SREL Reprint #0905




Anaerobic Metabolism During Intense Swimming by Anuran Larvae

Robert E. Gatten, Jr., Janalee P. Caldwell, and Matthew E. Stockard



Tadpoles of Hyla gratiosa, Rana catesbeciana and R. utricularia accumulated little lactate during 30 s of intense swimming from 4-27 C in the laboratory or in the field.  Their anaerobic scopes are therefore considerably lower than those of adult anurans.  Concentrations of lactate and pyruvate in R. catesbetana tails also changed little with 30 s of burst swimming at 23 C, but phosphocreatine was completely depleted by this activity.  Our results are consistent with the view that the hydrolysis of phosphocreatine and not anaerobic glycolysis yields most of the energy utilized during intense, short-term swimming in anuran larvae.  The immobility that anuran larvae often exhibit after a predator attach may result from depletion of phosphagen stores and a limited ability to synthesize ATP by glycolysis.

Key words:  Amphibia; Anuran; Frogs; Tadpoles; Larvae; Anaerobiosis; Blycolysis; Lactate; Anaerobic scope; Phosphocreatine; Activity; Swimming; Hyla gratiosa; Rana catesbeiana; Rana utricularia

SREL Reprint #0905

Gatten, R.E., Jr., J.P. Caldwell, and M.E. Stockard. 1984. Anaerobic metabolism during intense swimming by anuran larvae. Herpetologica 40:164-169.

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