Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Frogs

  • adult frog
  • australian frog
  • common frog
  • european tree frog
  • green frog
  • hylid frog
  • leopard frog
  • moor frog
  • native frog
  • northern leopard frog
  • ranid frog
  • tree frog
  • wood frog

  • Terms modified by Frogs

  • frog neuromuscular junction
  • frog population
  • frog species
  • frog tadpole
  • frog xenopus laevi

  • Selected Abstracts


    EVOLUTION, Issue 11 2004
    Eric A. Hoffman
    Abstract Although studies of population genetic structure are very common, whether genetic structure is stable over time has been assessed for very few taxa. The question of stability over time is particularly interesting for frogs because it is not clear to what extent frogs exist in dynamic metapopulations with frequent extinction and recolonization, or in stable patches at equilibrium between drift and gene flow. In this study we collected tissue samples from the same five populations of leopard frogs, Rana pipens, over a 22,30 year time interval (11,15 generations). Genetic structure among the populations was very stable, suggesting that these population were not undergoing frequent extinction and colonization. We also estimated the effective size of each population from the change in allele frequencies over time. There exist few estimates of effective size for frog populations, but the data available suggest that ranid frogs may have much larger ratios of effective size (Ne) to census size (Nc) that toads (bufonidae). Our results indicate that R. pipiens populations have effective sizes on the order of hundreds to at most a few thousand frogs, and Nee/Nc ratios in the range of 0.1,1.0. These estimates of Ne/Nc are consistent with those estimated for other Rana species. Finally, we compared the results of three temporal methods for estimating Ne. Moment and pseudolikelihood methods that assume a closed population gave the most similar point estimates, although the moment estimates were consistently two to four times larger. Wang and Whitlock's new method that jointly estimates Ne and the rate of immigration into a population (m) gave much smaller estimates of Ne and implausibly large estimates of m. This method requires knowing allele frequencies in the source of immigrants, but was thought to be insensitive to inexact estimates. In our case the method may have failed because we did not know the true source of immigrants for each population. The method may be more sensitive to choice of source frequencies than was previously appreciated, and so should be used with caution if the most likely source of immigrants cannot be identified clearly. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2003

    Abstract Spatially varying directional selection together with restricted gene flow among populations is expected to lead to local adaptation. One environmental factor that potentially causes strong directional selection, but is little explored in evolutionary terms, is naturally and anthropogenically induced acidity. We studied local adaptation to acidity in four Swedish populations (two originating from areas that have suffered from severe anthropogenic acidification during the 1900s and two from areas which have remained neutral due to higher buffering capacity) of the moor frog Rana arvalis in a laboratory experiment by investigating whether differences in acid tolerance correspond to population origin. Embryos were raised from fertilization to hatching at three different pH levels (pH 4.0, 4.25 and 7.5), corresponding to levels experienced by these populations in nature, and acid stress tolerance was measured in terms of embryonic survival, hatchling size, and age. Evidence for local adaptation in all of these traits was found, the acid origin embryos having higher survival and less impaired growth performance under acid conditions than the neutral origin embryos. Our estimated rates of divergence (0.007,0.102 haldanes) suggest a rapid adaptation process in response to anthropogenic environmental change, and that the different traits have evolved at relatively similar rates. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2010
    Xia Hua
    Speciation often has a strong geographical and environmental component, but the ecological factors that potentially underlie allopatric and parapatric speciation remain understudied. Two ecological mechanisms by which speciation may occur on geographic scales are allopatric speciation through niche conservatism and parapatric or allopatric speciation through niche divergence. A previous study on salamanders found a strong latitudinal pattern in the prevalence of these mechanisms, with niche conservatism dominating in temperate regions and niche divergence dominating in the tropics, and related this pattern to Janzen's hypothesis of greater climatic zonation between different elevations in the tropics. Here, we test for latitudinal patterns in speciation in a related but more diverse group of amphibians, the anurans. Using data from up to 79 sister-species pairs, we test for latitudinal variation in elevational and climatic overlap between sister species, and evaluate the frequency of speciation via niche conservatism versus niche divergence in relation to latitude. In contrast to salamanders, we find no tendency for greater niche divergence in the tropics or for greater niche conservatism in temperate regions. Although our results support the idea of greater climatic zonation in tropical regions, they show that this climatic pattern does not lead to straightforward relationships between speciation, latitude, and niche evolution. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 8 2006
    Heike Pröhl
    Abstract We use a combination of microsatellite marker analysis and mate-choice behavior experiments to assess patterns of reproductive isolation of the túngara frog Physalaemus pustulosus along a 550-km transect of 25 populations in Costa Rica and Panama. Earlier studies using allozymes and mitochondrial DNA defined two genetic groups of túngara frogs, one ranging from Mexico to northern Costa Rica (northern group), the second ranging from Panama to northern South America (southern group). Our more fine-scale survey also shows that the northern and southern túngara frogs are genetically different and geographically separated by a gap in the distribution in central Pacific Costa Rica. Genetic differences among populations are highly correlated with geographic distances. Temporal call parameters differed among populations as well as between genetic groups. Differences in calls were explained better by geographic distance than by genetic distance. Phonotaxis experiments showed that females preferred calls of males from their own populations over calls of males from other populations in about two-thirds to three-fourths of the contrasts tested. In mating experiments, females and males from the same group and females from the north with males from the south produced nests and tadpoles. In contrast, females from the south did not produce nests or tadpoles with males from the north. Thus, northern and southern túngara frogs have diverged both genetically and bioacoustically. There is evidence for some prezygotic isolation due to differences in mate recognition and fertilization success, but such isolation is hardly complete. Our results support the general observation that significant differences in sexual signals are often not correlated with strong genetic differentiation. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 12 2002
    Jennifer Yeh
    Abstract., Development creates morphology, and the study of developmental processes has repeatedly shed light on patterns of morphological evolution. However, development itself evolves as well, often concomitantly with changes in life history or in morphology. In this paper, two approaches are used to examine the evolution of skull development in pipoid frogs. Pipoids have highly unusual morphologies and life histories compared to other frogs, and their development also proves to be remarkable. First, a phylogenetic examination of skull bone ossification sequences reveals that jaw ossification occurs significantly earlier in pipoids than in other frogs; this represents a reversal to the primitive vertebrate condition. Early jaw ossification in pipoids is hypothesized to result from the absence of certain larval specializations possessed by other frogs, combined with unusual larval feeding behaviors. Second, thin-plate spline morphometric studies of ontogenetic shape change reveal important differences between pipoid skull development and that of other frogs. In the course of frog evolution, there has been a shift away from salamander-like patterns of ontogenetic shape change. The pipoids represent the culmination of this trend, and their morphologies are highly derived in numerous respects. This study represents the first detailed examination of the evolution of skull development in a diverse vertebrate clade within a phylogenetic framework. It is also the first study to examine ossification sequences across vertebrates, and the first to use thin-plate spline morphometrics to quantitatively describe ontogenetic trajectories. [source]

