Neoplasia in an assurance population of Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur)

Sierra M. Imanse, Caitlin E. Burrell, Sarah A. Cannizzo, Tara S. Reilly, Kimberly L. Rainwater, Martha A. Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disease monitoring of amphibian assurance populations is an important buffer against ongoing global extinctions. This study documents a high incidence of neoplasia in a zoo-managed assurance population of Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur; PRCTs). Over 5 years, neoplasia was diagnosed in 17/49 (35%) submitted adult PRCTs and was the cause of death or euthanasia in 13/17 (72%). Most toads were male (16/17; 94%) and 6 to 11-years-old (average 8.1 years). Notably, seven toads (41%) had multiple neoplasms. Of the 29 neoplasms identified, 17 (59%) were cutaneous or subcutaneous. The most common neoplasms included mast cell tumors (MCTs; 8/29; 28%), histiocytic sarcomas (6/29; 21%), lymphoma/leukemia (4/29; 14%), and squamous cell carcinomas (3/29; 10%). Distant metastases were documented in 6/8 (75%) toads with MCTs. Causes for neoplasia in this population were not determined though may include genetic or environmental factors. Continued investigations of managed endangered amphibians will help elucidate mechanisms of carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-487
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Peltophryne lemur
  • Puerto Rican crested toad
  • amphibians
  • endangered
  • histiocytic sarcoma
  • mast cell tumor
  • neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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