|Title||The significance of color change in newly metamorphosed American toads (Bufo a. americanus)|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1994|
|Journal||Journal of Herpetology|
Color change in newly metamorphosed toads was analyzed as a function of background color, temperature, and desiccation. Toads showed no tendency to change color as a function of desiccation or temperature. Toads kept on light or dark substrates could darken or lighten (measured by comparison to Munsell Soil Color Charts), respectively, an average of 2 Munsell Color Values over a 2 h period. About half of the color change occurred within the first 15 min, and the rate of color change was low after one-half hour. Actively-hunting garter snakes caught more dark-matched than light-matched toads on a light-colored background (sand), but there was no difference in capture rates between dark- and light-matched toads on a dark-colored background (top soil). Both dark- and light-matched toads preferred the dark background, and toads moved less frequently on the dark background. Dark-matched toads tended to move more frequently than did light-matched toads on the light background. The ground color of animals caught in the wild on sunny afternoons showed a positive relationship with the background color of the substrate on which they were first observed.