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Frugivory and Seed Dispersal by Hyla truncata, a Neotropical Treefrog

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We report observations on the use of fruits by a medium sized (ca. 39 mm SVL) neotropical hylid treefrog Hyla truncata, which is usually found in axils of the terrestrial bromeliad, Neoregelia cruenta (Bromeliaceae) during the day.
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Frugivory and Seed Dispersal by Hyla truncata, a Neotropical Treefrog
Author(s): Helio R. da Silva, Mônica C. de Britto-Pereira, Ulisses Caramaschi
Source:
Copeia,
Vol. 1989, No. 3 (Aug. 8, 1989), pp. 781-783
Published by: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445517
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HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES
HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES
76SR00819 with the University of Georgia
(SREL).
LITERATURE CITED
FERGUSON,
D. E. 1971. The sensory basis of orien-
tation in amphibians.
Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 188:30-
36.
GORDON,
R. E. 1961. The movement of displaced
green salamanders.
Ecology 42:200-202.
GRANT,
D., O. ANDERSON
AND V. C. TWITTY. 1968.
Homing orientation by olfaction in newts (Taricha
rivularis).
Science 160:1354-1355.
HERSHEY,
J. L., AND D. C. FORESTER.
1980. Sensory
orientation in Notophthalmus
v. viridescens
(Am-
phibia:
Salamandridae).
Can.
J. Zool. 58:266-276.
HOLOMUZKI, J. R. 1982. Homing behavior of Des-
mognathus
ochrophaeus along a stream.
J. Herpetol.
16:307-309.
JAEGER,
R. G., AND W. F. GERGITS. 1979. Intra- and
interspecific
communication
in salamanders
through
chemical
signals
on the substrate.
Anim. Behav.
27:
150-156.
LANDRETH,
H. F., AND D. E. FERGUSON.
1967. Newt
orientation by sun-compass.
Nature 215:516-518.
MADISON,
D. M. 1969. Homing behavior
of the red-
cheeked salamander,
Plethodon
jordani. Anim. Be-
hav. 17:25-39.
MCGAVIN,
M. 1978. Recognition ofconspecific
odors
by the salamander Plethodon
cinereus.
Copeia 1978:
356-358.
PHILLIPS,
J. B. 1986. Magnetic compass
orientation
in the eastern red-spotted
newt (Notophthalmus
vir-
idescens).
J. Comp. Physiol. (A) 158:103-109.
SHOOP,
C. R. 1965. Orientation of Ambystoma
mac-
ulatum: movements to and from breeding ponds.
Science 149:558-559.
. 1968. Migratory orientation of Ambystoma
maculatum. Movements near breeding ponds and
displacements
of migrating individuals.
Biol. Bull.
135:230-238.
, AND
T. L. DOTY.
1972. Migratory
orienta-
tion by marbled salamanders
(Ambystoma opacum)
near a breeding area. Behav. Biol. 7:131-136.
TRISTRAM,
D. A. 1977. Intraspecific olfactory com-
munication
in the terrestrial
salamander,
Plethodon
cinereus.
Copeia 1977:597-600.
TWITTY,
V. C. 1966. Of scientists and salamanders.
W. H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco,
California.
WHITFORD,
W. G., AND A. VINEGAR. 1966. Homing,
speed of migration, over wintering of larvae, and
sex ratio in breeding populations
of Ambystoma
mac-
ulatum.
Copeia 1966:515-519.
JOANNE H. MCGREGOR, Savannah River Ecology
Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina
29801 and WILLIAM R. TESKA, Department of
Biology, Furman University, Greenville, South
Carolina 29613. Accepted 9 Nov. 1988.
76SR00819 with the University of Georgia
(SREL).
LITERATURE CITED
FERGUSON,
D. E. 1971. The sensory basis of orien-
tation in amphibians.
Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 188:30-
36.
GORDON,
R. E. 1961. The movement of displaced
green salamanders.
Ecology 42:200-202.
GRANT,
D., O. ANDERSON
AND V. C. TWITTY. 1968.
Homing orientation by olfaction in newts (Taricha
rivularis).
Science 160:1354-1355.
HERSHEY,
J. L., AND D. C. FORESTER.
1980. Sensory
orientation in Notophthalmus
v. viridescens
(Am-
phibia:
Salamandridae).
Can.
J. Zool. 58:266-276.
HOLOMUZKI, J. R. 1982. Homing behavior of Des-
mognathus
ochrophaeus along a stream.
J. Herpetol.
16:307-309.
JAEGER,
R. G., AND W. F. GERGITS. 1979. Intra- and
interspecific
communication
in salamanders
through
chemical
signals
on the substrate.
Anim. Behav.
27:
150-156.
LANDRETH,
H. F., AND D. E. FERGUSON.
1967. Newt
orientation by sun-compass.
Nature 215:516-518.
MADISON,
D. M. 1969. Homing behavior
of the red-
cheeked salamander,
Plethodon
jordani. Anim. Be-
hav. 17:25-39.
MCGAVIN,
M. 1978. Recognition ofconspecific
odors
by the salamander Plethodon
cinereus.
Copeia 1978:
356-358.
PHILLIPS,
J. B. 1986. Magnetic compass
orientation
in the eastern red-spotted
newt (Notophthalmus
vir-
idescens).
J. Comp. Physiol. (A) 158:103-109.
SHOOP,
C. R. 1965. Orientation of Ambystoma
mac-
ulatum: movements to and from breeding ponds.
Science 149:558-559.
. 1968. Migratory orientation of Ambystoma
maculatum. Movements near breeding ponds and
displacements
of migrating individuals.
Biol. Bull.
135:230-238.
, AND
T. L. DOTY.
1972. Migratory
orienta-
tion by marbled salamanders
(Ambystoma opacum)
near a breeding area. Behav. Biol. 7:131-136.
TRISTRAM,
D. A. 1977. Intraspecific olfactory com-
munication
in the terrestrial
salamander,
Plethodon
cinereus.
Copeia 1977:597-600.
TWITTY,
V. C. 1966. Of scientists and salamanders.
W. H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco,
California.
WHITFORD,
W. G., AND A. VINEGAR. 1966. Homing,
speed of migration, over wintering of larvae, and
sex ratio in breeding populations
of Ambystoma
mac-
ulatum.
Copeia 1966:515-519.
JOANNE H. MCGREGOR, Savannah River Ecology
Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina
29801 and WILLIAM R. TESKA, Department of
Biology, Furman University, Greenville, South
Carolina 29613. Accepted 9 Nov. 1988.
Copeia, 1989(3), pp. 781-783
? 1989 by the American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
FRUGIVORY AND SEED DISPERSAL BY
HYLA
TRUNCATA,
A NEOTROPICAL TREE-
FROG.-Frogs are known to be carnivorous,
eating mainly arthropods (Duellman and Trueb,
1986). Although consumption of plant material
has been reported in studies on anuran feeding
habits, plants are not regarded as an important
resource in the anuran diet and some authors
suggest the ingestion of plant parts as incidental
(Korschgen and Moyle, 1955; Linzey, 1967;
Hedeen, 1972). Reports on stationary food items
(Alexander, 1964) and non-carnivorous feeding
behavior have been reported for Bufo marinus
(Alexander, 1964; Zug, et al., 1975). B. regularis
(Winston, 1955), and Rana esculenta (Tyler,
1958). Here we report observations on the use
of fruits by a medium sized (ca. 39 mm SVL)
neotropical hylid treefrog Hyla truncata (Fig. 1),
which is usually found in axils of the terrestrial
bromeliad, Neoregelia cruenta (Bromeliaceae)
during the day (Izecksohn, 1971; pers. obs.).
Our field observations were carried out at
Barra de Marica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ca.
