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Oribatida mites belonging to the glandulate suborder Brachypylina are an important origin of pumiliotoxins in O. pumilio. Hexane-extraction techniques indicate presence of alkaloid toxins in Brachypylina. Toxins appear to be biosynthesized in adult mites, as nymph and larval stages of the arachnid do not carry the toxins. Experimental analysis of this species of mite show alkaloid toxins are found almost exclusively in the opisthonotal glands of mites of the Scheloribatidae. Oil glands of the mite contain the toxins and are then released internally as the amphibian digests the arthropod. O. pumilio can also attribute its cutaneous toxicity to its rich diet of formicinae ants. Species of the formicine genus Brachymyrmex contain pumiliotoxins which the frogs incorporate and accumulate poison from. There is a variability of alkaloid profiles among populations and individuals of O. pumilio, which is indicative of varying levels of available prey within their intraspecific habitats. Research and physical analysis reveal that maternally derived alkaloids exist in young tadpoles. During tadpole-rearing, mother frogs feed their young an unfertilized egg from their ovaries after dropping each individual tadpole into a repository of water usually found in a bromeliad. Tadpoles lacking the obligate nutritive egg diet do not contain the alkaloid. This step is crucial for the tadpoles to sequester the alkaloid from their mother without such, young tadpoles become susceptible t...
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