The basic ecology of torrent salamanders, family Rhyacotritonidae, is poorly known. This information lack is acute for the Columbia Torrent Salamander, Rhyacotriton kezeri, a species that is of conservation concern throughout its range. There have been no studies of its diet, which may be a significant barrier to its conservation and management. We studied the diet of both larval and post-metamorphic Columbia Torrent Salamanders in the Willapa Hills, Washington. A wide range of aquatic and terrestrial prey was documented, supporting both aquatic and terrestrial prey bases for this highly aquatic salamander. Copepoda and Diptera were particularly common in the diet of larvae, whereas Arachnida, Diptera, Collembola, and Coleoptera were more common in the diet of post-metamorphs. Our results for post-metamorphs were generally consistent with the diet of a post-metamorphic congener, R. variegatus, but demonstrate several new prey items for the family and some differences in frequencies of prey consumed.
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Vol. 93 • No. 1