New Species Discoveries-General Science for KAS PSI

General Science is a basic part of KAS PSI and many other government exams. It is mandatory for aspirants to be aware of new developments in the various sectors of science. In this blog, we provide you with information regarding the developments in the biology section. Here in this blog, you will learn about the new species discoveries that have happened since 2020. This will help you to prepare and keep an update on the general science part. Oliveboard provides you with various other sections as well. You can visit our website for different blogs and download free e-books

New Species

We know how the world is falling apart, pollution, global warming and we even heard of many animal extinction but in surprise, there were about 224 new species discovered in 2020. There are many things we don’t know about this nature and 1000s of years of discoveries and we are still not aware of all the co-habitants around us. Let’s check those new discoveries.

The Greater Mekong 

The Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, is a biodiversity hotspot. It is home to some of the planet’s most iconic and endangered species – the tiger, Asian elephant, saola, Gurney’s pitta, and Mekong giant catfish. The Greater Mekong region is one of planet Earth’s most important biodiversity hotspots, highlighted by the endless number of new species discovered there every year. The region’s biodiversity richness is a result of its complex geological and climatic history, and its diverse landscapes, including extensive karstic regions. 

In 2020 extraordinary 224 new species of vertebrates and vascular plants were identified. As described by the researchers, among them are 155 plants, 16 fishes, 17 amphibians, 35 reptiles, and one mammal. We shall see the new discoveries in the animal kingdom in this blog. 


Leptobrachella neangi – Species in Amphibian

In 2010, two adult female leaf-litter frogs were collected in the Cardamom Mountains at Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Pursat Province, Cambodia. Only recently, DNA testing revealed that it was a new species, dubbed the Cardamom leaf-litter frog. Leaf-litter frogs are often difficult to identify at the species level since many of them look very similar. However, scientists have more recently been able to use genetic and frog call data to describe new species in the genus. The Cardamom leaf-litter frog has a very narrow range restricted to an incredibly specific location and is the first species of this genus to be named in the Cardamom Mountains, and only the third in Cambodia.

Cyrtodactylus phnomchiensis – Species in Reptile

A new species of bent-toed gecko was discovered in the isolated rocky mountain of Phnom Chi in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia. The researchers who discovered the species were pleasantly shocked, not only because they did not expect to find a new species in the well-surveyed Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, but because this bent-toed gecko is the only member of the C. irregularis group known to occur west of the Mekong River.


Pareas geminatus – Reptile

This new slug snake was found during field studies in the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Yunnan Province of China meet. Remarkably similar in appearance to a sister species — Hampton’s slug snake — this new species was dubbed the twin slug snake, with the Latin geminatus meaning “doubled.”


Apogon fugax – Fish

Only five specimens of this cardinalfish species have been cataloged to date, with two of the specimens have come from the Ayeyarwady Delta in Myanmar. The Latin name, fugax, means ‘elusive’ and, despite intensive collection efforts, this reddish-orange fish has evaded detection. Other specimens have been collected in the Red Sea off the coast of Jizan in Saudi Arabia and off Western Australia.


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Kayahschistura lokalayensis- Fish

A new cavefish was discovered in the Lokalay Loku Gu Cave in Kayah State, Myanmar, where exploration of cave biology is still in its infancy. The first cave fish in the family Nemacheilidae to have been discovered in Myanmar; it lacks colour, has extremely underdeveloped eyes, and has very unusual pectoral fin rays. Given how distinct it is from other fish in the same family found in South and Southeast Asia, it has been assigned a new genus name, Kayahschistura.

Hemiphyllodactylus zalonicus – Reptile

The Mt. Zalon slender gecko was found in the isolated hills near the newly proposed Zalon Taung National Park. Zalon Taung Pagoda is an important religious pilgrimage site on Zalon mountain in the northern part of the Ayeyarwady River basin in Myanmar. 

Trachypithecus popa – Mammal

The first evidence of the newly described Popa langur species was not found in the wild, but at the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom. Genetic analysis of specimens gathered from Myanmar over a century ago revealed that the langurs in the museum were a genetic match with more recently collected bones from central Myanmar, indicating that the species was still alive today. This species is named after the extinct volcano Mount Popa, home to the largest population of this species of approximately 100 individuals. It is found only in Myanmar in the central dry-zone between the Ayeyarwady and Thanlwin (Salween) rivers and extends south up to the western foothills of the Kayah-Karen mountains.


Oreoglanis omkoiense – Fish

Found in Chiang Mai province in the basin of Maetuen River – a tributary of the Ping River, which in turn drains into the Chao Phraya River – this new species of catfish lives in cold, clean, and fast-flowing hill streams. Observed in a shaded and stony area, this species prefers streams with pools and about 60% forest canopy cover and feeds primarily on aquatic insect larvae and algae. 

Tylototriton phukhaensis – Amphibian 

A new species of knobby newt was discovered in Doi Phu Kha National Park, Nan province, Thailand. This orange-brown newt, named after the Doi Phu Kha national park, was discovered thriving in the area, a sign of a healthy and intact habitat. More than 50 individuals were found swimming in a swamp covered with vegetation and big rocks at 1,795m above sea level. 

Protobothrops kelomohy – Reptile

This pit viper was discovered in the dry evergreen forest in Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. It has three bold vertical facial stripes and dark reddish-brown scales edged in black. Despite its relatively large size, this unique colouration has provided this species with good camouflage in the dry forest leaf-litter, resulting in its description as a separate species only in 2020. 

Cnemaspis selenolagus – Reptile

Discovered during a herpetofaunal survey in the tropical mountain evergreen forests of Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, the Suan Phueng rock gecko is the 16th species of this genus discovered in Thailand. Its coloring is distinct from other species in the genus, having a yellow-orange color on the front half of its body, which abruptly turns grey from the middle of its back to its tail. This unique coloring makes it possible for the gecko to camouflage effectively against the lichen and dry moss covering the surfaces of granite rocks, boulders, and large tree trunks where it spends its days. At night, this species takes refuge in the crevices of large rocks or on tree branches. 

Viet Nam 

Kurixalus gracilloides – Amphibian

The gracile frilled tree frog, a golden-brown frog with a distinctive pointed snout, was discovered in the secondary bamboo forest in Pu Mat National Park, Nghe An Province in northern Viet Nam. This frog belongs to a genus of frogs that spans from the Himalayas in eastern India, south, and east through Cambodia, Viet Nam, and southern China, to Taiwan and Okinawa, Japan. The gracile frilled tree frog has a distinct saddle-shaped dorsal marking and dermal fringes along the outer edges of its limbs, hence frilled.

Leptobrachium lunatum – Amphibian

The crescent moon spadefoot frog was discovered on the Kon Tum Plateau in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam and northeastern Cambodia. It was not initially recognized as a separate species. DNA analyses, calls, and body measurements were required to reveal that this red-eyed frog is distinct from two other similar-looking species that occur in this region, and is the species found at the highest elevation.

Oligodon rostralis – Reptile

A new species of kukri snake has been described in the eastern part of the Langbian Plateau, in Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park in the southern Truong Son (Annamite) Mountains. Its most distinctive feature is its protruding snout, so the researchers who discovered it have suggested “Long-snouted kukri snake” as its common name, with “rostralis” coming from the Latin “rostrum” for “snout” or “beak.” Another striking feature is that, although the long-snouted kukri has dark coloring along its back, its underside is bright orange from the base of the head to the tip of the tail.

Megophrys frigida – Amphibian

The Mount Ky Quan San horned frog was discovered in Bat Xat Nature Reserve on Mount Ky Quan San, Viet Nam’s third-highest peak. It was collected at more than 2000 m elevations, and in a relatively cold climate for the region, hence it’s Latin name frigida. All of the collected individuals were encountered in forests with relatively open canopies and at night along streams and rocky stream beds.

Acanthosaura prasina – Reptile

A new species of mountain horned dragon was discovered in the evergreen forests of the Vietnamese Central Highlands: in Gia Lai Province, Kon Chu Range Nature Reserve, and Kon Tum Province’s Kon Plông and Ngoc Linh Mountain. This small green lizard is well camouflaged among the dense vegetation it inhabits and has distinctive short spines on each side of its neck. A double row of vertebral scales, long tail and limbs, and white coloring on the lips and shoulder make it distinct from other known species of this genus.

Achalinus zugorum – Reptile

The Zugs’ odd-scaled snake was discovered on a small gravel road in Lung Cang Village, Ha Giang Province, Viet Nam, in 2019. It was named after the well-regarded herpetofauna scientists George R. and Patricia B. Zug. This snake’s unique evolutionary history, dark purple coloration, and the number of scales on its back and tail underside differentiate it from other species in the genus. 


There are discoveries in the plant kingdom as well. This blog was specified for animal kingdom. The recent developments in the science sector is also considered in many competitive exams. Keeping that under consideration Olive Board is providing you information regarding the developments in the biology section in this blog. About 224 new species were found in 2020 including in plant and animal kingdom. This blog will help you to keep the update. Oliveboard provides you information through blog and E-books. You can download e-books for free.


Q: What all type of species were discovered?

A: There were species discovered in Amphibians, Reptiles and even in Mammals.

Q: What is Greater Mekong?

A: The Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia, comprising countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, is a biodiversity hotspot.