Preferred temperature correlates with evaporative water loss in hylid frogs from northern Australia

Christopher Tracy, Keith Christian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We measured temperature preferences of 12 species of hylid frogs (Litoria and Cyclorana) from northern Australia in a laboratory thermal gradient. These species represented a range of ecological habitat use (aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal), adult body size (0.5-60 g), and cutaneous resistance to water loss (R c = 0.6-63.1 s cm -1). We found significant differences among species in selected skin temperature and gradient temperature but not in the variances of these measures (an index of precision of temperature selection). The species' differences correlated significantly with cutaneous resistance to water loss, with more-resistant frogs selecting higher skin and substrate temperatures in the thermal gradient, even after phylogenetic relationships are taken into account. Because cutaneous resistance to water loss also correlates with ecological habit (arboreal > terrestrial > aquatic), we suggest that their higher resistance to water loss allows arboreal and terrestrial species better ability to tolerate high temperatures, where growth or locomotory speed may be higher, without the associated risk of desiccation. � 2005 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)839-846
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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