    Effects of hind limb denervation on the development of appendicular ossicles in the Dwarf African Clawed Frog, Hymenochirus boettgeri (Anura: Pipidae)

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 4 2009
    Hyoung Tae Kim
    Abstract Sesamoids and other appendicular ossicles are common in other classes of vertebrates but comparatively rare in amphibians. The pipid frog Hymenochirus boettgeri (Boulenger, G. A. 1899. On Hymenochirus, a new type of aglossal batrachians. , Annals of the Magazine of Natural History Series 7: 122,125) is unusual among anurans in having seven (or more) appendicular ossicles in each hind limb. Sesamoids are often associated with muscles and tendons, and their development is usually regarded as mediated by or correlated with function. This study investigated the effects of paralysis (loss of function) on development of ossicles in the hind limb of Hymenochirus. Complete denervation of the right sciatic nerve was performed at developmental stages 63 and 66, and the animals maintained for a further 6,7 or 12,13 weeks. Specimens were cleared and double stained for cartilage and bone. There were no gross morphological differences between control and sham operated groups. The lunulae were not affected by paralysis, whereas the fabella arose later and/or regressed in some specimens. The distal os sesamoides tarsalia (OST) was shorter in paralysed individuals, and both the distal OST and cartilagines plantares showed delayed maturation. Denervation of the hind limb thus affected the timing of appearance, maintenance and rate of maturation of some sesamoid bones in Hymenochirus, but had no effect on others. [source]

    Breeding habitat use and the future management of the critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog

    David Hunter
    Summary The Southern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) is one of Australia's most critically endangered frog species. The species occurs entirely within Kosciuszko National Park, which has a history of cattle grazing (up to the 1970s). A consequence of cattle grazing has been a significant reduction in the extent of montane and sub-alpine peat-bog systems that the species uses as breeding habitat. Furthermore, climate change and associated increased wildfire frequency is expected to further reduce the extent and quality of peat bogs throughout the Australian Alps. In this study, we investigated habitat selection for breeding pools and nest sites within peat-bog systems in order to inform the conservation management of the species and guide other management practices being undertaken in peat bogs where this species occurs. Occupancy of breeding males at bog pools was found to be positively associated with increasing pool area, water depth and mid-day temperature, and negatively associated with extent of bare substrate. The majority of breeding pools identified were ephemeral. Nest sites within vegetation where males call and where females deposit their eggs were located at mid-elevations in a range of vegetation types, with the majority of nests being within moss and sedge dominated by Sphagnum cristatum and Empodisma minor. We also found that male nest sites were not randomly distributed within the edges of pools, but were more often located in areas of loose vegetation. These results highlight the potential sensitivity of the Southern Corroboree Frog to predicted changes in peat-bog systems resulting from climate change such as earlier drying and a possible reduction in the size of bog pools. A monitoring programme focused on key features of the breeding habitat should be undertaken to provide a basis for developing and assessing management actions implemented in peat bogs occupied by this species. [source]

    Temporal and Geographic Variation in the Advertisement Call of the Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis: Anura: Hylidae)

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 12 2005
    Michael J. Smith
    The mechanisms that underlie sexual selection rely upon within- and among-individual variability in the targeted traits. In this study, we examined variation in the advertisement call of the booroolong frog (Litoria booroolongensis) at several different levels: between populations, between breeding seasons in the same population, among males within a population, within males between nights and within males in a single calling bout. The call of L. booroolongensis has multiple notes with a pulsed structure. We detected considerable variation in advertisement call structure between breeding seasons and between populations. The measured call properties ranged from static to dynamic; however, most properties were intermediate between the criteria that have been traditionally used to define call traits as static or dynamic (,5 and ,12% respectively). We compared actual and relative repeatabilities and found that the temporal call properties associated with the structure of the note had the highest values, suggesting that these characters in particular may respond to selection. We argue that relative repeatabilities are a particularly useful measure of the potential for evolutionary response to selection as they account for an individual's relative performance during the period of assessment in an ever-changing breeding arena. [source]

    Determining the species status of one of the world's rarest frogs: a conservation dilemma

