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1 April 2016 Food Habits of Invasive Bullfrogs and Native Thin-Toed Frogs Occurring in Sympatry in Southeastern Brazil
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Abstract

Although the feeding ecology of sympatric anurans has been studied, less is known about the food habits of co-occurring invasive and native frog species, particularly in the Neotropics. We compared the food habits of invasive bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) and native thin-toed frogs (Leptodactylus cf. latrans) in a locality of Southeastern Brazil. Monthly field surveys and stomach content analyses were performed between September 2008–April 2009 and September–November 2009. Prey items were identified to the lowest taxonomic level and diet overlap was estimated. Juveniles of both species had similar body sizes, but adult thin-toed frogs were smaller than adult bullfrogs. Insects and spiders dominated the diets of juveniles of both species and of adult thin-toed frogs, whereas anurans and water bugs predominated in adult bullfrog diets. Thin-toed frogs consumed a larger number of prey items than bullfrogs, which in turn consumed more voluminous prey items. Aquatic and amphibious prey items were more common in bullfrog diets. Adult thin-toed frogs preyed on juvenile bullfrogs, although the opposite was not observed. Diet overlap of equivalent age groups varied from low to intermediate between species. Our results showed that that dietary differences may be one of the factors allowing the coexistence of both species at the studied area, although not excluding possible negative impacts on native thin-toed frogs because of the presence of invasive bullfrogs.

© 2016 Brazilian Society of Herpetology
Emanuel Teixeira da Silva, Camila Both, and Oswaldo Pinto Ribeiro Filho "Food Habits of Invasive Bullfrogs and Native Thin-Toed Frogs Occurring in Sympatry in Southeastern Brazil," South American Journal of Herpetology 11(1), (1 April 2016). https://doi.org/10.2994/SAJH-D-16-00001.1
Received: 7 November 2015; Accepted: 1 March 2016; Published: 1 April 2016
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