Thesis Title

Comparative Toepad Morphology in Chorus Frogs (Genus Pseudacris): Arboreal, Terrestrial, and Ground Dwelling Species

Date of Graduation

Fall 1999


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Don Moll


Toepad morphology was examined in the arboreal Hyla chrysoscelis, semiarboreal Pseudacris crucifer, terrestrial P. triseriata, P. brachyphona, and P. brimleyi, semiaquatic Rana catesbiana, and fossorial Pseudacris streckeri and ornata, and Gastrophryne carolinensis, using scanning electron microscopy. The arboreal and semiarboreal species have expanded digital pads, with a more or less round shape and well developed circumferal groove and ridge. The microstructure of the pad cells consists of columnar epithelium with free apices. The terrestrial species have an elongated pad with proximal extensions into the normal epithelia, and is bound on either side by indistinct folds rather than a groove and ridge. The semiaquatic species also had an elongated pad but the epithelium was cuboidal rather than columnar, and no other toepad surface morphology was found. The fossorial species also has an elongated toepad and the epithelium is squamous as is the rest of the toe surface. The fossorial species may be considered to have more derived characters than the arboreal species, whose features most likely resemble those of their ancestors

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© Lisa Marie Solberg