Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 161, Issue 5, pp 715–727 | Cite as

Orientation behaviour of toads (Bufo bufo) displaced from the breeding site

  • Ulrich Sinsch
Article

Summary

The sensory basis and spatial range of orientation to the breeding site were studied in the toadBufo bufo, during two breeding seasons. Toads were displaced passively from their breeding pond and fitted with a tracking device to record the path of migration in individuals. The directional choice and the straightness of trails after release were used to quantify the effect of experimental treatments. In both years, control (untreated): toads headed to the breeding site with the same precision at all release sites. The initial orientation of toads blinded by opaque tape over their eyes. did not differ from controls, but the return paths were not as direct. The directional choice of anosmic toads was apparently random, however, individuals followed a straight path in a chosen direction. Anosmic toads also blinded were completely disoriented, moving in cycloid trails. Bar magnets glued to the head caused an increase in dispersion of toads. However, in some individual releases a directional bias without increased dispersion was observed. Sky conditions (clear or overcast) did not influence the initial orientation or the dispersion of toads. Nevertheless, the breeding site component was significantly correlated with wind direction in relation to the breeding site. Wind blowing from the breeding site improved the initial orientation, whereas wind from the opposite direction reduced the breeding site component. The spatial range for the ability to relocate the breeding pond after displacement exceeded 3 km, but the time taken to select the correct direction increased with the displacement distance. The results indicate that after displacement the initial orientation ofB. bufo is based mainly on olfactory and magnetic cues, with visual control of straightness.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Able KP (1981) Mechanisms of orientation, navigation and homing. In: Gauthreaux SA (ed) Animal migration, orientation and navigation. Academic Press, New York, pp 283–383Google Scholar
  2. Adler K (1976) Extraocular photoperception in amphibians. Photochem Photobiol 23:275–298Google Scholar
  3. Adler K (1982) Sensory aspects of amphibian navigation and compass orientation. Vertebrata Hungarica XXI: 7–18Google Scholar
  4. Batschelet E (1981) Circular statistics in biology. Academic Press, London New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Carey C (1979) Aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure during rest and activity in montaneBufo b. boreas andRana pipiens. Oecologia 39:213–228Google Scholar
  6. Dole JW (1965) Summer movements of adult leopard frogs,Rana pipiens, in northern Michigan. Ecology 46:236–255Google Scholar
  7. Dole JW (1972) Homing and orientation of displaced toads,Bufo americanus, to their home sites. Copeia 1972:151–158Google Scholar
  8. Eibl-Eibesfeldt I (1950) Ein Beitrag zur Paarungsbiologie der Erdkröte (Bufo bufo L.). Behaviour 2:217–233Google Scholar
  9. Ferguson DE (1971) The sensory basis of orientation in amphibians. Ann NY Acad Sci 188:30–36Google Scholar
  10. Ferguson DE, Landreth HF (1966) Celestial orientation of Fowler's toad,Bufo fowleri. Behaviour 26:105–123Google Scholar
  11. Gelder JJ van, Aarts HMJ, Staal HJWM (1986): Routes and speed of migrating toads (Bufo bufo L.): a telemetric study. Herpetol J 1:111–114Google Scholar
  12. Gittins SP, Parker AG, Slater FM (1980) Population characteristics of the common toad (Bufo bufo) visiting a breeding site in Mid-Wales. J Anim Ecol 49:161–173Google Scholar
  13. Grubb JC (1970) Orientation in post-reproductive Mexican toads,Bufo valliceps. Copeia 1970:674–680Google Scholar
  14. Heusser H (1967) Wanderungen und Sommerquartiere der Erdkröte (Bufo bufo L.). Dissertation, Universität ZürichGoogle Scholar
  15. Heusser H (1968) Die Lebensweise der Erdkröte,Bufo bufo L.: Wanderungen und Sommerquartiere. Rev Suisse Zool 75:928–982Google Scholar
  16. Heusser H (1969) Die Lebensweise der Erdkröte,Bufo bufo L.: Das Orientierungsproblem. Rev Suisse Zool 76:444–517Google Scholar
  17. BaIoalé P(1984) Magnets and pigeon orientation. Mon Zool Ital (NS) 18:347–358Google Scholar
  18. Jungfer W (1943) Beiträge zur Biologie der Erdkröte (Bufo bufo L.) mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Wanderung zu den Laichgewässern. Z Morphol Ökol Tiere 40:117–157Google Scholar
  19. Kramer G (1953) Die Sonnenorientierung der Vögel. Verh Dtsch Zool Ges Freiburg 1952:72–84Google Scholar
  20. Phillips JB (1977) Use of earth's magnetic field by orienting cave salamanders (Eurycea lucifuga). J Comp Physiol 121:273–288Google Scholar
  21. Phillips JB (1986) Magnetic compass orientation in the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens). J Comp Physiol A 158:103–109Google Scholar
  22. Tracy RC (1971) Evidence for the use of celestial cues by dispersing immature California toads (Bufo boreas). Copeia 1971:145–147Google Scholar
  23. Tracy RC, Dole JW (1969) Orientation of displaced California toads,Bufo boreas, to their breeding sites. Copeia 1969:693–700Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Sinsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung MittelstaedtMax-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations