Purdue University

Bernal Lab

Cane toads from the invasive range are less neophobic than those from the native range

June 2015

3-cane-toads-neophobia.jpg

It is beneficial to be bold when colonizing new habitats. Bold behavior, however, may be risky. As part of her work as a master's student, Sarah Candler investigated the response of the toads to novel prey in native and invasive populations. We found that cane toads from introduced populations are less afraid of novelty than toads from native populations. Introduced toads are more willing to exploit and eat novel food and eat familiar food by a novel object. We propose this bolder behavior has facilitated their successful establishment. This is the first study to examine the role of neophobia at promoting invasions in anurans. Check out our study recently published in Behavioral Ecology:

Candler, S.A. & Bernal, X.E. 2015. Differences in neophobia between cane toads from introduced and native populations. Behavior Ecology 26:97-104. (PDF)