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Does captivity affects skin colouration of wild caught amphibians?

Figueiredo Passos, L, Garcia, G and Young, R (2019) Does captivity affects skin colouration of wild caught amphibians? LJMU.

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Abstract

The current global amphibian crisis has resulted in an unprecedented rate of amphibian-biodiversity loss, resulting in a growth of captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Maintaining captive populations is important in terms of species conservation for potential reintroductions into the wild. However, it has been shown that wild animals can quickly adapt to captivity leading to phenotypic changes, including skin colouration. It is common to observe amphibians kept in captivity displaying a faded colouration in comparison to their wild counterparts. In amphibians, skin colouration influences courtship and mate preference, consequently affecting breeding success, resulting in advantages for selective females and for strikingly coloured males. The aim of this study was to investigate if the skin colouration of 20 (10 of each species) wild caught frogs Dyscophus antongilii (bright orange) and Scapiophryne madagascariensis (lime green and black) would change after one year in captive conditions at Chester Zoo. A USB-2000 portable diode-array spectrometer and a xenon strobe light source were used to perform spectrophotometric measurements on animals every four months over a period of one year. Three colouration traits were measured, brightness, hue and chroma. Analyses showed no differences for S. madagascariensis on all traits but significant differences for D. antogilii on chroma analysis. Skin colouration is a result of different variables, such as, green colouration is produced by iridophores that reflects light off the surface of purine crystals, while orange colouration is associated with carotenoid accumulation on xantophores. Only colouration associated with pigments was affect by the animals' new environment. The results showed that the effects of captivity were species specific and, husbandry protocols should not be generalized across species. It is necessary to understand the environmental and nutritional needs of each species to ensure the conservation value of captive collections.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: LJMU
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 10:43
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 10:43
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12285

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