Romeo the Frog

When forlorn mating calls went unanswered, biologists set him up with an online dating profile.

The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff
Feb 14, 2018

Romeo the Sehuencas water frogDIRK ERCKEN AND ARTURO MUÑOZ

After a decade of the single life, Romeo the Sehuencas water frog (Telmatobius yuracare) is putting it all on the line to find a mate. Or, more precisely, researchers at Global Wildlife Conservation are putting Romeo online. Arturo Muñoz-Saravia, a conservation scientist at Global Wildlife Conservation, set up a profile for the amphibian as part of a campaign to raise $15,000.

“Well, hi there,” the profile reads. “I’m Romeo. I’m a Sehuencas (pronounced “say-when-cuss”) water frog and, not to start this off super heavy or anything, but I’m literally the last of my species [researchers have not encountered a Sehuencas water frog in the wild since 2008].” A video of Romeo, complete with an accented voice-over, accompanies the profile.

Romeo lives at the Cochabamba Natural History Museum in Bolivia. Sehuencas water frogs typically live for 15 years, so 10-year-old Romeo has about five years to find a date.

“We don't want him to lose hope,” Arturo Munoz tells AFP news agency. “We continue to remain hopeful that others are out there so we can establish a conservation breeding program to save this species.”