But scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) found three of the missing long-legged Borneo rainbow toads up a tree during a night time search.
Prior to this photograph, only illustrations of the toad had existed, drawn from specimens that were collected by European explorers in the 1920s.
Conservation International, which launched its Global Search for Lost Amphibians in 2010, had listed the toad as one of the “world’s top 10 most wanted frogs”.
Dr Indraneil Das led the team that searched the ridges of the Gunung Penrissen range of Western Sarawak, a boundary between Malaysia’s Sarawak State and Indonesia’s Kalimantan Barat Province.
“Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad, and the critical importance of amphibians to healthy ecosystems, are what fuel us to keep searching for lost species,” said Dr Das.
“They remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering.”