Journal of
Physiology and Pathophysiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Physiol. Pathophysiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-260X
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAP
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 54

Full Length Research Paper

Ultraviolet B radiation (UV-B) and the growth and skeletal development of the Amazonian milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) from metamorphosis

  Elfi Verschooren1, Robert K. Brown2*, Francis Vercammen2  and Jeffrey Pereboom1,2
  1Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium. 2Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 11 May 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011



In captivity some anurans can show poor growth and skeletal development due to inadequate levels of UV-B radiation. From metamorphosis for 84 days the growth and skeletal development of Amazonian milk frogs (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) were assessed between treatments receiving daily UV-B (UV/daily), intense UV-B for 30 min every two weeks (UV/boost), or no UV-B (control). At 14 day intervals snout-urostyle length, weight, and X-ray images were taken. At day 84 five morphometric skeletal variables were measured and compared for absolute values and isometry. At day 42 and 84, X-ray images were compared for maximum opacity. At day 84 the UV/daily treatment showed greater snout-urostyle length, weight, condition index, vertebrae length, head width, and femur length than the other two treatments. The head width:snout-urostyle length ratio was greater in the control than in the UV/daily treatment. Calcification did not vary between treatments at day 84. Skeletal development in the control showed symmorphic growth of increased head width: head length ratio. The UV-B treatment showed preferential allometric skeletal development of components that increased mobility and feeding ability including head width, and vertebrae and femur length. Overall, these results show that in T. resinifictrix; (1) the provision of daily UV-B improved growth and skeletal development(2) allometric skeletal development occurs during healthy juvenile growth, (3) symmorphic skeletal development occurs under conditions of poor growth, and (4) the provision of UV-B may be necessary in both research of the development of some amphibians and in conservation breeding programs or other husbandry.


Key words: Skeletal development, UV-B, anuran, growth, conservation.