Study: Some frogs produce insect repellent

ADELAIDE, Australia, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Australian scientists say they have discovered some frogs create chemicals that produce odors designed to repel insects.

Frogs are known to produce several chemicals in their skin that have various uses, including infection prevention and discouraging other animals from trying to eat them, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.


A research team led by University of Adelaide associate professor Mike Tyler and James Cook University entomologist Craig Williams therefore concluded the frogs should, in theory, also produce an insect repellent.

The research team studied five species of Australian frogs and found each produced a variety of chemicals that were secreted when the frogs became stressed. The secretions produced various odors, some of which repel mosquitoes.

"The frogs produce hundreds of chemicals and one frog's smell might be made up of six or seven different chemicals, so they all smell quite different," Williams said.

The study marked the first time a vertebrate has been found to generate its own mosquito repellent.

The research appears online in the journal Biology Letters.

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