Researchers Discover South American Treefrog That Fluoresces in UVA Light

March 16, 2017

Researchers in South America have discovered that the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) a fairly common amphibian, has the capability to fluoresce from a normal coloration of greens, yellows, and reds, to a bright blue and green glow when exposed to ultraviolet illumination.

The scientific term is called fluorescence, and it is apparently very rare in terrestrial animals. And until now was never seen before in an amphibian. According to a report in Nature, fluorescence was only known to occur in certain parrot species and some scorpions on land and with creatures such as corals, certain fish and sharks, and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), in the ocean. 

The researchers told Nature.com that they had pointed a UVA flashlight at a polka dot tree frog that was collected near Santa Fe, Argentina and found that the little frog gave off a greenish-blue glow instead of the faint red that they had thought it would emit.  

"We couldn’t believe it,” said study co-author Julián Faivovich, a herpetologist with the University of Buenos Aires.

The researchers hope to study more tree frogs to see if other species fluoresce like that of the South American polka dot tree frog.

Related Articles

USFWS Sued For Lack Of California Tiger Salamander Recovery Plan

Lack of plan further imperils Ambystoma californiense, conservation group says.

Australia's Armoured Mist Frog Range Expanded

Scientists move 40 Litoria lorica to new location four kilometers from only known area in which the frogs can be found.

Louisiana Proposes Endangered Status For Mississippi Gopher Frog

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also proposes permit system for taking or killing Eastern Diamondback rattler and two species of pine snake.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What is the average amount you spend per year on your herp’s veterinary care (including medication)?


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit Module