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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 7, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P01) Can Diet Affect Coloration in Tiger Salamanders?

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AUTHORS. Katherine Novak, Heather Waye – University of Minnesota Morris

ABSTRACT. Coloration is a crucial tool among amphibians for defense, for thermoregulation, and for mating. However, not much is known about how coloration is determined. One of the major pigments found in amphibian skin are carotenoids, which have two important uses. They largely make up the orange/yellow coloration in amphibian skin cells or can be metabolized into Vitamin A and other antioxidants. How amphibians either allocate these nutrients to become Vitamin A, or as part of their coloration, is a key tradeoff that potentially shows the individual’s status of health. If the individuals have access to excess food, they will have enough carotenoids to invest in brighter coloration. This leads to the question of whether increasing their access to carotenoids through diet would allow them to allocate more carotenoids into their pigmentation. Using twelve Eastern Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) who have been individually housed at University of Minnesota Morris and six were offered a fish diet that they had been eating before the experiment as a control. The other six were offered a carotenoid enhanced krill for a total of eight weeks. Each salamander was photographed each week under the same light setup with a color standard. Before and after photographs for each salamander were compared with a color analysis R program. A significant increase in the yellow coloration of the experimental salamanders without a similar increase in control salamanders will indicate that the carotenoids obtained through diet were used for pigmentation.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD