Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Tadpoles of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) do not respond behaviourally to chemical cues from tadpoles of four species of Australian frogs

Mattias Hagman A B C and Richard Shine A

A School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

B Present address: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.

C Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Zoology 56(4) 211-213
Submitted: 10 January 2008  Accepted: 14 October 2008   Published: 22 December 2008


In previous work, we have shown that tadpoles of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) strongly avoid scent cues from crushed conspecific tadpoles. Thus, identifying the identity of the chemical involved may provide novel approaches to toad control, by manipulating the behaviour of toad tadpoles. A first step in the search for that chemical is to see whether toad tadpoles are similarly repelled by chemical cues from crushed tadpoles of other species. Our experimental trials with four native Australian frogs (three hylids, one myobatrachid) show that toads do not respond to chemical cues from these taxa. Hence, the specific chemicals that induce avoidance cannot be generic ones (e.g. body fluids, tissue fragments) but instead, must reflect some underlying chemical divergence in body composition between the tadpoles of cane toads versus the other anurans that we have tested.


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