22?57'S; 53?08'W), a sand dune ecosystem be-
tween the ocean and a coastal lagoon, typical of
the Brazilian coast. This habitat, called "restin-
ga" (Rizzini, 1979), is composed of shrub tick-
ets, cacti, and terrestrial bromeliads (see Hay et
al., 1981, and Lacerda and Hay, 1982, for a
complete description). The climate of this re-
gion is characterized by a hot rainy summer,
and a dry winter, with the annual temperature
and rainfall varying (on average) between 22 C
and 24 C, and 1000 mm and 1350 mm, respec-
tively (Nimer, 1972).
During the field work performed in the re-
gion since 1986, it was observed that some frogs
transported from the field to the laboratory fre-
quently defecated seeds. To determine if these
observations indicated fruit consumption, 81
adults ofH. truncata were collected between Aug.
1986 and Jan. 1987. The specimens were ob-
tained at sunrise when the frogs were inside
bromeliads, and presumably before much diges-
tion had taken place. As soon as each individual
was collected, it was put inside an icebox to slow
digestion. After each sampling session, the frogs
were killed, the alimentary canal was removed
and its content qualitatively analyzed. Because
our sample size of fruit eating frogs was small,
we have not attempted to determine if there
exist sexual differences in feeding preferences,
Copeia, 1989(3), pp. 781-783
? 1989 by the American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
FRUGIVORY AND SEED DISPERSAL BY
HYLA
TRUNCATA,
A NEOTROPICAL TREE-
FROG.-Frogs are known to be carnivorous,
eating mainly arthropods (Duellman and Trueb,
1986). Although consumption of plant material
has been reported in studies on anuran feeding
habits, plants are not regarded as an important
resource in the anuran diet and some authors
suggest the ingestion of plant parts as incidental
(Korschgen and Moyle, 1955; Linzey, 1967;
Hedeen, 1972). Reports on stationary food items
(Alexander, 1964) and non-carnivorous feeding
behavior have been reported for Bufo marinus
(Alexander, 1964; Zug, et al., 1975). B. regularis
(Winston, 1955), and Rana esculenta (Tyler,
1958). Here we report observations on the use
of fruits by a medium sized (ca. 39 mm SVL)
neotropical hylid treefrog Hyla truncata (Fig. 1),
which is usually found in axils of the terrestrial
bromeliad, Neoregelia cruenta (Bromeliaceae)
during the day (Izecksohn, 1971; pers. obs.).
Our field observations were carried out at
Barra de Marica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ca.
22?57'S; 53?08'W), a sand dune ecosystem be-
tween the ocean and a coastal lagoon, typical of
the Brazilian coast. This habitat, called "restin-
ga" (Rizzini, 1979), is composed of shrub tick-
ets, cacti, and terrestrial bromeliads (see Hay et
al., 1981, and Lacerda and Hay, 1982, for a
complete description). The climate of this re-
gion is characterized by a hot rainy summer,
and a dry winter, with the annual temperature
and rainfall varying (on average) between 22 C
and 24 C, and 1000 mm and 1350 mm, respec-
tively (Nimer, 1972).
During the field work performed in the re-
gion since 1986, it was observed that some frogs
transported from the field to the laboratory fre-
quently defecated seeds. To determine if these
observations indicated fruit consumption, 81
adults ofH. truncata were collected between Aug.
1986 and Jan. 1987. The specimens were ob-
tained at sunrise when the frogs were inside
bromeliads, and presumably before much diges-
tion had taken place. As soon as each individual
was collected, it was put inside an icebox to slow
digestion. After each sampling session, the frogs
were killed, the alimentary canal was removed
and its content qualitatively analyzed. Because
our sample size of fruit eating frogs was small,
we have not attempted to determine if there
exist sexual differences in feeding preferences,
781 781
COPEIA, 1989, NO. 3
and we delimit content analysis only by recovery
location, stomach vs. intestinal.
