CHEMOECOLOGY

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 57–62

Systemic retention of ingested cantharidin by frogs

  • Thomas Eisner
  • Jeffrey Conner
  • James E. Carrel
  • John P. McCormick
  • Amy J. Slagle
  • Carl Gans
  • James C. O'Reilly
Research papers

Summary

Frogs(Rana pipiens) fed on blister beetles (Meloidae) or cantharidin, retain cantharidin systemically. After cessation of feeding, they void the compound relatively quickly. Systemic cantharidin does not protect frogs against ectoparasitic feeding by leeches(Hirudo medicinalis) or predation by snakes(Nerodia sipedon). As suggested by our data, and from reports in the early literature, ingestion of cantharidin-containing frogs can pose a health threat to humans.

Key words

toxin sequestration predation human dietary hazard cantharidin Coleoptera Meloidae Epicauta vittata Rana Hirudo Nerodia 

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Copyright information

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart Stuttgart 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Eisner
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Conner
    • 1
  • James E. Carrel
    • 2
  • John P. McCormick
    • 2
  • Amy J. Slagle
    • 2
  • Carl Gans
    • 3
  • James C. O'Reilly
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ecology, Ethology, and EvolutionUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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