2 New Species of Lizards Discovered in Peruvian Rain Forest

Two new species of lizards have been discovered in the rain forests of Peru in a little-explored area of the Andes Mountains in the northeast region of the South American country. Both of the new species are quite colorful, and feature splotches of green and brown that help them to blend into the mountain rain forests where they live.

The lizards were discovered in Cordillera Azul National Park, Peru's third-largest national park. One of the species, Enyalioides azulae, is named for the park. The second species, Enyalioides binzayedi, is found in the same river valley and is named after the man who helped to fund the survey, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates military. He created the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to help preserve various species around the world.

Both Enyalioides azulae and Enyalioides binzayedi are a type of woodlizard, a group of lizards that were thought to only contain a handful of lizards. However, since 2008 three new species have been found in this group, in addition to the two newest discoveries, which suggests that more species could be waiting to be discovered in other unexplored areas near the Andes.

Pablo Venegas, study author and Peruvian researcher, said in a statement:

"Thanks to these discoveries, Peru becomes the country holding the greatest diversity of woodlizards. Cordillera Azul National Park is a genuine treasure for Peru and it must be treated as a precious future source of biodiversity exploration and preservation."