    Andrew Holyoake
    New Zealand's native frogs (genus Leiopelma) are considered to be archaic amphibians of exceptional scientific interest that appear to have remained virtually unchanged for 160-200 million years. They are among the rarest extant amphibians and are highly restricted in distribution, confined to isolated, highly disjunct, populations on the North Island and a few small offshore islands in Cook Strait. Previous investigations have suggested, based on patterns of allozyme variation, that the Stephens Island frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) and Archey's frog (L. archeyi) are sister taxa to the exclusion of the Maud Island frog, a species in close geographical proximity to the Stephens Island frog and previously viewed as a population of this species. As a consequence of these data, a new species, L. pakeka, the Maud Island Frog, has been described. This new species definition has dramatically enhanced the conservation status of L. hamiltoni, of which there are probably fewer than 150 individuals. In this study we re-examine the systematics of the Leiopelmatidae using mtDNA sequence analyses. Partial 12 S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene sequences were obtained for 57 frogs from six populations representing all four extant Leiopelma species. Contrary to previous reports we find L. pakeka and L. hamiltoni to be monophyletic. The amount of variation evident between these present species (<1% for Cyt b) is comparable to that seen between populations of L. archeyi. Based on these data, classification of L. pakeka and L. hamiltoni as separate species appears to be unwarranted, but they may be sufficiently distinct to warrant classification as evolutionarily significant units. [source]

    Epidemiologic Analysis of Factors Associated with Local Disappearances of Native Ranid Frogs in Arizona

    análisis de factores de riesgo; declinación de anfibios; declinación de ranas; epidemiología de vida silvestre; métodos de control de casos Abstract:,We examined factors that may independently or synergistically contribute to amphibian population declines. We used epidemiologic case,control methodology to sample and analyze a large database developed and maintained by the Arizona Game and Fish Department that describes historical and currently known ranid frog localities in Arizona, U.S.A. Sites with historical documentation of target ranid species (n= 324) were evaluated to identify locations where frogs had disappeared during the study period (case sites) and locations where frog populations persisted (control sites). Between 1986 and 2003, 117 (36%) of the 324 sites became case sites, of which 105 were used in the analyses. An equal number of control sites were sampled to control for the effects of time. Risk factors, or predictor variables, were defined from environmental data summarized during site surveys and geographic information system data layers. We evaluated risk factors with univariate and multifactorial logistic-regression analyses to derive odds ratios (OR). Odds for local population disappearance were significantly related to 4 factors in the multifactorial model. Disappearance of frog populations increased with increasing elevation (OR = 2.7 for every 500 m, p < 0.01). Sites where disappearances occurred were 4.3 times more likely to have other nearby sites that also experienced disappearances (OR = 4.3, p < 0.01), whereas the odds of disappearance were 6.7 times less (OR = 0.15, p < 0.01) when there was a source population nearby. Sites with disappearances were 2.6 times more likely to have introduced crayfish than were control sites (OR = 2.6, p= 0.04). The identification of factors associated with frog disappearances increases understanding of declines occurring in natural populations and aids in conservation efforts to reestablish and protect native ranids by identifying and prioritizing implicated threats. Resumen:,Examinamos los factores que pueden contribuir independiente o sinérgicamente a la declinación de poblaciones de anfibios. Utilizamos una metodología epidemiológica de control de casos para muestrear y analizar una base de datos desarrollada y mantenida por el Departamento de Caza y Pesca de Arizona que describe las localidades históricas y actuales de ranas en Arizona, E. U. A. Los sitios con documentación histórica de las especies de ránidos (n= 324) fueron evaluados para identificar localidades donde las ranas desaparecieron durante el período de estudio (sitios caso) y localidades donde las poblaciones de ranas persistieron (sitios control). Entre 1986 y 2003, 36% (117) de los 324 sitios se volvieron sitios caso, de los cuales 105 fueron utilizados en los análisis. El mismo número de sitios control fueron muestreados para controlar los efectos del tiempo. Los factores de riesgo, o variables predictivas, fueron definidos a partir de datos ambientales obtenidos de los muestreos en los sitios y de capas de datos de un sistema información geográfica. Evaluamos los factores de riesgo con análisis de regresión logística univariada y multivariada para derivar proporciones de probabilidades (PP). Las probabilidad para la desaparición de una población local estuvo relacionada significativamente con 4 factores en el modelo multifactorial. La desaparición de poblaciones de ranas incrementó con la elevación (PP = 2.7 por cada 500 m, p < 0.01). Los sitios donde ocurrieron las desapariciones fueron 4.3 veces más propensos a estar cerca de otros sitios donde ocurrieron desapariciones (PP = 4.3, p < 0.01), mientras que la probabilidad de desaparición fue 6.7 veces menos (PP = 0.15, p < 0.01) cuando había una población fuente cercana. Los sitios con desapariciones fueron 2.6 veces más propensos a tener langostinos introducidos que los sitios control (PP = 2.6, p= 0.04). La identificación de factores asociados con la desaparición de ranas incrementa el conocimiento de las declinaciones de poblaciones naturales y ayuda a los esfuerzos de conservación para el reestablecimiento y la protección de ránidos nativos mediante la identificación y priorización de las amenazas implicadas. [source]

    Seasonal changes in frequency tuning and temporal processing in single neurons in the frog auditory midbrain

    Jozien BM Goense
    Abstract Frogs rely on acoustic signaling to detect, discriminate, and localize mates. In the temperate zone, reproduction occurs in the spring, when frogs emerge from hibernation and engage in acoustically guided behaviors. In response to the species mating call, males typically show evoked vocal responses or other territorial behaviors, and females show phonotactic responses. Because of their strong seasonal behavior, it is possible that the frog auditory system also displays seasonal variation, as evidenced in their vocal control system. This hypothesis was tested in male Northern leopard frogs by evaluating the response characteristics of single neurons in the torus semicircularis (TS; a homolog of the inferior colliculus) to a synthetic mating call at different times of the year. We found that TS neurons displayed a seasonal change in frequency tuning and temporal properties. Frequency tuning shifted from a predominance of TS units sensitive to intermediate frequencies (700,1200 Hz) in the winter, to low frequencies (100,600 Hz) in the summer. In winter and early spring, most TS neurons showed poor, or weak, time locking to the envelope of the amplitude-modulated synthetic call, whereas in late spring and early summer the majority of TS neurons showed robust time-locked responses. These seasonal differences indicate that neural coding by auditory midbrain neurons in the Northern leopard frog is subject to seasonal fluctuation. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Neurobiol, 2005 [source]

