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GBR Press: Rare white albino tadpoles discovered in Wales

This is a Press Information page entitled GBR Press: Rare white albino tadpoles discovered in Wales within the Press / News Items section of Caudata.org --- Photo at URL below THE TELEGRAPH (London, UK) 14 May 08 Rare white albino tadpoles discovered in Wales (Paul Eccleston) Rare albino tadpoles have been ...

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Old 15th May 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default GBR Press: Rare white albino tadpoles discovered in Wales

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THE TELEGRAPH (London, UK) 14 May 08 Rare white albino tadpoles discovered in Wales (Paul Eccleston)
Rare albino tadpoles have been found in a garden pond in Wales.
The tadpoles have the distinctive pink eyes and off-white skin colouration associated with albinism.
Although isolated single examples of albino frogs, toads and newts have been seen before this is the first time a whole group has been found.
The exact location of the pond in Carmarthenshire is being kept secret while biologists carry out more research.
Jules Howard of Froglife, the UK wildlife charity which works for the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, said: "Sightings of albino frogs are rare so to find so many tadpoles together is exceptionally rare. It seems that the albino tadpoles are already changing colour and becoming darker so we are going to have to study their metamorphosis into frogs very carefully."
About 10 clusters of spawn were laid in the pond and the albinos emerged from about four of them.
The pond's owner, who first noticed the white-tinged tadpoles, said he did not see any albino frogs using the pond during the breeding season.
Albinos, more common in mammals, have inherited altered genes that do not produce the usual amounts of the pigment melanin.
Albinism is a 'recessive trait', so even if only one of the two copies passed down from male and female frogs is functional, offspring can make pigment, but will carry the albinism trait.
Both male and female amphibians must carry the defective albino gene to have offspring with albinism and in these circumstances there is a one-in-four chance of albino offspring being produced.
The rare discovery was reported to Froglife's Wildlife Information Service, a public advice service encouraging people to get involved with amphibian and reptile conservation, last month and a careful watch has been maintained at the pond watching the tadpoles develop.
Froglife's Wildlife Information Officer, Lucy Benyon, said: "This is certainly one of the stranger enquiries weíve had recently.
"What's unusual about this is that the batches of white tadpoles suggest that a number of adults that carry genes for albinism possibly exist in the area, not just one."
"Usually though albino amphibians fail to live to a breeding age Ė their white colouration makes them a blindingly conspicuous beacon for the various animals that depend on frogs for food."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/mai...tadpole114.xml
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