Palatability of twelve species of anuran larvae in eastern Texas

Abstract

We tested the palatability of 12 species of anuran larvae that occur in eastern Texas using four common predators. Palatability was determined by offering larvae to predators and recording the behavior of the predator. We also tested for ontogenetic shifts in palatability in twelve species of anuran larvae. Incilius nebulifer, Anaxyrus woodhousii, Lithobates catesbeianus, L. clamitans and L. sphenocephalus all showed evidence of unpalatability in laboratory experiments. These noxious larval anurans also showed ontogenetic shifts in palatability to one or more predators by becoming more palatable throughout development. Predator tolerance to noxiousness also played a key role in predation trials. Bluegills were the least tolerant, followed by green sunfish and dragonfly larvae. Crayfish had the highest tolerance to noxiousness.

  • Citation: Adams, Cory K.; Saenz, Daniel; Conner, Richard N. 2011. Palatability of twelve species of anuran larvae in eastern Texas. American Midland Naturalist 166(1):211-223.

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