World’s First Fluorescent Frog - The polka-dot tree frog in natural light and under UV light

Researchers at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires have discovered the world’s first fluorescent frog near Santa Fe in Argentina. In normal light, the frog appears to have a muted palette of green/yellow skin with red dots, but under ultraviolet light, it glows a bright fluorescent green, reports Nature. Researchers also found that this polka-dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) uses a combination of lymph and glandular emissions to produce fluorescent glow.

Florescence – the ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths – has been reported in many underwater creatures such as corals, fish, sharks and one species of sea turtle -the hawksbill turtle, but is rarely found in animals that live on land. The compound that causes the polka-dot tree frog to give greenish glow was not previously thought to exist in vertebrates.

Reference: Naturally occurring fluorescence in frogsPNAS | Image: Julian Faivovich and Carlos Taboada]