Ants, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, cock-
roaches, dragonfly naiads, beetle and butterfly
larvae, fruits and seeds were found. Insects and
spiders were listed together as arthropods. Of
the 81 stomachs analyzed, 53% were empty, 27%
had only arthropods, 14% had only fruits, and
6% had fruits as well as arthropods. Excluding
the empty stomachs, 58% of the remainder con-
tained only arthropods, 29% only fruits, and
13% fruits and arthropods. Of the 81 intestines
analyzed, 40% were empty, 53% had arthro-
pods, and 7% had only seeds. Excluding the
empty ones, 88% contained arthropods, and
12% had only seeds. The presence of fruits was
recorded in both male and female treefrogs.
The fruits and seeds obtained were small,
ranging from 3-10 mm in length, and pertained
to Anthurium harrisii (Araceae), Erythroxylum
ovalifolium
(Erythroxylaceae), and two other un-
identified plant species. The first two plants were
present in 4.9% and 6.2%, respectively, of all
stomachs analyzed, and 10.5% and 13.3% ex-
cluding the empty ones. In the intestines, only
seeds of A. harrisii were found. We think that
seeds of E. ovalifolium
were not registered in the
intestines because they were defecated or they
had not reached the intestine. We do not believe
it is possible for the frogs to digest this seed
because of its thick shell. The other two plant
species were found in only one stomach each.
The fruits were swallowed whole. Seeds in
the recta were always without pulp, but pulp
was present all through the small intestine.
Therefore, it seems that the fruits were being
digested and may be regarded as part of the
frog's diet.
In order to test the hypothesis that the fruits
were intentionally ingested by the frogs, labo-
ratory experiments and field observations were
made. In the laboratory, 146 fruits of A. harrisii
were offered to 10 H. truncata kept in different
terraria during a week. Fruits of E. ovalifolium
were not offered to the animals in captivity be-
cause they decay very rapidly. In the field, ob-
servations were made at night to watch the feed-
ing activity of the frogs.
Forty-seven percent of the fruits of A. harrisii
were eaten (6.9 fruits per treefrog in average).
As there were no insects inside the terraria, the
hypothesis that insects might be functioning as
the real attractant can be rejected. In the field
we observed one H. truncata eating a fruit of E.
ovalifolium: the frog simply snapped and swal-
Fig. 1. Hyla
truncata,
the fruit-eating
treefrog, on
a fructifying
shrub of Erythroxylum ovalifolium.
lowed the fruit. Two H. truncata were main-
tained in captivity for 4 mo on a diet exclusively
of fruits of A. harrisii and subsisted on it.
Twenty-six untreated seeds of A. harrisii, 15
obtained from the feces of captive frogs, and
11 from ripe fruits germinated in the labora-
tory, and were considered viable when the rad-
icle appeared. Therefore, because seeds of A.
harrisii that have passed through the digestive
tract ofH. truncata are viable, this treefrog may
disperse this plant species. Seed dispersal by am-
phibians has not been reported previously (Pijl,
1969; Duellman and Trueb, 1986).
Although we do not have enough informa-
tion about the microclimate in the Restinga de
Barra de Marica, we suppose that as H. truncata
probably defecates in the axils of N. cruenta, the
chances of germination are increased in relation
to seeds dropped on the sandy soil, frequently
drier than the inside of the bromeliads. We are
now evaluating actual seed dispersal and the
nutritional value of fruits in the diet of H. trun-
cata.
Acknowledgments.-C. J. Tribe, I. Sazima, and
D. M. Teixeira reviewed the manuscript. A. R.
Melgarejo made the photograph. J. A. F. da
Costa confirmed the plant identifications. This
research was conducted during receipt of CNPq
and CEPG/UFRJ Grants by the authors.
782
HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES
HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES
LITERATURE CITED
ALEXANDER,
T. R. 1964. Observations on the feed-
ing behavior
ofBufo
marinus
(Linne).
Herpetologica
20:255-259.
