Recent issues surrounding captive amphibians are often nutritionally related problems, such as hypovitaminosis A. Although supplementation of frogs with vitamin A is a topic of investigation, the underlying issue is understanding vitamin A metabolism in amphibian species. To develop a range of “normal” vitamin A concentrations for captive amphibians, baseline vitamin A concentrations must be established in wild amphibian species. In this study, two species, Cuban tree frogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis; n = 59) and marine toads (Rhinella marina; n = 20) were collected from the wild as part of an invasive species control program at Zoo Miami, Miami, Florida. Serum, liver, and whole body samples were analyzed for vitamin A content. The Cuban tree frogs showed higher concentrations on average of vitamin A in serum (82.8 ppb), liver (248.3 IU/g), and whole body (5474.7 IU/kg) samples compared with marine toads (60.1 ppb; 105.3 IU/g; 940.7 IU/kg, respectively), but differences were not significant (P = 0.22). What can be considered “normal” values of vitamin A concentrations across different amphibian species requires further investigation. Although all amphibians collected in this study appeared healthy, a larger sample size of animals, with known health histories and diets, may provide stronger evidence of normal expectations.
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