    Plasma sex steroid concentrations and gonadal aromatase activities in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) from South Africa

    Markus Hecker
    Abstract Adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were collected from a corn-growing region (CGR) and a non-corn-growing region (NCGR) with different exposure profiles for atrazine and related triazines. Physical, chemical, and biological parameters from the catchment areas were also measured. Frogs were surveyed for possible effects of exposure to triazine herbicides on plasma testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) titers, gonadal aromatase activity, and gonad growth (GSI). Concentrations of both T and E2 varied among locations and were correlated to some accessory factors, such as pH, several ions, and metals. Greatest median plasma T concentrations (males: 19 ng/ml; females: 16 ng/ml) occurred in frogs inhabiting NCGR as compared to those from the CGR (males: 4 ng/ml; females: 1 ng/ml). Median E2 concentrations were also greater in frogs collected from the NCGR (males: 3 ng/ml; females: 28 ng/ml) than those in frogs from the CGR (males: 2 ng/ml; females: 5 ng/ml). Because some exposure to agricultural chemicals at both regions occurred, as did simultaneous exposures to multiple chemicals, a regression analysis was employed. Negative correlations were observed between plasma T concentrations and concentrations of atrazine, deisopropylatrazine, deethylatrazine, and tertbuthylazine in females and between T and diaminochlorotriazine in males. Estradiol in females exhibited a significant negative correlation with atrazine and deethylatrazine. No correlations were observed between gonadal aromatase activity or GSI and any of the agricultural chemicals measured. Median aromatase activities in ovaries varied among sampling sites ranging from 7 to >3,000 times greater than those in males when measurable. Testicular aromatase activity was below the detection limit of the assay in male frogs at most of the sites. Although exposure to agricultural inputs did not affect aromatase activities, effects of atrazine or coapplied pesticides on sex steroid homeostasis cannot be excluded at this point. [source]

    Diversity of the Vocal Signals of Concave-Eared Torrent Frogs (Odorrana tormota): Evidence for Individual Signatures

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 11 2009
    Albert S. Feng
    Male concave-eared torrent frogs (Odorrana tormota) have an unusually large call repertoire and have been shown to communicate ultrasonically. We investigated the individual specificity of male advertisement calls in order to explore the acoustic bases of individual recognition, which was demonstrated in an accompanying study. Vocalizations of 15 marked males were recorded in the field. A quantitative analysis of the signals revealed eight basic call-types. Two of them (the single- and multi-note long-calls) were investigated in more detail. Long-calls were characterized by pronounced and varying frequency modulation patterns, and abundant occurrence of nonlinear phenomena (NLP), i.e., frequency jumps, subharmonics, biphonations and deterministic chaos. The occurrence of NLP was predictable from the contour of the fundamental frequency in the harmonic segment preceding the onset of the NLP, and this prediction showed individual-specific patterns. Fifteen acoustic variables of the long calls were measured, all of which were significantly different among individuals, except biphonic segment duration. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) showed that 54.6% of the calls could be correctly assigned to individual frogs. The correct classification was above chance level, suggesting that individual specificity of calls underlie the ability of males to behaviorally discriminate the vocal signals of their neighbors from those of strangers, a remarkable feat for a frog species with a diverse vocal repertoire. The DFA classification results were lower than those for other anurans, however. We hypothesize that there is a tradeoff between an increase in the fundamental frequency of vocalizations to avoid masking by low-frequency ambient background noise, and a decrease in individual-specific vocal tract information extractable from the signal. [source]

    Risk Assessment and Withdrawal Behavior by Two Species of Aposematic Poison Frogs, Dendrobates auratus and Oophaga pumilio, on Forest Trails

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
    William E. Cooper Jr
    Many chemically defended prey advertize toxicity to predators by aposematic coloration. When aposematic prey are approached, they often move slowly or not at all, allowing predators to evaluate their unprofitability. Poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) are toxic, aposematically colored, forage openly and diurnally, and are much easier to capture than many palatable frogs. Although protected against diverse predators, they are sometimes attacked and are subjected to injury by large animals without predatory intent. We predicted that they have limited escape behavior, but retain ability to assess and respond to risk. When we approached Dendrobates auratus and Oophaga pumilio on forest trails, both species hopped by the shortest route to the nearer forest edge and stopped there. When approached, D. auratus moved after shorter latency at an angle closer to perpendicular to the forest edge, were more likely to leave the trail, and left the trail sooner with fewer changes in direction after moving a shorter distance than when not approached. In agreement with predictions of optimal escape theory based on risk, flight initiation distance by D. auratus was greater when approached directly than indirectly and rapidly than slowly, and was greater when frogs were in the open than partially concealed. Frogs neither attempted rapid escape nor entered refuges. Both species hopped leisurely and remained visible after stopping. They exhibit the diminished escape behavior of aposematic prey, yet retain the capacity to assess risk and adjust behavior accordingly. Their behavior demonstrates continued need for escape behavior by highly toxic aposematic prey. [source]

    Geographic Variation in Male Sexual Signals in Strawberry Poison Frogs (Dendrobates pumilio)