DUELLMAN,
W. E., AND
L. TRUEB. 1986. Biology of
amphibians.
McGraw-Hill Book
Co., Inc.,
New York,
New York.
HAY,J. D., L. D. DE LACERDA, AND A. L. TAN. 1981.
Soil cation increase in a tropical sand dune eco-
system due to a terrestrial bromeliad. Ecology 62:
1392-1395.
HEDEEN,
S. E. 1972. Food and feeding behavior of
the mink frog, Rana septentrionalis
Baird, in Min-
nesota. Amer. Midl. Nat. 88:291-300.
IZECKSOHN,
E. 1971 Sobre a distribuicao de alguns
anfibios anuros descritos da Baixada Fluminense,
Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Arq. Univ. Fed.
Rur. Rio de Janeiro 1:5-7.
KORSCHGEN, L. J., AND D. L. MOYLE. 1955. Food
habits
of the bullfrog
in central
Missouri
farm
ponds.
Amer. Midi. Nat. 54:332-341.
LACERDA, L. D. DE, ANDJ. D. HAY. 1982. Habitat of
Neoregelia
cruenta
(Bromeliaceae)
in coastal sand
dunes of Marica,
Brazil. Rev. Biol. Trop. 30:171-
173.
LINZEY,
D. W. 1967. Food of the leopard frog Rana
p. pipiens,
in central New York. Herpetologica 23:
11-17.
NIMER,
E. 1972. Climatologia da regiao sudeste do
Brasil.
Rev. Bras. Geog. 34:3-48.
PIJL, L. VAN DER. 1969. Principles of dispersal in
higher plants. Springer-Verlag,
Berlin, West Ger-
many.
RIZZINI,
C. T. 1979. Tratado de fitogeografia do
Brasil.
Aspectos sociologicos
e floristicos.
Hucitec-
Edusp,
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
TYLER,
M. J. 1958. On the diet and feeding habits
of the edible frog (Rana esculenta
L.). Proc. Zool.
Soc. London 131:583-595.
WINSTON,
R. M. 1955. Identification and ecology of
the toad Bufo
regularis. Copeia 1955:293-302.
ZUG, G. R., E. LINDGREN, AND J. R. PIPPET. 1975.
Distribution and ecology of the marine toad, Bufo
marinus,
in Papua
New Guinea. Pac. Sci. 29:31-50.
HELIO R. DA SILVA, MONICA C. DE BRITTO-
PEREIRA,
AND ULISSES
CARAMASCHI,
Depar-
tamento de Vertebrados,
Museu Nacional do Rio
deJaneiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, 20.942, Rio de
Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. Accepted 21 Oct. 1988.
Copeia, 1989(3), pp. 783-788
? 1989 by the American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
THE INTERRELATIONSHIPS OF LATI-
CAUDINE SEA SNAKES BASED ON THE
AMINO ACID SEQUENCES OF SHORT-
LITERATURE CITED
ALEXANDER,
T. R. 1964. Observations on the feed-
ing behavior
ofBufo
marinus
(Linne).
Herpetologica
20:255-259.
DUELLMAN,
W. E., AND
L. TRUEB. 1986. Biology of
amphibians.
McGraw-Hill Book
Co., Inc.,
New York,
New York.
HAY,J. D., L. D. DE LACERDA, AND A. L. TAN. 1981.
Soil cation increase in a tropical sand dune eco-
system due to a terrestrial bromeliad. Ecology 62:
1392-1395.
HEDEEN,
S. E. 1972. Food and feeding behavior of
the mink frog, Rana septentrionalis
Baird, in Min-
nesota. Amer. Midl. Nat. 88:291-300.
IZECKSOHN,
E. 1971 Sobre a distribuicao de alguns
anfibios anuros descritos da Baixada Fluminense,
Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Arq. Univ. Fed.
Rur. Rio de Janeiro 1:5-7.
KORSCHGEN, L. J., AND D. L. MOYLE. 1955. Food
habits
of the bullfrog
in central
Missouri
farm
ponds.
