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1 December 2004 Phenotypically Plastic Responses of Larval Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum, to Different Predators
Andrew Storfer, Candace White
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Studies of prey responses to different predators are needed to investigate costs and benefits of particular antipredator responses and to unravel community-level effects on phenotypic plasticity. We reared laboratory-bred larvae of Arizona Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum with either of two common predators, diving beetle larvae (Dytiscus sp.) or dragonfly naiads (Anax junius). Relative to controls, salamander larvae in both predator treatments had shorter snout–vent lengths and deeper tails; these differences may be related to increased swimming ability. In addition, larvae reared with dragonfly naiads had shorter tails than those reared with diving beetle larvae, possibly in response to different predator foraging strategies or differences in strength of selection imposed by each. Salamander larvae from predator treatments weighed less than controls, with salamanders reared with dragonflies weighing the least. This suggests that salamanders respond more strongly to dragonfly naiads than diving beetles and that dragonflies may be a more important predator. Thus, salamander larvae may distinguish between different predators, highlighting the utility of studying effects of multiple predators on phenotypic plasticity of prey.

Andrew Storfer and Candace White "Phenotypically Plastic Responses of Larval Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum, to Different Predators," Journal of Herpetology 38(4), 612-615, (1 December 2004).
Accepted: 1 August 2004; Published: 1 December 2004

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