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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 15;175(2):284-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.11.023. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Individual variation and repeatability in urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to capture in the cane toad (Rhinella marina).

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Environmental Futures Centre, School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD 4222, Australia.


Urinary corticosterone metabolite enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) can be used for the non-invasive assessment of baseline levels and corticosterone responses in amphibians. In this study, urinary corticosterone responses of wild male cane toads (Rhinella marina) to confinement and repeated handling were measured to quantify individual variation in corticosterone responses for the first time in an amphibian species. Urine samples were collected at 0 h in the wild, hourly from 2 to 8 h after transfer into captivity, and again at 12 and 24 h in captivity. Toads were then held in captivity and subjected to the same sampling protocol on three occasions at 14 days intervals to quantify variation in corticosterone metabolite responses within and between toads. Baseline and individual corticosterone metabolite responses in male cane toads were generally consistent, with high statistical repeatabilities for 0 h (r=0.630), 6 h (r=0.793), 12 h (r=0.652) and 24 h (r=0.721) corticosterone metabolite concentrations, and for the total and corrected integrated corticosterone responses (r=0.567, p=0.033; r=0.728, p=0.014 respectively). Urinary corticosterone responses appear to be a stable, repeatable trait within individuals. Corticosterone responses in amphibians can be more readily measured when urine rather than plasma samples are collected, and the protocol established in the current study can now be applied to the study of variation in corticosterone responses in other amphibians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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