Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio)

  • Published source details Dugas M.B., Yeager J. & Richards-Zawacki C.L. (2013) Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio). Zoo Biology, 32, 655-658.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Amphibians: Supplement diets with carotenoids (including for colouration)

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Amphibians: Supplement diets with carotenoids (including for colouration)

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2009-2012 in Louisiana, USA found that covering the rearing area (media) of prey fruit fly with carotenoid supplements increased the rate at which tadpoles successfully completed metamorphosis when fed to Strawberry poison frogs Oophaga pumilio compared to a diet of flies not supplemented with carotenoids. Pairs produced fewer clutches on the supplemented diet (average per pair: 8) compared to the unsupplemented diet (14), however, they produced more tadpoles (unsupplemented: 3; supplemented: 6) and more metamorphs (unsupplemented: 1; supplemented: 3). From August 2009 to January 2011 fruit flies were reared in conditions similar to commercially reared flies, from February 2011 to November 2012 the rearing media was augmented with carotenoid supplements Red phaffia yeast, powdered marine algae and Spirulina. The fruit flies were then fed to 50 male and 52 female poison frogs.

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