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 9 2007
    Heike Pröhl
    In this paper, we compare the advertisement calls of 207 neotropical strawberry poison frogs (Dendrobates pumilio) collected in 21 localities along a transect from northern Costa Rica to western Panama. Populations varied most in call duration and call rate, while pulse rate and duty cycle were less variable. Multivariate analyses showed that call variation followed a cline with higher call rates, shorter calls, lower duty cycles and higher pulse rates in the southeast. Body size decreased towards the southeast and explained most variation in dominant frequency, as well as some residual variation in call rate. We conclude that a combination of geography and morphology is largely responsible for call variation within this species. Two inferred bio-acoustic groups were roughly in accordance with two genetic groups, geographically separated in central Costa Rica. However, genetic distances among populations did not co-vary with call dissimilarity after correction for geographic distances. Thus, differences in calls between genetic groups are probably mainly a result of clinal variation. These findings agree with the general observation that bio-acoustic variation is often not (highly) associated with genetic divergence. Moreover, colour polymorphism observed among Panamanian populations was not reflected in a higher variability in call parameters relative to the monomorphic Costa Rican populations. [source]

    Effects of temperature and food quality on anuran larval growth and metamorphosis

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2002
    D. Álvarez
    Summary 1Anurans exhibit high levels of growth-mediated phenotypic plasticity in age and size at metamorphosis. Although temperature and food quality exert a strong influence on larval growth, little is known about the interacting effects of these factors on age and size at metamorphosis. 2Plasticity in growth rates, maximum larval mass, mass loss, larval period and size at metamorphosis was examined in Iberian Painted Frogs (Discoglossus galganoi Capula, Nascetti, Lanza, Bullini & Crespo 1985) under different combinations of temperature and diet quality. 3Temperature and diet had strong effects on the maximum size reached by tadpoles throughout the premetamorphic stages. Larval body mass varied inversely with temperature. The effect of diet depended on temperature; larvae fed on a ,carnivorous' diet (rich in protein and lipids) achieved a larger size than larvae offered an ,herbivorous' diet (rich in carbohydrates) at 17 °C but not at 12 or 22 °C. 4Larval period was insensitive to diet composition, and varied only with temperature. Primarily the interacting effects of food quality and temperature affected size at metamorphosis. Size at metamorphosis varied inversely with temperature under the plant- and the animal-based diets. However, the carnivorous diet resulted in bigger metamorphs at 17 and 22 °C, but did not influence final mass at 12 °C. Maximum size over the larval period explained most of the variation in mass loss after the premetamorphic growing phase. [source]

    Of Krauts and Frogs: Stereotypes and their Uses

    GERMAN RESEARCH, Issue 1 2003
    Seen through the eyes of an Englishman travelling in 18th century Europe: historical caricatures and illustrations provide an unexpected insight into contemporary and current clichés and their contexts [source]

    Morphology and function of the forelimb in arboreal frogs: specializations for grasping ability?

    JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, Issue 3 2008
    Adriana S. Manzano
    Abstract Frogs are characterized by a unique morphology associated with their saltatory lifestyle. Although variation in the form and function of the pelvic girdle and associated appendicular system related to specialized locomotor modes such as swimming or burrowing has been documented, the forelimbs have typically been viewed as relatively unspecialized. Yet, previous authors have noted versatility in forelimb function among arboreal frogs associated with feeding. Here we study the morphology and function of the forelimb and hand during locomotion in two species of arboreal frogs (Litoria caerulea and Phyllomedusa bicolor). Our data show a complex arrangement of the distal forelimb and hand musculature with some notable differences between species. Analyses of high-speed video and video fluoroscopy recordings show that forelimbs are used in alternating fashion in a diagonal sequence footfall pattern and that the position of the hand is adjusted when walking on substrates of different diameters. Electromyographic recordings show that the flexors of the hand are active during substrate contact, suggesting the use of gripping to generate a stabilizing torque. Measurements of grasping forces in vivo and during stimulation experiments show that both species, are capable of executing a so-called power grip but also indicates marked differences between species, in the magnitude of forces generated. Stimulation experiments showed an increased control of digit flexion in the more specialized of the two species, allowing it to execute a precision grip paralleled only by that seen in primates. [source]

    Diet composition of Xenopus borealis in Taita Hills: effects of habitat and predator size

    Beryl A. Bwong
    Abstract Frogs in the genus Xenopus are ubiquitous in sub-Saharan Africa, yet very little is recorded on their ecology. They are commonly found in anthropogenically disturbed habitats, but how do these compare to conspecifics from natural habitats? The diet of Xenopus borealis from three different sites in Taita Hills, Kenya was established based on a sample of 77 (54 females and 23 males) specimens from two disturbed and one pristine sites. Xenopus borealis from all the sites was found to be a dietary generalist, feeding predominantly on invertebrates. A total of twelve invertebrate orders both terrestrial and aquatic were recorded in addition to amphibian eggs, tadpoles and fish. Frogs from the pristine forest were smaller and had ingested more terrestrial prey items than frogs in the disturbed open habitat ponds. The stomach content (both by mass and quantity) was independent of body size. The results suggest that X. borealis is an opportunistic generalist predator which may be constrained by food availability in its natural habitat. However, disturbed habitats provide abundant food items which are enough to significantly increase the mean size of the population. Résumé Les grenouilles du genre Xenopus sont présentes partout en Afrique subtropicale, mais il existe peu de travaux sur leur écologie. On les trouve fréquemment dans des habitats perturbés par les hommes, mais comment ces grenouilles-ci se comparent-elles à leurs congénères des habitats naturels ? On a pu établir le régime alimentaire de Xenopus borealis sur trois sites différents des Taita Hills, au Kenya, d'après un échantillon de 77 individus (54 femelles et 23 mâles) de deux sites perturbés et d'un site intact. Xenopus borealis s'est avéréêtre un consommateur généraliste sur tous les sites, se nourrissant principalement d'invertébrés. On a noté la présence d'un total de 12 ordres d'invertébrés, terrestres et aquatiques, auxquels s'ajoutent des ,ufs d'amphibiens, des têtards et des poissons. Les grenouilles des forêts intactes étaient plus petites et mangeaient des proies plus terrestres que celles des points d'eau d'habitats ouverts perturbés. Le contenu stomacal (aussi bien par la masse que par la quantité) était indépendant de la taille corporelle. Les résultats suggèrent que X. borealis est un prédateur généraliste opportuniste qui peut être limité par la disponibilité de la nourriture dans son habitat naturel. Par contre, des habitats perturbés fournissent une nourriture abondante, suffisante pour augmenter significativement la taille moyenne de la population. [source]

