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The fate of a threatened species may depend on this meeting: in Bolivia, the frog Romeo, hardened single, shares his aquarium with Juliet for a month, and starts slowly to make him the court.
The first meeting between Romeo, until recently the last known frog of its kind, and Juliet, discovered in the depths of the Bolivian forest thanks to a scientific expedition, took place on March 1, announced Monday the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and the Museum of Natural History of Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The meeting went so well “that the two have been living together ever since in the Romeo Aquarium,” the two institutions said.
Romeo had languished alone for the past ten years in the museum, to the point that he had stopped singing to mate since 2017.
The long-awaited mating has not happened yet, but Romeo is doing his best.
He “has a little trouble finding the amplexus, the correct mating position for frogs, where the male embraces the female and holds it until it can fertilize its eggs when released into the water”, explained the institutions.
“It’s hard to predict what will happen, because we do not know much about the reproduction of these species. It could be nothing for several days or a week. Something could also happen very quickly, “said Christopher Jordan, a GWC official.
Meanwhile, Romeo acts as a perfect “gentleman”, explain the museum and the GWC. “Romeo follows Juliette in the aquarium and often gives up her verses so Juliette can enjoy it.”
In February 2018, Romeo became world famous. For Valentine’s Day, the guards of this aquatic frog Sehuencas (Telmatobius yuracare) have decided to move up a gear to try to find him his half: a partnership with the dating site Match.com was set up to raise money.
Some $ 25,000 has been raised. They made it possible to launch several scientific expeditions in the Bolivian rivers, to try to locate a female of its species, including still at the stage of tadpole.
Juliette was discovered during an expedition in the forests of the center of the country. In addition, scientists reported four other specimens, three males and one female.
It is in this same area, about ten years ago, that biologists had discovered Romeo.