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Zoolog Sci. 1995 Aug;12(4):475-84.

Orientation of the toad, Bufo japonicus, toward the breeding pond.

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Department of Biology, School of Education, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.


A variety of orientation cues has been suggested for the migration to the breeding site in adult amphibians. We categorized the cues into the following 3 groups: 1) cues from the breeding pond such as male calling and pond odors, 2) celestial cues such as the sun light and the magnetic field of the earth and 3) cues from the area or route of the migration which compose a local map such as a visual and olfactory maps. To determine which of these is used by the toad, Bufo japonicus, we designed and conducted a displacement experiment in which migrating toads from one direction were transported to the ground in the opposite side of the pond. The displaced toads were completely disoriented and moved to random directions. We conclude that the toad uses a local map to orient to the breeding pond and cues from celestial bodies and the pond are not used. We also found that adult toads tracked the same route on both trips from and to the pond. This suggests that the local map was memorized by newly metamorphosed toads at their first terrestrial trip from the pond. The next step of our study was to determine what sense is used to receive the cue. We found blind toads, whose upper and lower eye-lids were stitched together, could reach the pond at a similar rate with the sham-operated and intact toads. However, anosmic toads, whose olfactory mucosa were damaged by the treatment with a 5% silver nitrate solution, rarely reached the pond.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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