Late night frogging

Red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), one of the two species collected from Gamboa.

Red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), one of the two species collected from Gamboa for an experiment.

As I write this post, it is 5:44 in the morning (6:44 by Eastern U.S. time) and I am sitting in the office, “babysitting” a bunch of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) and hourglass treefrogs (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) for an experiment. It has been almost a whole week since I first arrived in Panama and it has been simply a whirlwind of activity. Every morning I am woken by flocks of parrots and every night crickets and katydids sing me to sleep. Except for this night… or I guess it’s morning now. Anyway, the amphibian microbe lab group here in Panama is conducting a grand experiment as part of the overall Panama Dimensions of Biodiversity project. This week and next week, too, we are collecting three species of frogs – Agalychnis callidryas, Dendropsophus ebraccatus and Craugastor fitzingerito study changes in their skin microbes and metabolite production following infection by chytrid in the laboratory. This night/morning we collected both D. ebraccatus and A. callidryas from a single site and brought them back to the lab for processing. Now we are watching them to make sure that they stay in their treatments for 24 hours before being moved into temporary housing. This experiment will hopefully give us a better picture of the shifts in microbial communities of tropical frogs that are exposed to Bd, allowing researchers to explore the function of microbial diversity in conferring Bd-resistance.

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