By Kaylin Martin
In March of 2017, a team of researchers discovered that the South American tree frog Hypsiboas punctatus turns a blue-green color under ultraviolet light. Florescence has never before been reported in amphibians.
Even though these Hypsiboas punctatus specimens in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s collection are almost 100 years old, they still fluoresce under ultraviolet light!
It is very probable that other amphibians possess the same molecules, hyloin-L1, hyloin-L2, and hyloin-G1, which are found in the lymph and skin glands and allow them to glow.
Kaylin Martin is a curatorial assistant in the Section of Herpetology. She blogs about the collection in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s historic Alcohol House, which is home to thousands of fluid-preserved specimens.