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Behavioral Avoidance of Ultraviolet-B Radiation by Two Species of Neotropical Poison-Dart Frogs
Biotropica (2007)
  • Barbara A. Han, Oregon State University
  • Lee B. Kats, Pepperdine University
  • Rachel C. Pommerening, Pepperdine University
  • Ryan P. Ferrer, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Marcia Murry-Ewers, Michigan State University
  • Andrew R. Blaustein, Oregon State University
Many animals, plants, and microorganisms are harmed by ultraviolet-B radiation. In particular, several members of class amphibia are negatively affected by exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation. Exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation can cause death or various types of sublethal damage in amphibians. One mechanism to lessen the effect of harmful ultraviolet-B radiation is to limit exposure to sunlight behaviorally. Few studies have examined the behavioral sensitivity of adult amphibians to ultraviolet-B radiation. Using both field experiments and field observations, we found that two species of diurnal poison-dart frogs in Costa Rica (Dendrobates pumilio, D. auratus) consistently preferred areas in the field and within experimental testing chambers that offered low levels of ultraviolet-B radiation. In field observations, vocalizing D. pumilio were found at locations with significantly lower levels of ambient ultraviolet-B compared to random locations throughout their natural habitat. Ultraviolet-B avoidance behavior may be an important behavioral response for tropical frogs in light of recent evidence suggesting a significant increase in the levels of ambient ultraviolet-B radiation in the tropics over the past decade.
  • amphibians; avoidance behavior; Costa Rica; lowland rain forest; poison-dart frog; UV-B
Publication Date
Citation Information
Barbara A. Han, Lee B. Kats, Rachel C. Pommerening, Ryan P. Ferrer, et al.. "Behavioral Avoidance of Ultraviolet-B Radiation by Two Species of Neotropical Poison-Dart Frogs" Biotropica Vol. 39 Iss. 3 (2007)
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