Adelphobates galactonotus (Steindachner, 1864)
Splash-Backed Poison Frog
© 2004 John White (1 of 18)
Distribution and Habitat
Bright colors may serve to warn predators that potential prey are toxic, so one might predict that predators are the main factor driving diversification in warning signals. However, several studies of color polymorphisms in poison frogs suggest otherwise. In one study, Jeckel et al. (2019) found Adelphobates galactonotus from two localities with distinct color morphs did not differ in their toxin profiles or palatability. They suggest the color difference is unlikely to have evolved from predation pressures and instead be a product of parental imprinting and sexual selection, as was found in Oophaga pumilio by Yang et al. (2019) [News of the Week Nov 11, 2019]. In another, Rojas et al. (2019) reconstructed the evolution of color in >200 individuals of A. galactonotus and found that transitions between color morphs have occurred several times. Using mtDNA and a SNP matrix, they found population structure was mostly explained by geographic distance (not color), and that population sizes were relatively small. Rojas et al suggest that genetic drift likely played a role shaping the current diversity of colors in this species. Finally, a study by Lawrence et al. (2019) [News of the Week October 28, 2019] suggest that a suboptimal warning signal in Dendrobates tinctorius arose through drift. These studies mark a shift in how evolutionary biologists are thinking about signal diversity in toxic animals. (Rebecca Tarvin)
Originally submitted by: Michelle S. Koo (2021-07-21)
Distribution by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-08-24)
Comments by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-08-24)
Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2021-08-24)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Adelphobates galactonotus: Splash-Backed Poison Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/1631> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 2, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Oct 2023.
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