Tadpoles are often considered to be predators of mosquito larvae and are therefore beneficial for the control of certain disease vectors. Nevertheless, only a few species have actually been recorded to prey on mosquito larvae. The mosquito larvae predation rates of tadpoles of three common Thai anuran species (Bufo melanostictus, Kaloula pulchra and Hylarana raniceps) were experimentally tested. Tadpoles in varying developmental stages were used to assess a size/age effect on the predation rate. In addition, different instars of Culex quinquefasciatus were used in order to assess a prey size effect on the predation rates. All three species failed to show any evidence of mosquito larvae predation. Neither small nor large tadpoles fed on mosquito larvae. Prey size also did not affect predation. Although tadpoles do not feed on mosquito larvae, there may be other direct or indirect inter-specific interactions that adversely impact the development of larvae in shared habitats with tadpoles.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2