    Physiological Ecology of Aquatic Overwintering in Ranid Frogs

    BIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, Issue 2 2008
    Glenn J. Tattersall
    Abstract In cold-temperate climates, overwintering aquatic ranid frogs must survive prolonged periods of low temperature, often accompanied by low levels of dissolved oxygen. They must do so with the energy stores acquired prior to the onset of winter. Overwintering mortality is a significant factor in their life history, occasionally reaching 100% due to freezing and/or anoxia. Many species of northern ranid frogs overwinter in the tadpole stage, which increases survival during hypoxic episodes relative to adults, as well as allowing for larger sizes at metamorphosis. At temperatures below 5 °C, submerged ranid frogs are capable of acquiring adequate oxygen via cutaneous gas exchange over a wide range of ambient oxygen partial pressures (PO2), and possess numerous physiological and behavioural mechanisms that allow them to maintain normal rates of oxygen uptake across the skin at a relatively low PO2. At levels of oxygen near and below the critical PO2 that allows for aerobic metabolism, frogs must adopt biochemical mechanisms that act to minimise oxygen utilisation and assist in maintaining an aerobic state to survive overwintering. These mechanisms include alterations in mitochondrial metabolism and affinity, changes in membrane permeability, alterations in water balance, and reduction in cellular electrochemical gradients, all of which lead to an overall reduction in whole-animal metabolism. Winter energetic requirements are fueled by the energy stores in liver, muscle, and fat depots, which are likely to be sufficient when the water is cold and well oxygenated. However, under hypoxic conditions fat stores cannot be utilised efficiently and glycogen stores are used up rapidly due to recruitment of anaerobiosis. Since ranid frogs have minimal tolerance to anoxia, it is untenable to suggest that they spend a significant portion of the winter buried in anoxic mud, but instead utilise a suite of behavioural and physiological mechanisms geared to optimal survival in cold, hypoxic conditions. [source]

    Population Ecology of the Riparian Frog Eleutherodactylus cuneatus in Cuba

    BIOTROPICA, Issue 3 2010
    Ansel Fong G.
    ABSTRACT A population of the poorly known riparian frog Eleutherodactylus cuneatus was studied for 1 yr along a mountain stream in eastern Cuba. We examined population structure, seasonal and daily activity, growth, and habitat use using mark-recapture and call-point counts. Juveniles were observed during all survey periods with a spike in March. Higher numbers of adults were present in May,July, associated with longer day length, warmer temperatures, and the onset of the rainy season. This was coincident with higher calling activity away from the stream, suggesting an increase in both reproductive and nonreproductive activity in the warmer months between May and September. The number of individuals peaked at 2000,2200 h, but high numbers of individuals were visible throughout the night. Lower activity levels were observed throughout the day. Population size estimates were 84,131 adults and 124,304 juveniles, with averages of 110 and 236 individuals, survival rates were high but capture probabilities were low for a 5-d period in March 2004. Growth rate was negatively related to the size of recaptured individuals, although decreases in growth rate were slight. Frogs were found either in the water (49.7%), or in the banks and on the ground adjacent to the stream where most individuals were found on the ground under the cover of rocks, leaf litter, or large palm fronds. These results provide baseline knowledge of E. cuneatus population dynamics and ecology needed for a rapid detection of any decline this population may undergo in the future. Abstract in Spanish is available at [source]

    Remarkable Amphibian Biomass and Abundance in an Isolated Wetland: Implications for Wetland Conservation

