The successful spread of invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) across tropical Australia has been attributed to a lack of biotic resistance, based upon the inability of most anuran-eating vertebrate predators to tolerate the powerful chemical defenses of the toads. However, despite their high species richness, invertebrates have been much less studied than vertebrates as predators of Cane Toads. Our field and laboratory studies show that toads are killed and consumed by a phylogenetically diverse array of arthropod taxa. No arthropod predators consumed toad eggs in our laboratory experiments, but fishing spiders, water beetles, water scorpions, and dragonfly nymphs killed toad tadpoles, and ants and fishing spiders killed metamorph toads. Published accounts report predation on toads by crustaceans and hemipterans also. In our experiments, no predators showed any overt ill effects from consuming toad tissue. Dragonfly nymphs (Pantala flavescens) and fishing spiders (Dolomedes facetus) selectively took Cane Toad tadpoles at higher rates than some simultaneously offered native frog tadpoles. In combination with published data, our experiments suggest that the tadpoles and metamorphs of Cane Toads face high predation rates from the diverse and abundant invertebrate fauna of aquatic and riparian habitats in tropical Australia. The invasion of Cane Toads can potentially have positive effects on populations of many native animal species.
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. 29 • No. 1