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1 April 2017 Predation and Schooling Influence on the Primary Response of Individuals of Rhinella ornata (Spix, 1824) (Anura: Bunonidae): An Experimental Assessment of Habitat Selection
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Abstract

A limiting factor in habitat selection is the presence of predators in the environment. Schooling behavior is one of the strategies that allows organisms to become established in specific habitats, even when predators are present. Although numerous reports about schooling behavior in tadpoles of Bufonidae exist, few experimental results on the subject are available. We conducted an experiment to study anti-predatory schooling behavior in tadpoles of Rhinella ornata. A subject (only one tadpole per experiment) got to choose among treatments with other tadpoles (promoting grouping), places with only water, places with dead tadpoles and dead dragonflies larvae chemical cues (simulating predators), and a mixture of all treatments. We found that individual tadpoles of R. ornata detected the chemical cues and tended to flee. The initial preference of escaping to places without aggregations of other tadpoles has not been reported for Bufonidae. Our results do not rule out schooling in R. ornata, but highlight the occurrence of an initial behavior under stressful predatory contexts.

© 2017 Brazilian Society of Herpetology
Juan Manuel Carvajalino Fernandez and Mariana Zanotti Tavares de Oliveira "Predation and Schooling Influence on the Primary Response of Individuals of Rhinella ornata (Spix, 1824) (Anura: Bunonidae): An Experimental Assessment of Habitat Selection," South American Journal of Herpetology 12(1), 57-60, (1 April 2017). https://doi.org/10.2994/SAJH-D-16-00033.1
Received: 19 July 2016; Accepted: 1 February 2017; Published: 1 April 2017
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