    biodiversidad; declinación de anfibios; recuperación de humedales sequía; uso de suelo Abstract:,Despite the continuing loss of wetland habitats and associated declines in amphibian populations, attempts to translate wetland losses into measurable losses to ecosystems have been lacking. We estimated the potential productivity from the amphibian community that would be compromised by the loss of a single isolated wetland that has been protected from most industrial, agricultural, and urban impacts for the past 54 years. We used a continuous drift fence at Ellenton Bay, a 10-ha freshwater wetland on the Savannah River Site, near Aiken, South Carolina (U.S.A.), to sample all amphibians for 1 year following a prolonged drought. Despite intensive agricultural use of the land surrounding Ellenton Bay prior to 1951, we documented 24 species and remarkably high numbers and biomass of juvenile amphibians (>360,000 individuals; >1,400 kg) produced during one breeding season. Anurans (17 species) were more abundant than salamanders (7 species), comprising 96.4% of individual captures. Most (95.9%) of the amphibian biomass came from 232095 individuals of a single species of anuran (southern leopard frog[Rana sphenocephala]). Our results revealed the resilience of an amphibian community to natural stressors and historical habitat alteration and the potential magnitude of biomass and energy transfer from isolated wetlands to surrounding terrestrial habitat. We attributed the postdrought success of amphibians to a combination of adult longevity (often >5 years), a reduction in predator abundance, and an abundance of larval food resources. Likewise, the increase of forest cover around Ellenton Bay from <20% in 1951 to >60% in 2001 probably contributed to the long-term persistence of amphibians at this site. Our findings provide an optimistic counterpoint to the issue of the global decline of biological diversity by demonstrating that conservation efforts can mitigate historical habitat degradation. Resumen:,A pesar de la pérdida de hábitats de humedales y las declinaciones asociadas de poblaciones de anfibios, se han realizado pocos intentos para traducir las pérdidas de humedales en pérdidas mensurables en los ecosistemas. Estimamos la productividad potencial de la comunidad de anfibios que se afectaría por la pérdida de un humedal aislado que ha estado protegido de los impactos industriales, agrícolas y urbanos durante los últimos 54 años. Utilizamos un cerco de desvío en la Bahía Ellentonn, un humedal dulceacuícola de 10 ha en el Río Savannah, cerca de Aiken, Carolina del Sur (E.U.A.), para muestrear todos los anfibios durante 1 año después de una sequía prolongada. A pesar del intensivo uso agrícola del suelo alrededor de la Bahía Ellenton antes de 1951, documentamos 24 especies y números y biomasa de anfibios juveniles notablemente altos (>360,000 individuos; >1,400 kg) en una temporada reproductiva. Los anuros (17 especies) fueron más abundantes que las salamandras (7 especies), y comprendieron 96.4% de las capturas individuales. La mayor parte (95.9%) de la biomasa provino de 232095 individuos de una sola especie de anuro (Rana sphenocephala). Nuestros resultados revelaron que la resiliencia de la comunidad de anfibios a los estresantes naturales y a la alteración histórica del hábitat y la magnitud potencial de la transferencia de biomasa y energía desde los humedales aislados hacia el hábitat terrestre circundante. Atribuimos el éxito post-sequía de los anfibios a una combinación de longevidad de adultos (a menudo > 5 años), la reducción de la abundancia de depredadores y la abundancia de recursos alimenticios para las larvas. Asimismo, el incremento de la cobertura forestal alrededor de la Bahía Ellerton de < 20% en 1951 a > 60% en 2001 probablemente contribuyó a la persistencia de los anfibios a largo plazo en este sitio. Nuestros hallazgos proporcionan un contrapunto optimista al tema de la declinación global de la diversidad biológica al demostrar que los esfuerzos de conservación pueden mitigar a la degradación histórica del hábitat. [source]

    Functional regeneration of the olfactory bulb requires reconnection to the olfactory nerve in Xenopus larvae

    Jun Yoshino
    Larvae of the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) can regenerate the telencephalon, which consists of the olfactory bulb and the cerebrum, after it has been partially removed. Some authors have argued that the telencephalon, once removed, must be reconnected to the olfactory nerve in order to regenerate. However, considerable regeneration has been observed before reconnection. Therefore, we have conducted several experiments to learn whether or not reconnection is a prerequisite for regeneration. We found that the olfactory bulb did not regenerate without reconnection, while the cerebrum regenerated by itself. On the other hand, when the brain was reconnected by the olfactory nerve, both the cerebrum and the olfactory bulb regenerated. Morphological and histological investigation showed that the regenerated telencephalon was identical to the intact one in morphology, types and distributions of cells, and connections between neurons. Froglets with a regenerated telencephalon also recovered olfaction, the primary function of the frog telencephalon. These results suggest that the Xenopus larva requires reconnection of the regenerating brain to the olfactory nerve in order to regenerate the olfactory bulb, and thus the regenerated brain functions, in order to process olfactory information. [source]

    Generation and characterization of a novel neural crest marker allele, Inka1-LacZ, reveals a role for Inka1 in mouse neural tube closure

    Bethany S. Reid
    Abstract Previous studies identified Inka1 as a gene regulated by AP-2, in the neural crest required for craniofacial morphogenesis in fish and frog. Here, we extend the analysis of Inka1 function and regulation to the mouse by generating a LacZ knock-in allele. Inka1-LacZ allele expression occurs in the cephalic mesenchyme, heart, and paraxial mesoderm prior to E8.5. Subsequently, expression is observed in the migratory neural crest cells and their derivatives. Consistent with expression of Inka1 in tissues of the developing head during neurulation, a low percentage of Inka1,/, mice show exencephaly while the remainder are viable and fertile. Further studies indicate that AP-2, is not required for Inka1 expression in the mouse, and suggest that there is no significant genetic interaction between these two factors during embryogenesis. Together, these data demonstrate that while the expression domain of Inka1 is conserved among vertebrates, its function and regulation are not. Developmental Dynamics 239:1188,1196, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    A non-canonical photopigment, melanopsin, is expressed in the differentiating ganglion, horizontal, and bipolar cells of the chicken retina

    Sayuri Tomonari
    Abstract Vertebrate melanopsin is a photopigment in the eye, required for photoentrainment. Melanopsin is more closely related to opsin proteins found in invertebrates, than to the other photo-pigments. Although the invertebrate melanopsin-like protein is localized in rhabdomeric photoreceptors in the invertebrate eye, it has been shown to be expressed in a subset of retinal ganglion cells in the mouse and in horizontal cells in the frog, indicating its diversified expression pattern in vertebrates. Here we show that two types of melanopsin transcripts are expressed in the developing chicken retina. Melanopsin is firstly expressed by a small subset of ganglion cells, and then prominently expressed by horizontal cells and later by bipolar cells in the developing chicken retina. This suggests that a subset of ganglion, horizontal, and bipolar cells in the chicken retina may have rhabdomeric properties in their origins. Developmental Dynamics 234:783,790, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Developmental analysis of activin-like kinase receptor-4 (ALK4) expression in Xenopus laevis

