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Amphibian Resources on the Internet

Michael W. Nolan and Stephen A. Smith

Abstract has been positive, with global industrialization and habitat

destruction taking a toll on amphibians. To address the de-
The use of amphibians in classrooms and research labora- cline in global amphibian populations, researchers and con-
tories has increased, along with a corresponding increase in servationists alike are endeavoring to aid these slippery
the amount of information about these animals on the In- cohabitants of our planet and to save them from extinction
ternet. This review is intended to aid both novices and ex- (Choinski 1999).
perts in the search of such information. The bibliography of This review is provided to benefit those who take inter-
Internet resources is organized by discipline and includes est in the many issues surrounding amphibians. This com-
general and selected species information, taxonomy, natural pilation should facilitate Internet inquiries about amphibian-
history, anatomy and histology, physiology, ontogeny, ge- related materials. It is designed to be an equally useful
netics, conservation, toxicology, medicine and surgery, resource for all users, ranging from novices to high school
sources (for animals, housing, and research tools), listservs, biology teachers to well-seasoned researchers. Neverthe-
databases, associations, educational sources, and husbandry. less, it is not intended to be a complete listing of all
For each web site, descriptive titles, web addresses, and a amphibian-related Internet resources because the expansive-
brief review are provided. Note that the authors of this ness and time-sensitivity of the World Wide Web simply
review cannot assure the accuracy of content in these web does not favor the publication of such a document. Instead,
resources. this article should be used as a guide for finding information
that will aid in preliminary searches and that will provide a
Key Words: amphibian; animal model; Anura; Caudata; resource of established organizations that have demon-
Gymnophiora; herpetology; Internet resources; veterinary strated interest in furthering knowledge about and/or ensur-
medicine ing the appropriate care and use of amphibians.

ince the 1950s, the role that amphibians play in soci-
General Information
ety has greatly expanded. Captive salamanders and
tadpoles that have fascinated young children for ages AmphibiaTree (National Science Foundation)
are now making their way into homes as family pets. In
addition, with the expanded interests of the veterinary com- Information intended to keep visitors abreast of the most
munity, these pets are better cared for and live longer than recent amphibian-related research, including published
ever before. Similarly, frogs that have filled the soup bowls abstracts and forums for discussion of such materials.
of ethnic cuisine for centuries have recently become the AmphibianWikipedia
focus of cutting-edge scientific research. It is expected that
these animals will help unravel the mysteries of human Foundational information regarding the natural his-
development. Nevertheless, not all of this earned attention tory, classification, physiology, and conservation of
Michael W. Nolan, B.S., is a graduate student in the Aquatic Medicine
Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Vir- A brief overview of amphibian physiology and a list of links
ginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Poly-
to web pages containing information about selected
technic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA. Stephen A. Smith,
D.V.M., Ph.D., is a Professor of Aquatic Medicine/Fish Health and Direc- common amphibian species.
tor of the Aquatic Medicine Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sci-
Living Underworld
ences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of
Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University,
Blacksburg, VA. Links to general information pages for the amphibian orders
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona.
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, VMRCVM, Vir-
ginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Duck Pond Drive, Blacks- The Wildfowl and Wetlands TrustDown the Frog and
burg, VA 24061-0442, or email Toad

290 ILAR Journal
frog-and-toad.htm&2 sdamphib.html
Descriptions of the major characteristics of amphibians and A taxonomically organized list of amphibians common to
introductions of species native to the United Kingdom. southern California including links to sites containing
descriptions of each listed species.
Taxonomy Amphibians of Singapore
AmphibiansTable of Contents (US Department of Descriptions of the taxonomy of the 26 amphibious species
Agriculture, Forestry Service) that have been identified in Singapore including links to pages with textual and visual descriptions of each
contents.htm organism.
General information about amphibians through taxonomi-
cally organized links. Biodiversity Resources, Amphibians, and Reptiles
(University of Puget Sound)
Animal Diversity WebClass Amphibia (University of
Michigan Museum of Zoology) Keys for identification of amphibians and reptiles of the US Pacific Northwest, also including lists of amphibians
information/Amphibia.html and reptiles common to the North American continent.
An archive containing a photographic atlas and collection of
amphibian vocalizations, organized by species; and a CalPhotos Digital Library Project (University of
summary of amphibian taxonomy, listed by species and California)
organized by phylogenetic classification.
An extensive photographic atlas of amphibians.
Anuran Identification (Trent University) Ecology Asia
A collection of amphibian vocalizations including keys for
identification of both tadpoles and adult frogs. An atlas of photographs of numerous Asian amphibians.
Frogs of Hillwood (Nchila Wildlife Reserve)
Search Engines
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (US Textual and photographic descriptions of the 40 amphibian
Department of Agriculture) species documented on Hillwood Farm in Zambia (Southern Africa).
A comprehensive and searchable database of animal and
Frogs and Toads of Japan
plant taxonomy.
Amphibian Species of the World (The American Museum A list by taxonomic classification of frogs and toads of
of Natural History) Japan with common, Japanese, and scientific names; also including links to pages with textual and photo-
index.php graphic descriptions of the various species.
A comprehensive and searchable online catalog of amphib-
ian taxonomy.
A basic outline of amphibian nomenclature.
Identification Keys (Photograph- and
Text-based) Reptiles and Amphibians of France
Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe
Textual and photographic descriptions of reptiles and am-
An extensive photographic atlas of European amphibians
phibians found in France.
and reptiles.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Hawaii (Explore
Amphibians of Australia
A brief introduction to Australian amphibians and an exten-
sive review of the taxonomy of Australian amphibians
including a listing of endangered amphibians.
The six nonindigenous species currently found on the Ha-
Amphibians of San Diego (San Diego Natural History waiian Islands including textual, photographic, and au-
Museum) ditory descriptions.

