Colouration in amphibians as a reflection of nutritional status: The case of tree frogs in Costa Rica
Brenes Soto, Andrea
Dierenfeld, Ellen S.
Janssens, Geert P. J.
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Colouration has been considered a cue for mating success in many species; ornaments in males often are related to carotenoid mobilization towards feathers and/or skin and can signal general health and nutrition status. However, there are several factors that can also link with status, such as physiological blood parameters and body condition, but there is not substantial evidence which supports the existence of these relationships and interactions in anurans. This study evaluated how body score and blood values interact with colouration in free-range Agalychnis callidryas and Agalychnis annae males. We found significant associations between body condition and plasmatic proteins and haematocrit, as well as between body condition and colour values from the chromaticity diagram. We also demonstrated that there is a significant relation between the glucose and plasmatic protein values that were reflected in the ventral colours of the animals, and haematocrit inversely affected most of those colour values. Significant differences were found between species as well as between populations of A. callidryas, suggesting that despite colour variation, there are also biochemical differences within animals from the same species located in different regions. These data provide information on underlying factors for colouration of male tree frogs in nature, provide insights about the dynamics of several nutrients in the amphibian model and howthis could affect the reproductive output of the animals.
External link to the item10.1371/journal.pone.0182020
- Zootecnia 
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