Pathogen transfer may be an important but poorly understood cost of cannibalism. Does the consumption of smaller conspecifics by Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) result in transfer of viability-reducing parasites such as nematode lungworms (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala)? Our experimental trials confirm that cannibalistic toads can indeed become infected, and our results are probably the first evidence of macroparasite transmission via intraspecific predation in amphibians. Our results also show that parasites acquired via cannibalism are viable, develop into fertile adults, and reduce the locomotor performance of the hosts. How cannibalism contributes to nematode transmission and spread in natural populations is not known, but we propose a scenario in which this interaction would be likely to increase the lungworm prevalence, intensity, or persistence.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 67 • No. 2