Volume 48, Number 3 2007 291

Tadpoles of the US and Canada: A Tutorial and Key (US Mechanical sections and MRI images that demonstrate the
Geologic Society) three-dimensional anatomy of frogs.
A key for identification of North American tadpoles.
Amphibian Biology and Physiology
Natural History
A textual description of basic amphibian biology and physi-
Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center
(University of Texas at Arlington) Frog Morphology and Physiology Tutorials (Cornell
550&onlyview=1 University)
A natural history specimen collection.
Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of Natural
A photographic atlas of frog anatomy and a discussion of
History, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
amphibian cardiac physiology.
Homepage for the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians at IACUC Learning ModuleXenopus laevis (University of
the Smithsonian Institute including links to amphibian Arizona)
and reptile research pages, pages with information about
Smithsonian collections, and pages with information intro.html
about basic care of pet amphibians and reptiles. Basic justifications for the use of Xenopus as research mod-
els including a summary of clinically relevant physiol-
Anatomy and Histology
Amphibian Anatomy and Histology Ontogeny
Amphibian Embryology Tutorial (University of
Detailed illustrations of amphibian anatomy, histology, and
embryology [in German].
An interactive undergraduate-level tutorial designed to
Amphibian Histology (Trent University) communicate the principles of amphibian embryology.
DeRobertis Lab (Howard Hughes Medical
InstituteUniversity of California, Los Angeles)
Chronicle of the normal histology of amphibians including
a short discussion of histological techniques.
Homepage of the DeRobertis laboratory, with its focus on
DigiMorph (National Science Foundation) describing the molecular events of gastrulation in frogs and mice.
An interactive programming with two- and three-
Developmental Staging of Xenopus (Davidson College)
dimensional portrayals of frog anatomy including visual
depictions of frog morphology derived from images ob-
tained through computed tomography.
A photographic atlas that chronicles stages 1-50 in the de-
Les Amphibiens velopment of Xenopus laevis.
Early Amphibian Development (US National Institutes of
A systematic description of amphibian anatomy and histol-
ogy, with instructive illustrations for speakers of all lan-
guages [in French].
An online developmental biology text, with a section de-
Net Frog (University of Virginia) voted to early development in amphibians.
The Sokol Lab (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at
An interactive virtual dissection of a frog including text,
Harvard University)
photographs, and video.
Whole Frog Project (Lawrence Berkeley National An overview of the work of the Sokol lab, with its focus on
Laboratory) the study of inductive signaling and embryonic pattern formation in Xenopus laevis.

292 ILAR Journal

Genetics Toxicology
Genetic Map of Xenopus (University of Houston) Amphibian Research (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
A genetic map for Xenopus tropicalis.
The focus of the Hopkins group, on studying toxicology and
Xenopus tropicalis Home (University of Virginia)
ecology by examining the physiological impacts of both
natural and anthropogenic stressors.
The focus of the Grainger laboratory, on strengthening
Xenopus as a genetic model by establishing improved Ecotoxicolgy (Brunel University)
husbandry and laboratory protocols, and on identifying
genes involved in axial extension, morphogenetic move- The focus of the Pickford laboratory, on studying the effects
ments, axial patterning, and eye development. of xenoestrogens on amphibian endocrinology and the
impacts of pollutants from commercial aviation on am-
phibian development.
RATL: A database of reptile and amphibian toxicology
The web pages listed below are generally dedicated to
literature (Canadian Wildlife Service)
conservation and preservation of the declining global
amphibian populations.
Amphibian Conservation Alliance
References relating to toxicology in reptiles and amphibians.
Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (US
Geologic Society) Medicine and Surgery
Amphibian Diseases (US Geological Survey)
The Amphibian Research Centre
Discussion of the various diseases that have been docu-
Amphibian Research Synopsis (Aldo Leopold Wilderness mented in wild amphibians in the northeastern United
Research Institute) States, designed as part of the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative organized by the US Geological
Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network Amphibian Diseases Home Page (James Cook University)
The Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and
Management (Indiana-Purdue University)
Descriptions of diseases documented in wild amphibians
and associated with population declines, with emphasis
Center for Reptile and Amphibian Research on chytridiomycosis.
Aseptic Amphibian Survival Surgery (Yale University)
Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center Tenets of aseptic amphibian surgery including information
about anesthetic protocols and postoperative care.
The Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force Canadian Herp Veterinarians
A free online newsletter titled Froglog, which features a
range of research articles relating to the amphibian de- Contact information according to home provinces of Cana-
cline phenomenon. dian veterinarians who treat reptiles and amphibians.
FrogWatch Australia (Amphibian Research Centre and Developmental Abnormalities in Tadpoles (Trent
Alcoa World) Alumina Australia University)
FrogWatch Ontario (Nature Canada and Environment
Photographic atlas describing tail abnormalities, and a col-
lection of histopathology slides that demonstrate various
sexual abnormalities in tadpoles.
FrogWatch USA (National Wildlife Federation)
Disease Home (The Frog Decline Reversal Project, Inc.)
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Descriptions of various fungal, viral, bacterial, parasitic, and neoplastic diseases of frogs.

Volume 48, Number 3 2007 293

Emerging Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Population Housing
Declines (US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention) Each of the companies listed below sells housing units for maintenance of laboratory animals.
Review of recent research on the pathology, ecology, and
Aquaneering, Inc.
biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife dis-
eases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease.
Aquatic Habitats, Inc.
Field Guide to Malformations of Frogs and Toads (US
Geological Survey) Marineland, Inc.
Marine Biotech, Inc.
Encyclopedia of the various developmental anomalies that
have been reported including written descriptions, pho-
tographs, and radiographs of the gross lesions.
PharmHouse Aquatic Systems
Host-Pathogen Biology and the Global Decline of
Amphibians (Arizona State University)
Homepage of a group whose main focus is on determining Research Tools
the role of pathogens in amphibian population declines. Affymetrix Genechip
Merck Veterinary Manual xenopus.affx
index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/toc_170100.htm A microarray that allows for expression analysis of approxi-
Overview of clinical medicine in amphibians, written for mately 14,400 genes from Xenopus laevis.
veterinary practitioners. Bayer Technology Services
Reptile and Amphibian Pain and Analgesia products/43_493.php?mainFrame
Selected abstracts of articles that discuss analgesia in am- The range of modern in vitro methods available from Bayer
phibians and reptiles. for the investigation of membrane-bound receptors in
amphibians as drug development targets.
Veterinary Advisors (American Association of Zoo
Veterinarians) Gastromaster for Microsurgery
A list of veterinarians and veterinary pathologists who rou- The microsurgical units available from Gastromaster for
tinely work with zoo animals including amphibians. producing explants and transplants using blastulae/
gastrulae/neurulae of amphibian embryos.
Sources Millipore, Inc.
Animals 0310_XenopusCultureProducts.htm
Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (University of The different media and reagents available from Millipore
Kentucky) for use with Xenopus. Roboocyte
A genetic stock center dedicated to the supply of genetically
well-characterized axolotl embryos, larvae, and adults to roboocyte/robointro.htm
laboratories and classrooms throughout the United An available fully automated all-in-one solution for high-
States and abroad. throughput screenings based on the standard Xenopus
Xenopus Express oocytes expression system.
A source for 17 different taxa of laboratory grade frogs and Listservs
supplies for their maintenance.
HERP-L: Herpetology Mailing List (Harvard University)
Xenopus I, Inc. Internet Subscribe to: Internet Mail to:
A source for laboratory grade frogs of varying taxa and age A mailing list for discussion of scientific issues related to
and supplies for their maintenance. herpetology.

294 ILAR Journal

Herp Mailing Lists Australian Herpetological Directory (James Cook University)
Links to several nonscientific herpetology-related listservs.
ROG-NET: Amphibian Researcher Mailing List (Uni- herp2.shtml
versity of Southern California) A repository for information on Australian herpes research.
Internet Subscribe to: Bibliomania!
Internet Mail to:
A mailing list for researchers interested in the neural mecha- A searchable database of information about various herpe-
nisms of amphibian behavior. tological publications including options to purchase.
Herp-Related Mailing Lists and Discussion Groups HerpNET
Links to several nonscientific herpetology-related listservs. A searchable database of the collections of natural history
Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile museums that have collaborated to establish a global
Conservation (US Geologic Survey) network of herpetological data. Tree of Life Web ProjectLiving Amphibians
Discussions on conservation-related issues in the northeast-
ern United States. Identification keys, figures, phylogenetic trees, and other
Xenopus Listserv (University of California, Irvine) systematic information for a group of organisms, de- signed for biologists and educators teaching organismal
A newsletter with updates on research-related items con- diversity.
cerning Xenopus. Xenbase: A Xenopus Web Resource
Xenopus Listserv (University of Virginia) A comprehensive and searchable database of information
An exchange of information regarding technical advances in pertaining to both cell and developmental biology of
the husbandry, transgenesis, genetics, and embryology Xenopus.
of the short-generation diploid pipid frog Xenopus
tropicalis. Associations
Yahoo!Amphibians Group All of the groups listed below are international in scope and membership and are interested in the biology,
Distribution of knowledge about the care and breeding of conservation, and humane treatment of amphibians
amphibians. and reptiles.
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Databases Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
AmphibiaWeb (University of California) Canadian Herpetological Societies
Access to information on amphibian biology and conserva-
tion inspired by global amphibian declines. Links to various Canadian herpetological societies, orga-
Amphibian Declines and Malformations (US Geological nized by province.
Survey) The Herpetologists League (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
A government-maintained clearinghouse for information re-
garding amphibian population declines.
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)
National Atlas for Amphibian Distributions (US
Geological Survey) Educational Sources
A compilation of current and historic records of amphibian Center for Global and Environmental Education (Hamline
occurrences from published, peer-reviewed scientific University)
literature, museum records, state and regional herpeto-
logical atlases, and other confirmed and validated Resource for students and teachers of amphibian sciences
observations. and conservation.

Volume 48, Number 3 2007 295

Frogs and Amphibians Working with Amphibians in the Research Setting
A child-friendly web site containing fun facts, printable intModuleID=864
coloring pages and games, and basic information re-
garding the care of pet amphibians. Pets
Frogland Amphibiancare
A child-friendly web site containing fun facts, games, and Care sheets, articles on basic husbandry, photographs of
basic information about frogs and their care. housing units, and a section of frequently asked ques-
Reptiles and Amphibians Teacher Resources (National tions for amphibian pet owners.
Biological Information Infrastructure) Herp Care Collection
Annotated list of links to various educational resources, Links to information about husbandry of pet amphibians
organized by target age range. including sections on health, zoonotic diseases, veteri-
Trans-NIH Xenopus Initiative (US National Institutes of nary care, cleaning and disinfection, behavior, and feeding.
Health) The Newt and Salamander Portal
Up-to-date information concerning Xenopus genomics and Shared information about newts and salamanders, with an
for funding of such work by the National Institutes of emphasis on their maintenance in captivity.
Health, designed for researchers.
Reptiles and Amphibians as Pets (The Minnesota
Wildlife Habitat CouncilAmphibians: Hoptoad Habitats Herpetological Society)
backyard-amphibians.cfm A brief overview of amphibian ownership and care, de-
Habitat, amphibian life cycle, and the connection between signed for pet owners.
habitat and amphibians.
Selected Species
African Clawed Frog
Research Animals A brief introduction to the African clawed frog including a
discussion of natural history and basic husbandry.
The titles and corresponding web sites listed below are
self-explanatory. Boreal Toad Husbandry Manual (Colorado Division of
Amphibians: Guidelines for the Breeding, Care and
Management of Laboratory Animals (National 23912565-3F5F-4026-A4C3-BD34C29BB564/0/
Research Council/Institute for Laboratory Animal FinalHatcheryManual122402.pdf
Research) A thorough description of management protocols for cap- tive toads.
Comfortable Quarters for Amphibians and Reptiles in The Fascinating Mexican Axolotl and the Tiger
Research Institutions Salamander
Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles (National Research Information about the natural history and basic biology of
Council/Institute for Laboratory Animal Research) axolotls including numerous suggestions regarding hus- bandry and breeding.

Guidelines for Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Xenopus laevis Frog Colony Care
Field Research (Clemson University) Information about housing, rearing, and care of Xenopus
doc/AmphibiansReptilesGuidelines.pdf laevis and, to a lesser extent, Xenopus tropicalis.

Information Resources on Amphibians, Fish & Reptiles Reference

Used in Biomedical Research (US Department of
Agriculture) Choinski E. 1999. Deformed frogs, declining amphibians: A webliography of the web-footed. Internet Ref Serv Q 4:59-66.

296 ILAR Journal