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Species of the Week
Adelphobates galactonotus | Splash-Backed Poison Frog

Photo © F√°bio Maffei

Amphibian News
While many poisonous animals and nearly all venomous animals use biosynthesis to produce their own toxins, poison frogs of the family Dendrobatidae obtain and accumulate alkaloids from their diet. Since this discovery, researchers have wondered whether poison frogs passively accumulate the toxins that they consume or whether they can regulate how toxins are taken up. Jeckel et al (2022) demonstrate that Adelphobates galactonotus accumulate two kinds of alkaloids, histrionicotoxin (HTX 235A) and decahydroquinoline (DHQ), with differing efficiencies. They also show that frogs improve the accumulation efficiency of HTX 235A when consumed in low doses, and that the frogs modify the chemical structure of DHQ, two mechanisms that had not been previously reported. Their study provides an important baseline for future studies of toxin accumulation in poison frogs and other animals with acquired chemical defenses.

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Current number of amphibian species: 8,483 (Jun 28, 2022) Newly added species