    Yumei Chen
    Abstract The type I transforming growth factor-beta (TGF,) receptor, activin-like kinase-4 (ALK4), is an important regulator of vertebrate development, with roles in mesoderm induction, primitive streak formation, gastrulation, dorsoanterior patterning, and left,right axis determination. To complement previous ALK4 functional studies, we have analyzed ALK4 expression in embryos of the frog, Xenopus laevis. Results obtained with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction indicate that ALK4 is present in both the animal and vegetal poles of blastula stage embryos and that expression levels are relatively constant amongst embryos examined at blastula, gastrula, neurula, and early tail bud stages. However, the tissue distribution of ALK4 mRNA, as assessed by whole-mount in situ hybridization, was found to change over this range of developmental stages. In the blastula stage embryo, ALK4 is detected in cells of the animal pole and the marginal zone. During gastrulation, ALK4 is detected in the outer ectoderm, involuting mesoderm, blastocoele roof, dorsal lip, and to a lesser extent, in the endoderm. At the onset of neurulation, ALK4 expression is prominent in the dorsoanterior region of the developing head, the paraxial mesoderm, and midline structures, including the prechordal plate and neural folds. Expression in older neurula stage embryos resolves to the developing brain, somites, notochord, and neural crest; thereafter, additional sites of ALK4 expression in tail bud stage embryos include the spinal cord, otic placode, developing eye, lateral plate mesoderm, branchial arches, and the bilateral heart fields. Together, these results not only reflect the multiple developmental roles that have been proposed for this TGF, receptor but also define spatiotemporal windows in which ALK4 may function to modulate fundamental embryological events. Developmental Dynamics 232:393,398, 2005. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Apparent mitochondrial asymmetry in Xenopus eggs

    Natalia Volodina
    Abstract Cell polarity is manifest along the animal/vegetal axis in eggs of the frog, Xenopus laevis. Along this axis, maternal cytoplasmic components are asymmetrically distributed and are thought to underlie specification of distinct cell fates. To ascertain the molecular identities of such cytoplasmic components, we have used a monoclonal antibody that specifically stains the vegetal hemisphere of Xenopus eggs. The antigenic protein Vp67 (vegetal protein of 67 kDa) was identified through purification and cloning as a Xenopus homolog of the mitochondrial protein dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, a component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. The identification of Vp67 as a mitochondrial protein could indicate that populations of mitochondria are asymmetrically distributed in Xenopus eggs. Developmental Dynamics 226:654,662, © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Rethinking axial patterning in amphibians

    Mary Constance Lane
    Abstract Recent revisions in the Xenopus laevis fate map led to the designation of the rostral/caudal axis and reassignment of the dorsal/ventral axis (Lane and Smith [1999] Development 126:423,434; Lane and Sheets [2000] Dev. Biol. 225:37,58). It is unprecedented to reassign primary embryonic axes after many years of research in a model system. In this review, we use insights about vertebrate development from anatomy and comparative embryology, as well as knowledge about gastrulation in frogs, to reexamine several traditional amphibian fate maps. We show that four extant maps contain information on the missing rostral/caudal axis. These maps support the revised map as well as the designation of the rostral/caudal axis and reassignment of the dorsal/ventral axes. To illustrate why it is important for researchers to use the revised map and nomenclature when thinking about frog and fish embryos, we present an example of alternative interpretations of "dorsalized" zebrafish mutations. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Seasonal changes in frequency tuning and temporal processing in single neurons in the frog auditory midbrain

    Jozien BM Goense
    Abstract Frogs rely on acoustic signaling to detect, discriminate, and localize mates. In the temperate zone, reproduction occurs in the spring, when frogs emerge from hibernation and engage in acoustically guided behaviors. In response to the species mating call, males typically show evoked vocal responses or other territorial behaviors, and females show phonotactic responses. Because of their strong seasonal behavior, it is possible that the frog auditory system also displays seasonal variation, as evidenced in their vocal control system. This hypothesis was tested in male Northern leopard frogs by evaluating the response characteristics of single neurons in the torus semicircularis (TS; a homolog of the inferior colliculus) to a synthetic mating call at different times of the year. We found that TS neurons displayed a seasonal change in frequency tuning and temporal properties. Frequency tuning shifted from a predominance of TS units sensitive to intermediate frequencies (700,1200 Hz) in the winter, to low frequencies (100,600 Hz) in the summer. In winter and early spring, most TS neurons showed poor, or weak, time locking to the envelope of the amplitude-modulated synthetic call, whereas in late spring and early summer the majority of TS neurons showed robust time-locked responses. These seasonal differences indicate that neural coding by auditory midbrain neurons in the Northern leopard frog is subject to seasonal fluctuation. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Neurobiol, 2005 [source]

    Spatial congruence between ecotones and range-restricted species: implications for conservation biogeography at the sub-continental scale

    Berndt J. Van Rensburg
    ABSTRACT Aim, To examine whether at a sub-continental scale range-limited species tend to occur close to areas of transition between vegetation boundaries more often than expected by chance. Location, South Africa and Lesotho. Methods, We examined the relationship between the distance of a grid square to ecological transition areas between vegetation types and both avian and frog range-limited species richness in the quadrat. We used quadrats at a spatial resolution of quarter degree (15, × 15,, 676 km2). Spatial congruence between areas representing range-restricted species and those representing ecological transition zones was assessed using a random draw technique. Results, Species richness and range size rarity are generally negatively correlated with distance to transition areas between vegetation communities when analysed for the whole region for both groups. Although this relationship becomes weaker after controlling for environmental energy and topographical heterogeneity, the explanatory power of distance to transition areas remains significant, and compared to the different biomes examined, accounts for most of the variation in bird richness (20%), frog richness (18%), range-restricted bird species (17%) and range-restricted frog species (16%) in the savanna biome. The random draw technique indicated that areas representing range-restricted species were situated significantly closer in space to those areas representing transition areas between vegetation communities than expected by chance. Main conclusions, We find that at the sub-continental scale, when examined for South Africa, areas of transition between vegetation communities hold concentrations of range-limited species in both birds and frogs. We find that South African endemic/range-limited birds and frogs are located closer to ecological transition zones than endemics and non-endemics combined. This has important implications for ongoing conservation planning in a biogeographical context. [source]