SREL Reprint #2823




Cryptic Behavior Is Independent of Dorsal Color Polymorphism in Juvenile Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana pipiens)

Dean A. Croshaw

University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, Michigan 49769, USA

Abstract: Animals that are susceptible to predation sometimes engage in crypsis to conceal themselves
from predators. Such behavior often consists of background color matching via substrate choice. Intraspecific color variation may result in differential substrate preference among color morphs. I investigated this idea using juvenile Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana pipiens), which exhibit either green or brown background color. Both color morphs spent more time on dark, concealing substrates than light, revealing ones and hopped less frequently when located on dark, concealing substrates. Frogs did not respond differently to green and brown fabric substrates, and they preferred brown natural substrates over green ones. Because green and brown frogs did not behave differently in any experiment, this study suggests that juvenile Northern Leopard Frogs exhibit a generalized cryptic behavior pattern independent of background body color.

SREL Reprint #2823

Croshaw, D. A. 2005. Cryptic behavior is independent of dorsal color polymorphism in juvenile northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens). Journal of Herpetology 39:125-129.

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