Changes in urinary testosterone and corticosterone metabolites during short-term confinement with repeated handling in wild male cane toads (Rhinella marina)
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Stressors generally decrease testosterone secretion and inhibit reproduction in animals. Urinary testosterone and corticosterone metabolite concentrations were measured in adult male cane toads (Rhinella marina) at the time of capture from the wild and during 24 h of confinement with repeated handling. Mean urinary testosterone concentrations increased 2 h after capture, were significantly elevated above initial concentrations at 5 h, and then declined. Mean testosterone concentrations remained elevated 24 h after capture. Mean urinary corticosterone concentrations increased after capture, were significantly elevated above initial concentrations at 2 h, and remained elevated thereafter. This is the first report in amphibians of an increase in testosterone excretion after capture from the wild, with previous studies showing either no change or decline in testosterone. This finding may be associated with the mating strategy and maintenance of reproductive effort in the cane toad, a species that shows explosive breeding and agonistic male-male interactions during breeding. The finding that testosterone excretion increases rather than decreases after capture in male cane toads shows that it should not be generally assumed that reproductive hormone secretion will decrease after capture in amphibians.
Australian Journal of Zoology
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified