most wanted frogs”.

Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14151541

More frog news

Smallest frog in Asia

First lungless frog discovered in Borneo

“Chameleon” Snake Found in Borneo Forest

Sourced from National Geographic

 June 27, 2006—A newfound species of poisonous snake might have developed an unusual way to keep enemies at bay—by spontaneously changing its skin color.

The slightly iridescent serpent, pictured above, was discovered in the Indonesian section of the island of Borneo (map of Indonesia), the international conservation organization WWF announced today. A WWF team found the snake during a 2003 survey of the island’s reptile diversity.

“I put the reddish-brown snake in a dark bucket,” Mark Auliya, a German reptile expert and WWF consultant, said in a press release. “When I retrieved it a few minutes later, it was almost entirely white.”

Auliya found the 1.6-foot-long (0.5-meter-long) snake in wetlands and swamps near the Kapuas River in Borneo’s Betung Kerihun National Park. His team named it the Kapuas mud snake, and the scientists believe it exists only in the river’s drainage areas.

“The discovery of the ‘chameleon’ snake exposes one of nature’s best kept secrets deep in the heart of Borneo,” WWF’s Stuart Chapman said in a press release. “Its ability to change color has kept it hidden from science until now. I guess it just picked the wrong color that day.”

A handful of other reptiles are known to be able to rapidly change their pigmentation (photo: chameleon color change), and the trait has been documented as a defense mechanism in some snakes. The researchers don’t yet know how or why the new snake species makes the change, but they speculate it could be a warning behavior.

—Victoria Gilman