Amer. Midi. Nat. 54:332-341.
LACERDA, L. D. DE, ANDJ. D. HAY. 1982. Habitat of
Neoregelia
cruenta
(Bromeliaceae)
in coastal sand
dunes of Marica,
Brazil. Rev. Biol. Trop. 30:171-
173.
LINZEY,
D. W. 1967. Food of the leopard frog Rana
p. pipiens,
in central New York. Herpetologica 23:
11-17.
NIMER,
E. 1972. Climatologia da regiao sudeste do
Brasil.
Rev. Bras. Geog. 34:3-48.
PIJL, L. VAN DER. 1969. Principles of dispersal in
higher plants. Springer-Verlag,
Berlin, West Ger-
many.
RIZZINI,
C. T. 1979. Tratado de fitogeografia do
Brasil.
Aspectos sociologicos
e floristicos.
Hucitec-
Edusp,
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
TYLER,
M. J. 1958. On the diet and feeding habits
of the edible frog (Rana esculenta
L.). Proc. Zool.
Soc. London 131:583-595.
WINSTON,
R. M. 1955. Identification and ecology of
the toad Bufo
regularis. Copeia 1955:293-302.
ZUG, G. R., E. LINDGREN, AND J. R. PIPPET. 1975.
Distribution and ecology of the marine toad, Bufo
marinus,
in Papua
New Guinea. Pac. Sci. 29:31-50.
HELIO R. DA SILVA, MONICA C. DE BRITTO-
PEREIRA,
AND ULISSES
CARAMASCHI,
Depar-
tamento de Vertebrados,
Museu Nacional do Rio
deJaneiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, 20.942, Rio de
Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. Accepted 21 Oct. 1988.
Copeia, 1989(3), pp. 783-788
? 1989 by the American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
THE INTERRELATIONSHIPS OF LATI-
CAUDINE SEA SNAKES BASED ON THE
AMINO ACID SEQUENCES OF SHORT-
CHAIN NEUROTOXINS.-Sea snakes are a
group of approx. 50 species of highly venomous
marine snakes of the family Elapidae. It has long
been recognized that the sea snake genus Lat-
icauda Laurenti, known commonly as "sea
kraits," is distinct phenetically and phylogenet-
ically from the other sea snakes. Laticaudines
differ from other sea snakes in possession of
several primitive, terrestrial elapid character
states: oviparity, anterolateral placement of the
nostrils, enlarged ventral scales, and lack of nos-
tril flaps. These features suggest that Laticauda
is less well adapted to marine life than other sea
snakes and, in fact, these species are the most
terrestrial of all sea snakes.
Four nominal species of sea kraits are rec-
ognized. Laticauda laticaudata Linnaeus is a wide-
ranging species comprised of two subspecies: L.
laticaudata laticaudata Linnaeus from the Phil-
ippine Islands, Indo-Australian Archipelago,
New Guinea, Australia and Oceania (McCarthy,
1986) and L. 1. affinis Anderson from India, the
Malay Peninsula, South China, Taiwan and Ja-
pan (McCarthy, 1986). Laticauda colubrina
Schneider is also wide-ranging, almost match-
ing the distribution ofL. laticaudata (McCarthy,
1986), but with several occurrences reported in
the eastern Pacific along the coast of the Neo-
tropics (Villa, 1962; Alvarez del Toro, 1982).
Laticauda crockeri
Slevin is a form endemic to
Lake Te-Nggano of Rennell Island in the Sol-
omon Islands. It is so similar to L. laticaudata
that its status as a species is problematical
(McCarthy, 1986). Finally, L. semifasciata
Rein-
wardt in Schlegel has a disjunct distribution
(McCarthy, 1986). Western populations are
found from southern Japan southward to the
Lesser Sunda Islands; eastern populations are
centered around the islands of Niue, Tonga and
Samoa. Formerly, the eastern populations were
considered to be a fifth species, L. schistorhynchus
Gunther, but there is considerable evidence that
L. semifasciata
and L. schistorhynchus
are conspe-
cific (Guinea et al., 1983; Tamiya et al., 1983).
