Honors College Senior Thesis Presentations

Title

Diet-Induced Coloration Changes Within the Axolotl

Presenter Information

Bri BoulwareFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Pre-Vet/Vet-Tech

Minor

Biology and Chemistry

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Howard Whiteman

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

This study investigated the relationship between diet composition upon the axolotl’s, (Ambystoma mexicanum), expression of skin color. As an amphibian, the ability to change one’s skin color to camouflage better with their environment is advantageous, (Garcia & Sih, 2003). Expanding the spectrum of diet-induced color change in animals by learning what dietary needs would be relevant to obtaining and maintaining a certain hue could possibly predict what species that have limited ability to migrate may need to rely on to better adapt in response to changing environments, (Garcia & Sih, 2003). The data on diet-induced color change in axolotls is currently non-existent, however there is literature involving other amphibians, like frogs, salamanders, and certain types of spiders (Gillespie, 1989), (Théry, 2007), (Umbers et al., 2016), (McLean et al., 2019). The sample size was twenty-four axolotls and we tested them with two different dietary pellets. The control pellets were Rangen brand sinking pellets, (the typical diet of our axolotls), and the experimental pellets were Hikari brand sinking carnivore pellets which is supplemented with, riboflavin, the red carotenoids astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, crustacean meal, and the micro algae spirulina (Gupta et al., 2007). Each of the three study groups had eight axolotls with a consistent sex-based distribution. The control group was received four Rangen sinking pellets, the low concentration group received two Rangen pellets and two Hikari pellets, and the high concentration group received four Hikari pellets. Everyone was incrementally monitored over a 30-day period, (with weekly photographic sessions), for changes in pigmentation, behavior, and signs of stress. The results expected were a maintenance of their dark skin tone, (Belden & Blaustein, 2002). We also expected a mild change in pigment from ingesting riboflavin, and astaxanthin enriched food sources (Gupta et al., 2007).

Location

Waterfield Gallery

Start Date

17-11-2021 11:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2021 12:30 PM

Fall Scholars Week 2021 Event

Honors Senior Presentations

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Nov 17th, 11:30 AM Nov 17th, 12:30 PM

Diet-Induced Coloration Changes Within the Axolotl

Waterfield Gallery

This study investigated the relationship between diet composition upon the axolotl’s, (Ambystoma mexicanum), expression of skin color. As an amphibian, the ability to change one’s skin color to camouflage better with their environment is advantageous, (Garcia & Sih, 2003). Expanding the spectrum of diet-induced color change in animals by learning what dietary needs would be relevant to obtaining and maintaining a certain hue could possibly predict what species that have limited ability to migrate may need to rely on to better adapt in response to changing environments, (Garcia & Sih, 2003). The data on diet-induced color change in axolotls is currently non-existent, however there is literature involving other amphibians, like frogs, salamanders, and certain types of spiders (Gillespie, 1989), (Théry, 2007), (Umbers et al., 2016), (McLean et al., 2019). The sample size was twenty-four axolotls and we tested them with two different dietary pellets. The control pellets were Rangen brand sinking pellets, (the typical diet of our axolotls), and the experimental pellets were Hikari brand sinking carnivore pellets which is supplemented with, riboflavin, the red carotenoids astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, crustacean meal, and the micro algae spirulina (Gupta et al., 2007). Each of the three study groups had eight axolotls with a consistent sex-based distribution. The control group was received four Rangen sinking pellets, the low concentration group received two Rangen pellets and two Hikari pellets, and the high concentration group received four Hikari pellets. Everyone was incrementally monitored over a 30-day period, (with weekly photographic sessions), for changes in pigmentation, behavior, and signs of stress. The results expected were a maintenance of their dark skin tone, (Belden & Blaustein, 2002). We also expected a mild change in pigment from ingesting riboflavin, and astaxanthin enriched food sources (Gupta et al., 2007).