Does anyone know of a study regarding...

S

sharon

Guest
.... the CB toxicity of Poison Dart Frogs?

I'm getting differing information (yep no kidding! ROTFL!). Its pretty much taken for granted that most CB PDFs lose some or all of their toxicity in captivity. HOWEVER, some sites are saying that some PDFs produce their own toxins internally rather from eating bugs that eat alkaloid plants or some such thing.

Most sites state its a theory. I'm curious. I've done a search but I'm not coming up with anything other than the common hobbyist sites with the same "theories."

I'm known to ramble anyway, but when I'm sick it really does get worse! And since I'm getting worse, not better... well, my posts go the same direction! My apologies....

Sharon
 
E

edward

Guest
Hi Sharon,
the genus Dendrobates, Phyllobates and Epipidobates lose the derived toxins in their skin which are the ones I would really worry about. As far as I know some of the Coleostethus (like the skunk frog) can still produce things like the smell which could be considered a toxin.
Some of the other poison frogs such as mantellas and Atelopus spp. do not appear to lose the ability to produce toxins.

Ed
 
J

jeff

Guest
Here's the best way of explaining things as far as I know. WC or FR poison dart frogs retain their normal level of toxicity and the first two generations of offspring also retain the toxins (F1 and F2). It is believed that the insects they would consume in the wild hold alkoloids that assist in the development of a cutaneous poison. Hence no insects, no poisons. The strongest evidence to support this theory that I know of would be the difference between wild populations of Dendrobates Azureus located in the Four Brothers Mountain Range of Sipaliwini (sp?) Savanna and the introduced population of Dendrobates Azureus of a few small islands in Hawaii to control mosquito populations. Evidently, the D. Azureus in Hawaii had a significantly less potent toxin in comparison to those in Sipaliwini. Some frogs you just need to be careful with irregardless (i.e. Phyllobates Terriblis). So long as you don't decide to kiss your frogs, you'll have no problems.
 

caleb

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Some of the confusion seems to stem from recent research which suggests that some dendrobatids actually convert chemicals from their prey into more toxic compounds. They certainly accumulate toxins from the insects they feed on.

So there are three main ways the frogs could become toxic:

1: By eating toxic prey, and accumulating their toxins.

2: By eating prey containing specific chemicals which are then modified to make them more toxic.

3: By generating their own toxins from the more general chemicals involved in normal metabolism.

Obviously the first and second methods mean that particular prey items are necessary to maintain the frog's toxicity.

Dendrobatids certainly use the first method and it seems likely that some may use the second.

I don't think they've been shown to use the third method- I believe this is how Bufo species (and Atelopus, as Ed mentioned) produce their toxins, though.
 

michael

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My take on it is they don't produce the poison but they possibly concentrate it or alter it. In general c.b. dart frogs have no toxins. Most wild caught dart frogs lose toxicity when kept in captivity. The same species of dart frogs have different toxin profiles depending on where and when they are collected. Wild caught P. terribilis and probably P. aurotaenia do not lose their poison very fast in captivity.
When were the D. azureus released in Hawaii. I thought I kept up on things but this is the first I have heard about this.
 
A

alan

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Michael,
Just to point out that it's not strictly accurate to say "c.b. dart frogs have no toxins", they do, as do most amphibians. However, the toxin profiles of cb animals are very different to those of wc (endogenous toxin production vs. endogenous + dietary/environmental/processed toxins).
 

michael

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Alan,
Of course you're correct. What I was meaning was deadly or strong toxins like the ones they are known for in the wild.
 
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