Alejandro Arteaga Follow Alejandro Arteaga on Instagram

Research Director

Alejandro Arteaga is an Ecuadorian–Venezuelan biologist and conservationist. He serves as President and researcher at Khamai Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) created in 2022 to prevent loss of tropical biodiversity, promote new species discovery, and help mitigate the effects of global warming. In 2009, Alejandro co-founded Tropical Herping, a tour agency that offers nature photography trips and herpetological tours throughout the World’s tropics. He is author of three books (Reptiles of Ecuador, Reptiles of the Galápagos, and The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo) and 23 scientific articles. He has discovered and described 29 new species to science and raised funds to save 106 hectares of Chocó rainforest in Ecuador. He is also a nature photographer. In 2015, he was awarded in the Big Picture Natural World Photography competition. Since 2021, Discovery and The Explorers Club became sponsors of Alejandro’s expeditions in search for new or “lost” species in remote areas of the tropics.

Alejandro’s research is focused primarily on systematics and discovery of new species of tropical amphibians and reptiles, but also targets citizen-science projects for identifying species in the field, either visually using deep learning algorithms or genetically through real-time DNA barcoding. He is currently leading three long-term projects that straddle the line between research and conservation: Reptiles of Ecuador, Eyelash Viper Systematics Project, and Save the Amazon rainforest from gold mining.

Furcifer pardalis
Eunectes murinus
Cruziohyla craspedopus
Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
Hyloscirtus lindae
Echinosaura horrida
Trioceros jacksonii
Phyllomedusa tarsius
Spilotes pullatus
Anolis proboscis
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Centrolene heloderma
Gonatodes albogularis
Pristimantis gralarias
Enyalioides oshaughnessyi
Uroplatus phantasticus
Atheris squamigera
Calumma parsonii
New species described


New species described

Books published


Books published

Current projects

Image showing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest due to gold mining

Save the Amazon rainforest from illegal gold mining
Support project

Image showing a researcher examining a viper

Eyelash Viper Systematics Project
Support project

Image showing the cover of the book

Reptiles of Ecuador book
Visit the website of the book

Behind the scenes

Alejandro spends most of his time exploring tropical forests around the world, photographing amphibians and reptiles, and searching for new species. At the office, he likes to write herpetological field guides or scientific papers on new species, systematics, and biogeography.

Alejandro Arteaga showing the ventral aspect of a poison frog
Alejandro Arteaga at the AMNH
Image showing Alejandro Arteaga holding a newly discovered species of ground snake in Ecuador
Expedition team to Yasuní River, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga approaching a sleeping sloth in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Alejandro Arteaga holding a frog in Tambopata, Peru
Image showing Alejandro Arteaga holding a coral snake in Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga swabbing a frog for chytrid fungus in Sangay National Park, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga and Valeria Sorgato during an expedition to the unexplored Nangaritza river, Ecuador
Image showing Alejandro Arteaga during an expedition to Reventador Volcano, Ecuador
Image showing Alejandro Arteaga holding an eyelash viper in Darién, Panama
Image showing Alejandro Arteaga in the field during an expedition to Reventador Volcano, Ecuador