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Generally speaking, toads are laid back, easy-going creatures. But every so often a species will find itself an invader in a new land and wreak total havoc. We discuss one such toad (but not necessarily the one you might think). Of course there is a toad which is brand new to science as well, in our Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com 

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Main Paper References:

Moore, M, JFSN Fidy, and D Edmonds. 2015. “The New Toad in Town: Distribution of the Asian Toad, Duttaphrynus Melanostictus, in the Toamasina Area of Eastern Madagascar.” Tropical Conservation Science 8 (2): 440–55.

Marshall, BM, NR Casewell, M Vences, F Glaw, F Andreone, A Rakotoarison, G Zancolli, F Woog, and W Wüster. 2018. “Widespread Vulnerability of Malagasy Predators to the Toxins of an Introduced Toad.” Current Biology 28 (11): R654–55.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Landestoy T., MA, DB Turner, AB Marion, and SB Hedges. 2018. “A New Species of Caribbean Toad (Bufonidae, Peltophryne) from Southern Hispaniola.” Zootaxa 4403 (3): 523.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brown, GP, BL Phillips, JK Webb, and R Shine. 2006. “Toad on the Road: Use of Roads as Dispersal Corridors by Cane Toads (Bufo marinus) at an Invasion Front in Tropical Australia.” Biological Conservation 133 (1): 88–94.

Feit, B, CE Gordon, JK Webb, TS Jessop, SW Laffan, T Dempster, and M Letnic. 2018. “Invasive Cane Toads Might Initiate Cascades of Direct and Indirect Effects in a Terrestrial Ecosystem.” Biological Invasions. Springer International Publishing, 1–15.

Jenkins, RKB, A Rabearivelo, CT Chan, WM Andre, R Randrianavelona, and JC Randrianantoandro. 2009. “The Harvest of Endemic Amphibians for Food in Eastern Madagascar.” Tropical Conservation Science 2 (1): 25–33.

Kelly, E, and BL Phillips. 2018. “Targeted Gene Flow and Rapid Adaptation in an Endangered Marsupial.” Conservation Biology, June.

Kuo, H-Y, C-W Hsu, J-H Chen, Y-L Wu, and Y-S Shen. 2007. “Life-Threatening Episode after Ingestion of Toad Eggs: A Case Report with Literature Review.” Emergancy Medecine Journal 24 (3): 215–16.

Llewelyn, J, K Bell, L Schwarzkopf, RA Alford, and R Shine. 2012. “Ontogenetic Shifts in a Prey’s Chemical Defences Influence Feeding Responses of a Snake Predator.” Oecologia 169 (4): 965–73.

O’Shea, M, A Kathriner, S Mecke, C Sanchez, and H Kaiser. 2013. “‘Fantastic Voyage’: A Live Blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops Braminus) Journeys through the Gastrointestinal System of a Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus).” Herpetology Notes 6 (1): 467–70.

Mohammadi, S, Z Gompert, J Gonzalez, H Takeuchi, A Mori, and AH Savitzky. 2016. “Toxin-Resistant Isoforms of Na+/K+-ATPase in Snakes Do Not Closely Track Dietary Specialization on Toads.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283: 20162111.

Phillips, BL, and R Shine. 2004. “Adapting to an Invasive Species: Toxic Cane Toads Induce Morphological Change in Australian Snakes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 (49): 17150–55.

Pramuk, JB, T Robertson, JW Sites, and BP Noonan. 2008. “Around the World in 10 Million Years: Biogeography of the Nearly Cosmopolitan True Toads (Anura: Bufonidae).” Global Ecology and Biogeography 17 (1): 72–83.

Reardon, J. T., Kraus, F., Moore, M., Rabenantenaina, L., Rabinivo, A., Rakotoarisoa, N. H., & Randrianasolo, H. H. (2018). Testing tools for eradicating the invasive toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus in Madagascar. Conservation Evidence 15, 12-19.

Ujvari, B, HC Mun, AD Conigrave, A Bray, J Osterkamp, P Halling, and T Madsen. 2013. “Isolation Breeds Naivety: Island Living Robs Australian Varanid Lizards of Toad-Toxin Immunity via Four-Base-Pair Mutation.” Evolution 67 (1): 289–94.

Ujvari, B, H Mun, AD Conigrave, C Ciofi, and T Madsen. 2014. “Invasive Toxic Prey May Imperil the Survival of an Iconic Giant Lizard, the Komodo Dragon.” Pacific Conservation Biology 20 (4): 363–65.

Ujvari, B, NR Casewell, K Sunagar, K Arbuckle, W Wüster, N Lo, D O’Meally, et al. 2015. “Widespread Convergence in Toxin Resistance by Predictable Molecular Evolution.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (38): 11911–11916.

Vences, M, JL Brown, A Lathrop, GM Rosa, A Cameron, A Crottini, R Dolch, et al. 2017. “Tracing a Toad Invasion: Lack of Mitochondrial DNA Variation, Haplotype Origins, and Potential Distribution of Introduced Duttaphrynus melanostictus in Madagascar.” Amphibia-Reptilia 38 (2): 197–207.

Wogan, GOU, BL Stuart, DT Iskandar, and JA McGuire. 2016. “Deep Genetic Structure and Ecological Divergence in a Widespread Human Commensal Toad.” Biology Letters 12 (1): 20150807.

Other Links/Mentions:

CrocFest - www.crocfest.org

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

June 12, 2018

029 Striking Snakes

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Vipers, sedentary and slow, until it matters most. But how fast can vipers strike? And how do other snakes compare? We check out a couple of papers answering these questions this fortnight as well as checking in on another Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Higham, TE, RW Clark, CE Collins, MD Whitford, and GA Freymiller. 2017. “Rattlesnakes Are Extremely Fast and Variable When Striking at Kangaroo Rats in Nature: Three-Dimensional High-Speed Kinematics at Night.” Scientific Reports 7: 40412.

Penning, DA, B Sawvel, and BR Moon. 2016. “Debunking the Viper’s Strike: Harmless Snakes Kill a Common Assumption.” Biology Letters 12 (3): 20160011.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Wickramasinghe, LJM, DR Vidanapathirana, HKD Kandambi, RA Pyron, and N Wickramasinghe. 2017. “A New Species of Aspidura Wagler, 1830 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Sri Pada Sanctuary (Peak Wilderness), Sri Lanka.” Zootaxa 4347 (2): 275–92.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Devan-Song, A, P Martelli, D Dudgeon, P Crow, G Ades, and NE Karraker. 2016. “Is Long-Distance Translocation an Effective Mitigation Tool for White-Lipped Pit Vipers (Trimeresurus Albolabris) in South China?” Biological Conservation 204: 212–20.

O’Hanlon, SJ, A Rieux, RA Farrer, GM Rosa, B Waldman, A Bataille, TA Kosch, et al. 2018. “Recent Asian Origin of Chytrid Fungi Causing Global Amphibian Declines.” Science 360 (6389): 621–27.

Rundus, A. S., Owings, D. H., Joshi, S. S., Chinn, E. and Giannini, N. (2007). Ground squirrels
use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 104, 14372–
14376.

Schraft, H. A., & Clark, R. W. (2017). Kangaroo rats change temperature when investigating rattlesnake predators. Physiology & behavior, 173, 174-178.

Other Links/Mentions:

Videos from Higham et al. 2017

Rattlesnake falls down hill from Barbour and Clark 2012

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com