Thursday, May 06, 2004

Saporito et al., 10.1073/pnas.0402365101: Report on the weird finding that the toxic bioactive lipophilic alkaloids ( "pumilotoxins") of poison frogs (Dendrobates pumilio) seem to be amassed via consumption of ant of the genera Brachymyrmex and Paratrechina (Formicinae), as these were found in the stomachs of these frogs. They write that "these pumiliotoxins are major alkaloids in D. pumilio, and Brachymyrmex and Paratrechina ants now represent the only known dietary sources of these toxic alkaloids. These findings further support the significance of ant-specialization and alkaloid sequestration in the evolution of bright warning coloration in poison frogs and toads."