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.
Australian Journal of Zoology – CSIRO Publishing
Published: Dec 22, 2008