Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Wiping Behavior and Its Ecophysiological Significance in the Indian Tree Frog Polypedates maculatus

H. B. Lillywhite, A. K. Mittal, T. K. Garg and N. Agrawal
Copeia
Vol. 1997, No. 1 (Feb. 18, 1997), pp. 88-100
DOI: 10.2307/1447843
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1447843
Page Count: 13
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($12.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Wiping Behavior and Its Ecophysiological Significance in the Indian Tree Frog Polypedates maculatus
Preview not available

Abstract

We studied complex wiping behavior of the Indian tree frog, Polypedates maculatus (Rhacophoridae) and here report that wiping expels both mucus and lipid secretions from common cutaneous glands homologous with typical anuran mucous glands. Discharge of skin secretions occurred synchronously at multiple gland openings on dorsal and lateral body surfaces when the skin was touched. Secretion also could be stimulated by epinephrine or isoproterenol and was inhibited by the β-adrenergic antagonists propranolol and timolol. These and other findings indicated that tactile stimulation of the skin elicits a β-adrenergic secretomotory reflex. The self-wiping behavior characteristic of Polypedates evolved independently but is virtually identical to that of certain hylid tree frogs which secrete lipids and then wipe themselves to become transiently "waterproof." However, cutaneous secretions of P. maculatus were shown to provide comparatively low resistance (0.1-4.2 sec· cm-1) to evaporative water loss that averaged about half that of a comparably sized ranid frog or a free water surface. Therefore, wiping behavior is not restricted to highly "waterproof" species and conceivably evolved before skin secretions provided a significant barrier to evaporation. Species of anurans that have been shown to wipe lipid secretions over the body all have geographic ranges that include arid or semiarid habitats. Dehydration stress thus appears to be the principal selective force which has coupled the evolution of lipid secretion with wiping behavior.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[88]
    [88]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99
  • Thumbnail: Page 
100
    100