Comparison between two methods for measuring pigmentation of frog’s skin

Citation

Soto AB, Dierenfeld ES. 2011. Comparison between two methods for measuring pigmentation of frog’s skin In Ward A, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Kansas City, MO.

Abstract

Tomato frogs belong to the family Mycrohylidae with three recognized species: D. antongilli, D. guineti and D. insularis. All are endemic to Madagascar, and only found in the northern part of the island. These reddish-colored frogs earned their name due their appearance, being similar to tomatoes, especially when they inflate. True colors, however, can vary a great deal, presenting with many shades of orange, red and yellow, even brown. Because of these characteristics, tomato frogs are common in the pet trade; at least one species has a conservation status “near threatened”. In addition to meeting vitamin A nutritional needs, dietary carotenoids are directly linked to skin pigmentation in a variety of species, including amphibians. Alteration of pigmentation may affect potential recognition of breeding partners, perception of fitness, and could have a physiologic effect on health and reproductive output. This study provides a model for similar research with other colorful amphibian species that may be applied globally.

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