Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs
Amphibians are currently experiencing the most severe declines in biodiversity of any vertebrate, and their requirements for successful reproduction are poorly understood. Here, we show that supplementing the diet of prey ...
items (fruit flies) with carotenoids has strong positive effects on the reproduction of captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio), substantially increasing the number of metamorphs produced by pairs. This improved reproduction most likely arose via increases in the quality of both the fertilized eggs from which tadpoles develop and trophic eggs that are fed to tadpoles by mothers. Frogs in this colony had previously been diagnosed with a Vitamin A deficiency, and this supplementation may have resolved this issue. These results support growing evidence of the importance of carotenoids in vertebrate reproduction and highlight the nuanced ways in which nutrition constrains captive populations.
Title: Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio)
Authors: Dugas MB, Yeager J and RichardsZawacki CL.
Source: Zoo Biology (2013) volume 32, issue 6