Invader control: factors influencing the attraction of cane toad (Rhinella marina) larvae to adult parotoid exudate

Samantha McCann, Michael Crossland, Matthew Greenlees, Richard Shine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

As invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) spread across Australia, we urgently need effective ways to reduce the impact of toads on native fauna. One potential approach is to target the chemical cues (pheromones) used by the pest species for communication. In particular, the ‘attraction cue’ relies on the strong cannibalistic response of toad tadpoles towards conspecific eggs and hatchlings. Chemicals released into the water by developing embryos can be mimicked using exudate from the parotoid (shoulder) glands of adult cane toads, and this toxin can be used to lure cane toad tadpoles into a trap without attracting native aquatic species. This method works well under controlled conditions in the laboratory, but we know very little about factors that influence the success of tadpole trapping in the field. Our extensive trapping trials showed strong responses to the attraction cue under a wide range of conditions, but with reduced trapping rates at low water temperature (particularly in Western Australian populations), for early-stage tadpoles, and if the bait is frozen prior to use. Efforts to control cane toads using toxin-baited traps should consider these factors when applying trapping protocols in the field.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1895-1904
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume21
Issue number6
Early online date5 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Bufo marinus
toad
marina
tadpoles
trapping
larva
larvae
toads
toxins
traps
toxin
pest species
shoulders
chemical cue
baits
animal communication
pheromones
bait
pheromone
embryo (animal)

Keywords

  • invasive species
  • Bufo marinus
  • bio-control
  • pheromones
  • trapping

Cite this

McCann, Samantha ; Crossland, Michael ; Greenlees, Matthew ; Shine, Richard. / Invader control : factors influencing the attraction of cane toad (Rhinella marina) larvae to adult parotoid exudate. In: Biological Invasions. 2019 ; Vol. 21, No. 6. pp. 1895-1904.
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Invader control : factors influencing the attraction of cane toad (Rhinella marina) larvae to adult parotoid exudate. / McCann, Samantha; Crossland, Michael; Greenlees, Matthew; Shine, Richard.

In: Biological Invasions, Vol. 21, No. 6, 06.2019, p. 1895-1904.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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