'White banded' R. fantastica and Repashy superpig

Discussion in 'Dart Frogs General' started by Ethan A, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. Ethan A

    Ethan A Contributing Member

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    I have bred these frogs for a couple years now, and after rearing >15 offspring this past year I realized not one has actual white banding. Most of the frogs end up with a light orange/copper colouring similar to that of R. summersi, although usually not as intense a colour.
    I recall reading (I believe from Understory) that this locale throws out an orange offspring in about 1/10 froglets which is very contrasting to my experience. Note that this intense orange colour appears when they first get their colouration as a metamorph and not after repeated feedings with this supplement as froglets. The adults and froglets are both supplemented with Repashy superpig around every 2-3 weeks. The tadpoles are raised with soilent green, a product also made by repashy.
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    This is my first froglet in a while that displays low amounts of orange (above).
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    The final colouring most of the offspring end up with (above pictures; approx 5 months oow). I have observed the orange intensity decreases as the animals age despite occasional feedings with superpig. The metamorph below is likely the same specimen as the subadult above.
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    [​IMG] Pictured here is a froglet with high intensity orange seen next to R. variabilis 'southern'. This one was so bright it almost glowed.

    I do not have photos of the first 'batch' of offspring I raised, but I do recall that there were individuals with white banding. However, about half were tan coloured. The second group raised had copper striped individuals just like the present group I am raising.

    I have not noticed an appreciable difference in colouration of the breeding pair: the male has white banding and the female has more of an orange colouration. The heritability of orange colouration without additional carotenoid supplementation should be considered.

    At this point I will cease superpig supplementation of the breeding pair because I do like the white striping in the wild type phenotype. I am fairly certain that the carotenoids present in the superpig supplements are responsible for the consistent orange colouration seen in my offspring. To verify this idea, actual 'white' banded offspring would need to be consistently produced after halting carotenoid supplementation while maintaining the same rearing process (tadpole food, other supplements) and parents.

    I find it fascinating how the increased concentration of carotenoids in the parents might cause an increase in the gametes yielding more intensely coloured offspring. This would lead me to suspect that the carotenoids are precursors to the pigments these frogs have in their skin, and that colour enhancing supplements might be seen more effective in the offspring produced. This is by no means a study but just some observations I have noted.

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone else seen similar results?

    Ethan
     
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  2. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Very interesting thoughts. I must say I really have no clue, but I would not think that increased colour through carotenoid supplementation would be heritable. Your photos certainly say otherwise though!

    Have you changed what you are feeding tadpoles?

    I would love to hear from Ed on dendroboard regarding this question. I'll PM him.
     
  3. Ethan A

    Ethan A Contributing Member

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    Yeah it certainly is very interesting! I'd like to hear what guru Ed has to say. I've been feeding soilent green for probably three years now.
     
  4. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

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    Ed's quick thoughts below. Maybe he will post here with a more detailed response.

    --

    I'll try to get to the thread there... but your right in that in this short period of time, it wouldn't change inheritance in the sense of genetics but it is probably due to the carotenoids being sequestered into the yolk and possibly as a tadpole that could be the reason for the color change.
    For him to prove out his theory he would have to breed enough offspring that the female has depleated most of her carotenoid storage to avoid the yolk reserves.

    Given that carotenoids have a function in many different tissues and systems, he might want to use reduced amounts of carotenoid supplementation. Totally eliminating the Superpig probably isn't sufficient. He might want to at least partially switch to Dendrocare to dilute the carotenoids in the diet.

    Sorry for the stream of conscious thought answer.

    Ed
     
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  5. Ethan A

    Ethan A Contributing Member

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    Yeah I was kind of thinking the same thing as Ed! Pretty cool stuff to be able to observe. If only it would work with a green colour enhancer haha. Thanks for a second opinion.
    Ethan
     

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