SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • exotic species;
  • impact;
  • mortality;
  • native species

Abstract The early life history stages of anurans in the Family Bufonidae often possess chemicals that are noxious or toxic to predators. Predators with no evolutionary history of exposure to bufomds may be particularly susceptible to these toxins. We conducted a series of laboratory experiments to investigate the toxic effects of eggs, hatchlings and tadpoles of the introduced toad, Bufo marinus (Linnaeus), on native Australian aquatic predators. There was considerable interspecific and intraspecific variation in these effects. Bufo marinus were highly toxic to some predator species, but were readily consumed by other species without apparent ill effect. Interspecific variation in toxic effects was not related to predator feeding mode or the number of B. marinus ingested by predators, and there was no clear pattern of distribution of vulnerability among species within higher taxa. Intraspecific variation in responses to toxins may result from individual variation in the resistance of predators to B. marinus toxins, or from individual variation in toxicity among B. marinus. Some native species adversely affected by B. marinus appeared unable to detect and avoid B. marinus toxins. This may result from a general inability to assess the toxicity of food items or from a lack of evolutionary exposure to B. marinus toxins.