INSTITUTO DE QUIMICA, FISICA DE LOS MATERIALES, MEDIOAMBIENTE Y ENERGIA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Naturally occurring fluorescence in frogs
JULIÁN FAIVOVICH; LUCÍA B. CHEMES; FAUSTO CARNEVALE NETO; CARLOS TABOADA; NORBERTO PEPORINE LOPES; DARÍO A. ESTRIN; ANDRÉS E. BRUNETTI; MARÍA G. LAGORIO; SARA E. BARI; FEDERICO N. PEDRON
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Año: 2017 vol. 114 p. 3672 - 3672
Fluorescence, the absorption of short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation reemitted at longer wavelengths, has been suggested to play several biological roles in metazoans. This phenomenon is uncommon in tetrapods, being restricted mostly to parrots and marine turtles. We report fluorescence in amphibians, in the tree frog Hypsiboas punctatus, showing that fluorescence in living frogs is produced by a combination of lymph and glandular emission, with pigmentary cell filtering in the skin. The chemical origin of fluorescence was traced to a class of fluorescent compounds derived from dihydroisoquinolinone, here named hyloins. We show that fluorescence contributes 18−29% of the total emerging light under twilight and nocturnal scenarios, largely enhancing brightness of the individuals and matching the sensitivity of night vision in amphibians. These results introduce an unprecedented source of pigmentation in amphibians and highlight the potential relevance of fluorescence in visual perception in terrestrial environments.