Ontogenetic shift in toxicity of invasive cane toads facilitates learned avoidance by native predators

Matthew J. Greenlees*, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    74 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The ecological impact of an invasive species depends upon many factors. Our experimental studies show that exposure to the tadpoles of cane toads (containing less toxin), Rhinella marina, induces predatory native frogs, Litoria dahlii, to avoid metamorph cane toads (containing comparatively more toxin) in subsequent encounters. The frog’s ability to generalise its aversion response from tadpoles to metamorphs, coupled with the toad’s strong ontogenetic variation in toxin content, which reflects its multiphasic life history, thus play critical roles in enabling native predatory frogs to survive the cane toad invasion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)458-464
    Number of pages7
    JournalAquatic Invasions
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • stimulus generalisation
    • learning
    • Invasive species
    • Bufo marinus
    • anuran

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