Tadpoles and Juveniles of the Panamanian Golden Frog, Atelopus Zeteki (Bufonidae), With Information on Development of Coloration and Patterning

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We present information on developmental stages (larvae, recent metamorphs, and subadults) and ecology of the Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). Tadpoles were found in stream pools away from swift torrents and recent metamorphs were observed on gravel bars adjacent to these pools. Water quality of streams containing A. zeteki was found to have high dissolved oxygen content, neutral pH, and low levels of sulfates, nitrates, reactive phosphorous, and turbidity. As opposed to the aposematically colored adults, metamorphs and subadults of the two populations studied were cryptically colored, suggesting the absence of significant skin toxicity in the latter. Subadult juveniles often were seen in close proximity to adult males. This is unusual because outside of courting gravid females, adult males are aggressive toward other conspecifics within sight.