Characterization of a peptide from skin secretions of male specimens of the frog, Leptodactylus fallax that stimulates aggression in male frogs.


During the breeding season of the mountain chicken frog Leptodactylus fallax, fighting between males results in the emergence of dominant animals that subsequently attract females to nesting sites. A peptide, termed Leptodactylus aggression-stimulating peptide (LASP), was isolated from norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions from male specimens of L. fallax that was not present in skin secretions obtained from females. The primary structure of the peptide was established as: Gly-Leu-Trp-Asp-Asp-Leu-Lys-Ala-Ala-Ala-Lys-Lys-Val-Val-Ser-Ser-Leu-Ala-Ser-Ala-Ala-Ile-Glu-Lys-Leu NH2. LASP had no pheromone-like action on females but had a chemoattractive effect on males and stimulated aggressive behaviors, such as rearing and leaping. It is suggested that this peptide may play an important role in initiating the competitive male-male interactions that are associated with the onset of reproductive behavior in L. fallax.