ADM Chief Gushes Over Namesake Frog

Feb 4 2010 | 11:01am ET

ADM Capital’s Robert Appleby has achieved a great deal in his life. But having a tiny new species of frog named for him appears to be one of the highlights.

“It’s like being a very proud father,” Appleby said at a Hong Kong reception last week to celebrate the discovery of Leptolalax applebyi—Appleby’s Asian toad—in Vietnam by a research mission he funded. Appleby told The Wall Street Journal that he hopes to meet his namesake this summer, travelling with expedition leader Jodi Rowley to the central Vietnamese jungle in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the small frog.

Should he be so lucky—Rowley, an amphibian biologist at Sydney’s Australian Museum—estimates that there may only be several thousand Appleby toads, living only within a roughly six mile radius of where she discovered them—he’ll see a two-centimeter long creature with smooth brown skin peppered with strange colorations and white pectoral glands that look something like nipples. He’ll also hear its distinctive croak, which reportedly sounds like a cricket’s chirp.

Appleby, who calls himself a “moth nerd” and who spent three years as a science research assistant, called the trip “energizing.”

“If I got fired—if I fired myself—this is absolutely what I’d do,” he told the Journal.

“Some hedge fund managers buy Ferraris,” Lisa Genasci, director of the ADM Capital Foundation that funded Rowley’s research, said. “Robert has different passions."

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