Effect of pond dye on the response of Southern Leopard Frog tadpoles (<em>Lithobates sphenocephalus</em>) to Western Mosquitofish (<em>Gambusia affinis</em>) cues

  • Sydney Bartson
  • Jessa Ogilvie
  • Anna Jean Petroff
  • Geoffrey R. Smith Denison University
  • Jessica E. Rettig
Keywords: activity, anthropogenic chemicals, behavior, pollution, predator cues


Pollutant exposure can affect tadpole activity or affect their ability to respond to predator cues. One commonly used chemical in aquatic ecosystems, particularly those in suburban or rural areas, are dyes used to color or tint pond water. Little is known about how such dyes impact amphibians. We examined the effects of Tetra Pond Water Shade pond dye on the activity and behavioural response of Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) tadpoles to cues from a potential predator, the Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). Tadpoles of L. sphenocephalus reduced activity after exposure to cues from G. affinis. The pond dye did not affect the activity or response of L. sphenocephalus tadpoles to G. affinis cues. Our results suggest little impact of this dye on the behavior of L. sphenocephalus at concentrations up to twice the recommended usage.

Short Notes