ULTRASTRUCTURE OF THE SKIN OF THE TREE FROG Polypedates leucomystax

Amphibians live in varied habitats. This fact probably explains the great morphofunctional diversity in their skins. Although the integument is the structural and functional interface between the organism and its environment, the morphological and complexity of amphibian skin is not fully understand. There is practically no information on the integument of the tree frog Polypedates leucomystax found in Cherrapunjee.  Therefore, ultrastructure of the skin of the adult frog of Polypedates leucomystax was studied during the breeding phase with the help of transmission electron microscopy. Adult males and females of Polypedated leucomystax were collected from the study sites at Cherrapunjee. The epidermis consisted of four layers namely, stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum and stratum germinativum. Desmosomes, ribosomes, tonofilaments, golgi bodies, vacuoles and collagen fibres were observed in the epidermal cells.  The basement membrane composed of collagenous fibres separated the epidermis from the dermis. Pigment cells like pterinosomes, melanophores and iridophores were abserved and these pigment cells may work together to determine the varied skin colouration and patterns displayed in Polypedates leucomystax and may have important roles in adapting this frog to its environment.

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