In April 2015, the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center announced the discovery of a new species of glass frog in Costa Rica, Hyalinobatrachium dianae (also known as Diane's bare-hearted glass frog). The frog's skin is lime green, with transparent abdominal skin that makes the frog's internal viscera visible from the outside. The frog was discovered by researcher Brian Kubicki, who named it after his mother, Janet Diana Kubicki, as thanks for supporting his interest in science.
Unlike other glass frogs, the Hyalinobatrachium dianae has bulging white eyes with horizontal black pupils which many media reports suggested looks like Kermit the Frog's eyes. Headlines included:
- "Kermit the Frog likeness found in Costa Rica" - UPI, April 20
- "Scientists Claim They Found a New Species of Frog, and It Looks Like Kermit" - Time, April 20
- "New species of frog found in Costa Rica looks just like Kermit" - Mashable, April 20
- "New Species of See-Through Frog Found, Looks Like Kermit" - National Geographic, April 21
- "Newly discovered glass frog looks just like Kermit" - Washington Post, April 21
Asked for comment on April 22 by the website Live Science, Kubicki said, "Prior to the media making the link between Hyalinobatrachium dianae and Kermit the Frog I had no thought about the resemblance, but I can see where they came up with this idea that has created such a sensation with this newly described species. I am glad that this species has ended up getting so much international attention, and in doing so it is highlighting the amazing amphibians that are native to Costa Rica and the need to continue exploring and studying the country's amazing tropical forests."
Kermit himself was interviewed for the site Oh My Disney, which posted "Kermit the Frog Reacts to His Newly Discovered Lookalike" on April 25:
“ Does this discovery make it any easier being green?
- Absolutely. Being green is easy compared to being transparent. I thought that I blended in with so many other ordinary things. And that people tended to pass me over 'cause I wasn't standing out like flashy sparkles in the water or stars in the sky.
- But when you're transparent, folks really look right through you. It’s almost like you're invisible... which might come in handy around Miss Piggy. I take it back. I want to be transparent.
- If you could tell Hyalinobatrachium dianae anything, what would it be?
- Shorten your name if you want to make it in show business. Maybe something catchy like Diane Glass or Kermina Kardashian.
- Is it true that you may be related?
- Yes, we’re cousins. In fact, I'm related to every single frog in the world, and I'm close to most toads, too. The reason this new frog looks so much like me is that her mother and my mother are sisters. It's a family resemblance. Googly eyes run in our family.
- Have you ever been to Costa Rica? Do you plan to visit based on this news?
- I have been to Costa Rica. I love it! And I have a virtual plague of cousins down there. In addition to the glass frogs, there are red-eyed tree frogs, poison dart frogs, and the smoky jungle frogs.
- The study describes the frog's "advertisement call" as "a single tonal long metallic whistle-like note." What does yours sound like?
- That all depends on which ringtone I downloaded most recently. But my default call sounds like this: "Hi ho!"
- Most importantly, how did Piggy react to the news?
- She's jealous. Not about me being involved with another frog, she's just jealous that this new frog is getting more publicity than her. And as for being transparent, that's nothing new for us. Piggy and I have a very transparent relationship. Every time I make an excuse about a date or marriage, she sees right through me.”
- ↑ "Megan Gannon, "Kermit the Frog Look-Alike Discovered in Costa Rica". Livescience.com, April 22, 2015.
- ↑ Emily Brandon, "Kermit the Frog Reacts to His Newly Discovered Lookalike". OhMy.Disney.com, April 25, 2015.