Larval development and metamorphosis of the olfactory and vomeronasal organs in the toad Rhinella (Bufo) arenarum (Hensel, 1867)

Authors

  • Lucas D. Jungblut,

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental and Instituto de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBYNE-CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Andrea G. Pozzi,

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental and Instituto de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBYNE-CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Dante A. Paz

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental and Instituto de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBYNE-CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Lucas D. Jungblut, Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental and Instituto de Fisiología Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBYNE-CONICET), FCEyN, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail: lucasjungblut@yahoo.com.ar

Abstract

Jungblut, L.D., Pozzi, A.G. and Paz, D.A. 2010. Larval development and metamorphosis of the olfactory and vomeronasal organs in the toad Rhinella (Bufo) arenarum (Hensel, 1867). — Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 305–315.

The olfactory and the vomeronasal system are the two major chemosensory systems found in terrestrial vertebrates. Among tetrapods, amphibians are unique in having an aquatic larval stage, followed by metamorphosis to a terrestrial adult. In the present work, we studied the histological development of the olfactory and vomeronasal organ and associated multicellular glands of the toad Rhinella (Bufo) arenarum, from early poshatching larva to postmetamorphic toadlets. As in other bufonids, the olfactory epithelium of R. arenarum in larvae is divided into dorsal and ventral branches in the rostral and mid-nasal regions. At metamorphic climax, the larval pattern changes drastically and the adult olfactory configuration develops. Bowman’s glands appear in the olfactory epithelium of R. arenarum at the onset of metamorphic climax. The vomeronasal epithelium develops early in larval development in R. arenarum, around the time of operculum development. Interestingly, a novel sensory epithelium develops in the floor of the principal chamber of R. arenarum at metamorphic climax. This novel sensory epithelium resembles larval sensory epithelium lacking Bowman’s glands, and suggests that these animals would be able to sense not only air-borne, but also water-borne odors during their adult terrestrial life.

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