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Endocrinology of invasive Guttural toads

22 December 2020

Hormones tell us more about rapid adaptation of invasive Guttural Toads

Back in January 2019, the wonderful PhD student Adriana Barsotti visited Stellenbosch together with Dr Carla Madelaire (both from Fernando Ribeiro Gomes' lab in USP), to add some endocrinological studies to our ongoing work on invasive Guttural Toads in Cape Town (see blog post here). Within no time at all, the fab duo set to work on sampling invasive toads in Cape Town's exclusive Constantia suburb, and from there they travelled to Durban to sample native toads with MeaseyLab MSc student, Carla Wagener (see blog post here). Along the way, the two Braziliaras taught us some some useful caipirinha skills (see here). 

Now Adriana has published the paper resulting from all of her work in South Africa:

In this great paper, we learn:

Invasive toads have lower body condition and tend to become dehydrated in the more arid conditions of Cape Town;
Invasive toads have the highest BKA and N:L ratio which could favor dispersal in their novel environment;
Dehydration is a stressor for native and invasive toads;
BKA remains comparatively higher in invasive toads even after acute stressors.

...and all this after only 20 years of invasion!

Carla published her findings earlier this year, showing us that invasive Guttural Toads have changed the way that they think about water (see blog post here).

The expertise from Fernando's lab is a great example of how our understanding grows through collaborations. Not only that, but it was great fun to host Adriana and Carla in the MeaseyLab, and we look forward to hosting more of Fernando's brilliant lab members in the future.

Read the papers in full here:

Barsotti, A.M.G., Madelaire, C.B., Wagener, C., Titon Jr, B., Measey, J., Ribeiro Gomes, F. (in press) Challenges of a novel range: water balance, stress, and immunity in an invasive toad. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, pdf

Madelaire, C.B., Barsotti, A.M.G., Wagener, C., Sugano, Y., Baxter-Gilbert, J., Ribeiro Gomes, F., Measey, J. (2020) Challenges of dehydration result in a behavioral shift in invasive toads. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology74: 83. pdf

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