One of 17 new species of fish discovered in central Borneo, the 1.5-inch-long (3.6-centimeter-long) eight-banded barb can be found in shady rain forest streams and swamps.
More than 120 new species—including the world's longest insect, a "ninja" slug, and a lungless frog—have been found in Borneo since 2007, according to a new report released on Earth Day by the international conservation group WWF. The world's third largest island, Borneo (map) is divided among Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei.
"On average, there are three new species found every month," said ecologist Adam Tomasek, leader of WWF's team for the 54-million-acre (22-million-hectare) Heart of Borneo region. "What's really compelling is the diversity of these species."
All you need is lungs? Not if you're a Bornean flat-headed frog (pictured)—the world's only known frog without them.
The lungless frog instead breathes through its skin. Without lungs, the frog's body is flatter, which allows the animal to maneuver better in fast-flowing streams. The flat shape also affords an unusually large surface area, which facilitates skin-breathing, scientists say (see an overview of Borneo's rain forest).
Though the Bornean flat-headed frog isn't a new species, its unique respiratory set up was only recently discovered.
Long confused with a snake called the elegant bronzeback, central Borneo's Kopstein's bronzeback (pictured) was identified as a separate snake species in 2007.
"It's got this great ability to flare its neck when threatened, and [has] a rather aggressive disposition," said WWF ecologist Adam Tomasek. With its unusual appearance, the snake looks "like it almost slithered through a rainbow and picked up the colors."
Herpetologist Gernot Vogel, who named the 5-foot-long (1.5-meter-long) snake in honor of the late Austrian naturalist Felix Kopstein, says he has since named five related species on Borneo.
Photograph courtesy Gernot Vogel
Borneo Ninja Slug
Boasting a tail three times the length of its head, the newly described long-tailed slug is found only in the high mountains of the Malaysian part of Borneo.
The new species shoots its mate with "love darts" made of calcium carbonate and spiked with hormones—hence its nickname: ninja slug. Scientists believe this Cupid-like behavior may increase reproduction success. (Video: Ninja Woman.)
A new species, the Mulu flying frog (pictured) glides as far as 45 feet (15 meters) between trees, "using its body like a sheet in the wind," WWF's Adam Tomasek said.
The flying frog also has the ability to change color. At night, it sports white eyes and bright yellow-green skin (top). As day breaks, the frog fades to a camouflaging rusty brown skin and red eyes.
Mulu flying frogs spend most of their time in the trees, making the animals "extremely elusive," Tomasek said. Measuring about 1.5 inches (3.5 centimeters) fully grown, the new species was uncovered in high-altitude rain forests in the Malaysian part of Borneo.
Photographs courtesy Stefan Hertwig
New High-Altitude Orchid
Discovered in the mountains near Borneo's highest peak, Kinabalu, Thrixspermum erythrolomum (pictured) is one of 51 new orchid species identified on the island since 2007. More than 3,000 orchid species are found on the island—more than anywhere else on Earth, WWF says.
More branch than twig, this stick insect (pictured crawling on an unidentified man) is the world's longest, measuring 22.7 inches (56.7 centimeters).
Dubbed Chan's megastick, after the scientist who donated a specimen to London's Natural History Museum, the new species still hasn't been studied extensively—only three of the giant insects have been captured since the species' discovery in 2008.
Chan's megastick is one of 29 invertebrates discovered on Borneo since 2007. In the same period scientists also named 67 new plants, 17 fish, 5 frogs, 3 snakes, 2 lizards, and a bird, according to the new WWF report.