Chapter

Monitoring Pigment Pattern Morphs of Northern Leopard Frogs

Robert G. Mckinnell, David M. Hoppe and Beverly K. Mckinnell

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235922.003.0049
Monitoring Pigment Pattern Morphs of Northern Leopard Frogs

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Northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) are vulnerable to a herpesvirus-induced cancer of the mesonephros and burnsi differ little in susceptibility to the cancer compared with wild-type frogs. Ranid herpesvirus 1 is the etiological agent of the mesonephric cancer, and the virus is readily detectable in renal malignancies of burnsi frogs. This chapter reports the presence and distribution of the two pigment pattern variants of northern leopard frogs, burnsi and kandiyohi. It describes the capture and examination of 18,887 frogs. The rare burnsi and kandiyohi mutations have become polymorphic in Minnesota and its contiguous states. It is fair to ask if the frequency and distribution of pigment pattern morphs resulting from past mutation have any relevance to contemporary problems in amphibian population declines. Whether burnsi polymorphism is transient or balanced cannot be answered with the relatively few years' data available on frequencies.

Keywords: Rana pipiens; northern leopard frogs; burnsi; kandiyohi; cancer; mesonephros; mutations; ranid herpesvirus 1; pigment; polymorphism

Chapter.  5238 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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