Alkaloids in Bufonid Toads (Melanophryniscus): Temporal and Geographic Determinants for Two Argentinian Species
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Bufonid toads of the genus Melanophryniscus represent one of several lineages of anurans with the ability to sequester alkaloids from dietary arthropods for chemical defense. The alkaloid profile for Melanophryniscus stelzneri from a location in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, changed significantly over a 10-year period, probably indicating changes in availability of alkaloid-containing arthropods. A total of 29 alkaloids were identified in two collections of this population. Eight alkaloids were identified in M. stelzneri from another location in the province of Córdoba. The alkaloid profiles of Melanophryniscus rubriventris collected from four locations in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, Argentina, contained 44 compounds and differed considerably between locations. Furthermore, alkaloid profiles of M. stelzneri and M. rubriventris strongly differed, probably reflecting differences in the ecosystem and hence in availability of alkaloid-containing arthropods.
KeywordsAlkaloids Ants Arthropods Bufonid toads Mites
J.M.W. was supported by the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program. Fieldwork on M. rubriventris was done as part of a project supported by a grant from CONICET to M.V. Permits for sample collection of the species were provided by Delegación Técnica de Parques Nacionales, Regional Noroeste, Argentina. The research at NIH was supported by the intramural program of NIDDK.
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