Allobates sieggreenae (Photo: Giussepe Gagliardi-Urrutia)

A new species of nurse frog (genus Allobates) has been described from the Amazonian forests of Loreto, Peru, in the latest issue of the journal Zootaxa. This new species is named after Marcy Sieggreen, Curator of Amphibians for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) and responsible for overseeing the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center until her passing in 2016.

Marcy was an extraordinary human being. Dedicated, compassionate, fun and warm, she was a staunch supporter of amphibian conservation, the Amphibian Specialist Group and the Amphibian Survival Alliance. It is therefore fitting that she is honoured with the naming of a species that lives in the region where she conducted field work on amphibian populations, in the northern Peruvian Amazon.

Giussepe Gagliardi-Urrutia, lead author of the study, reminisces:

Allobates sieggreenae (Photo: Giussepe Gagliardi-Urrutia)

“I met Marcy during one of her trips to the Peruvian Amazon. Marcy had a brief stay in Iquitos prior to proceeding to the Rio Napo basin, where she carried out outreach programs for the protection and conservation of Amazonian amphibians. We met in the offices of the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP), talked about amphibians, chytridiomycosis and her outreach and environmental education activities with children from several communities of the Rio Napo, something that she truly loved (you could tell her passion by the way she spoke about it). We also chatted about how we could work together. Unfortunately, just a few months later she fell ill and passed away, leaving the scientific and Neotropical conservation communities at a loss.

It is an honour for us to be able to name this new nurse frog after Marcy (Allobates sieggreenae).”

Thank you, Giussepe and colleagues, for such a fitting homage to Marcy!

A female specimen of Allobates sieggreenae (Photo: Giussepe Gagliardi-Urrutia)