Cooke, G. M. 2018. Use of a translucent refuge for Xenopus tropicalis with the aim of improving welfare. Laboratory Animals 52(3), 304-307.
Xenopus tropicalis is an increasingly important animal model in a variety of biological research fields. In many countries legislation exists to promote and increase welfare wherever possible, including the ability to view animals during daily husbandry with minimal stress to the animal. X. tropicalis (n = 16) refuge use was investigated; it was found that the animals significantly preferred black opaque overhead cover to open-ended pipes or closed-off ceramic plants pots in refuge choice experiments. This experiment was repeated by replacing the opaque black overhead cover with red filters. A significant preference for overhead cover was seen for the red translucent cover compared with other available refuges, suggesting that X. tropicalis may adopt translucent refuges due to their visual inabilities. The inability of frogs to see certain wavelengths of light may allow staff to view them whilst simultaneously providing the refuge of choice.