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PM01 Amphibian Research and Monitoring
(PM016) Occurrence of Visually-detectable Mouthpart Defects in Larval Anurans.
Drake, D.1, Walls, S.2, Altig, R.3, 1 Johnson Controls, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, La, USA2 US Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, La, USA3 Dept. of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA
ABSTRACT- Concern over amphibian population declines and malformations have been at the forefront over the past decade. While much of past work has focused on the post-metamorphic stages of anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), recent studies have elucidated the importance of examining the earlier developmental stages for indications of malformations or defects. However, the majority of the malformation/defect studies on larval anurans (tadpoles) to date have focused on organisms from known polluted or contaminated sites, with no baseline data as a reference. In this study, we examine the mouth parts (oral disc) of larval anurans collected from natural to semi-natural sites in Louisiana and Mississippi, where breeding and metamorphosis of local species are known to be successful, where no apparent declines in local populations are known, and no previous examples of oral deformities have been noted. We collected 100 tadpoles each of at least two species from three families of anurans (Ranidae, Hylidae, Bufonidae) from at least two different sites. We categorized and quantified oral disc defects with the intention of providing a baseline for future studies of larval anuran oral disc defects.
Key words: tadpole, amphibian, defects, mouth parts
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