Malformed Frogs in Minnesota: History and Interspecific Differences

David M. Hoppe

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI:
Malformed Frogs in Minnesota: History and Interspecific Differences

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Sporadic reports of malformed amphibians are abundant in the literature, and these reports have been thoroughly reviewed prior to the recent “outbreak” of malformations as well as in papers related to the current malformation phenomenon. In 1993, residents near Granite Falls, Minnesota, reported “large numbers” of abnormal leopard frogs exhibiting extra limbs, missing limbs, and a missing eye. This chapter reviews findings of four years of surveys at one central Minnesota site to determine interspecific differences in malformation frequencies and types. Among seven anuran species breeding in the same pond, malformations were more frequent and varied among species with more aquatic lifestyles and became less frequent and varied as species' lifestyles were less aquatic. Mink frogs were the most severely affected using a combination of measures including the highest malformation frequency, the widest array of malformation types, a high percentage having multiple malformations, and the presence of particularly unique and gross malformations. Three of the species at this pond have noticeably declined and one species has disappeared.

Keywords: Minnesota; interspecific differences; malformed frogs; malformations; leopard frogs; aquatic lifestyles; mink frogs

Chapter.  3831 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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