145 New Species Found in Asia

An average of three new species—including a red-lipped gecko and a vampire fish—were discovered each week in the Mekong River last year. The roundup of new finds is part of a report issued by the World Wildlife Fund that urges protection of the biodiversity in the Southeast Asia river. Discoveries include the Dracula minnow, which had sharp fangs and bulging eyes, and the Lipstick gecko, which has a bright red mouth. Scientists also found a snake without fangs, a 23-foot-tall insect-trapping pitcher plant, a frog that sounds like a cricket, and a sucker fish that holds on to rocks under fast-moving water with its body as it travels upstream. The WWF said the Mekong’s rate of discovery is without an equal in the rest of the world, but that it’s also one of the most threatened.