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Mechanisms of Clasping and Releasing (Unclasping) in Bufo Americanus

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image of Behaviour

Male American toads were brain-lesioned in order to locate some of the central mechanisms of clasping and releasing (unclasping). To test for these behaviors, a male toad was placed on the back of a female or relcase-signalling male. The basic bulbar clasping mechanisms do not extend anteriorly beyond the motor nuclei V. The more anterior inhibitory mechanisms are in the vicinity of the ventral border of the secondary visceral nuclei. A thalamic facilitatory area was found in the region of the posterior entopeduncular nuclei. Toads failed to release following damage to the inferior colliculi. The presence of clasping in females, and in males transected posterior to the preoptic area, shows that if clasping is affected by hormones at all, the relationship is different than that in other anuran reproductive behaviors.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for the Study of Mind, Drugs, and Behavior, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois, U.S.A.


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