Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Scientists discover first ever florescent frog in South America

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:58
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) looks like a typical green-colored frog under normal light. However, if you shine ultraviolet light on the amphibian, it lights up in a dazzling array of bright blues and greens.

According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the South American frog is the first known amphibian capable of fluorescence, which is the ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and send light back out at longer wavelengths.

In nature, fluorescence can be seen in a various ocean creatures, including corals, sharks and sea turtles. It can also be seen in land animals like scorpions and parrots. Incidentally, fluorescence is different from bioluminescence, which is the capacity to generate light via chemical reactions.

An Amazing Skin Pigment

The study team said they first suspected H. punctatus might fluoresce when they discovered it had a particular skin pigment associated with the capability. When they directed a black light at it and discovered the frog transformed into a neon green frog. Astonished at their finding, the scientists executed a comprehensive investigation of the amphibian’s skin. By doing this, they uncovered three molecules, hyloin-L1, L2 and G1 that are unlike the other molecules known to cause fluorescence in other animals.

They also discovered the molecules released of a lot of light, with nearly one-fifth the power of moonlight. This should enough light for one frog to be seen by another. Unfortunately, researchers do not know much about the visual systems of H. punctatus, although they said they plan of studying it.

“I think it’s exciting,” marine biologist David Gruber, who was not among the study’s authors, told Scientific American. “It opens up many more questions than are answered,” he says — including the ecological and behavioral function of fluorescence.

The study team members said they plan to search for fluorescence in 250 other tree frogs that have similar, translucent skin.

“I’m really hoping that other colleagues will be very interested in this phenomenon, and they will start carrying a UV flashlight to the field,” said study author Julián Faivovich, a herpetologist with the American Museum of Natural History.


Image credit: Carlos Taboada et al

The post Scientists discover first ever florescent frog in South America appeared first on Redorbit.
offers Science, Space, Technology, Health news, videos, images and reference information. For the latest science news, space news, technology news, health news visit frequently. Learn something new every day.”


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global


Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.