The four species of Laticauda form a mono-
phyletic group as shown by such synapomor-
phies as an infolded nasal vestibulum (Mc-
Carthy, 1986).
Of the recent studies dealing with the phy-
logenetic relationships oflaticaudines, only those
of Voris (1977) and McCarthy (1986) have ad-
dressed relationships within the genus. Using
morphological data, Voris (1977) found syn-
apomorphies supporting the following relation-
ships: ([L. laticaudata, L. colubrina] L. semifasci-
CHAIN NEUROTOXINS.-Sea snakes are a
group of approx. 50 species of highly venomous
marine snakes of the family Elapidae. It has long
been recognized that the sea snake genus Lat-
icauda Laurenti, known commonly as "sea
kraits," is distinct phenetically and phylogenet-
ically from the other sea snakes. Laticaudines
differ from other sea snakes in possession of
several primitive, terrestrial elapid character
states: oviparity, anterolateral placement of the
nostrils, enlarged ventral scales, and lack of nos-
tril flaps. These features suggest that Laticauda
is less well adapted to marine life than other sea
snakes and, in fact, these species are the most
terrestrial of all sea snakes.
Four nominal species of sea kraits are rec-
ognized. Laticauda laticaudata Linnaeus is a wide-
ranging species comprised of two subspecies: L.
laticaudata laticaudata Linnaeus from the Phil-
ippine Islands, Indo-Australian Archipelago,
New Guinea, Australia and Oceania (McCarthy,
1986) and L. 1. affinis Anderson from India, the
Malay Peninsula, South China, Taiwan and Ja-
pan (McCarthy, 1986). Laticauda colubrina
Schneider is also wide-ranging, almost match-
ing the distribution ofL. laticaudata (McCarthy,
1986), but with several occurrences reported in
the eastern Pacific along the coast of the Neo-
tropics (Villa, 1962; Alvarez del Toro, 1982).
Laticauda crockeri
Slevin is a form endemic to
Lake Te-Nggano of Rennell Island in the Sol-
omon Islands. It is so similar to L. laticaudata
that its status as a species is problematical
(McCarthy, 1986). Finally, L. semifasciata
Rein-
wardt in Schlegel has a disjunct distribution
(McCarthy, 1986). Western populations are
found from southern Japan southward to the
Lesser Sunda Islands; eastern populations are
centered around the islands of Niue, Tonga and
Samoa. Formerly, the eastern populations were
considered to be a fifth species, L. schistorhynchus
Gunther, but there is considerable evidence that
L. semifasciata
and L. schistorhynchus
are conspe-
cific (Guinea et al., 1983; Tamiya et al., 1983).
The four species of Laticauda form a mono-
phyletic group as shown by such synapomor-
phies as an infolded nasal vestibulum (Mc-
Carthy, 1986).
Of the recent studies dealing with the phy-
logenetic relationships oflaticaudines, only those
of Voris (1977) and McCarthy (1986) have ad-
dressed relationships within the genus. Using
morphological data, Voris (1977) found syn-
apomorphies supporting the following relation-
ships: ([L. laticaudata, L. colubrina] L. semifasci-
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... Only a few instances of frogs and toads feeding on nonanimal matter have been reported. Most prominent examples are the Brazilian Xenohyla truncata, which feeds on fruits and even distributes the seeds (Da Silva et al. 1989;Da Silva and De Britto-Pereira 2006), and the Asian Euphlyctis hexadactylus feeding on various water plants (Das 1996). Lesser known examples comprise Copiula fistulans from Papua New Guinea, whose stomachs contained large quantities of fungi (Stocks 1992), and Rhinella marina, which was observed feeding on cooked and raw vegetables, ripe fruits, and whose stomachs occasionally contain conifer needles (Alexander 1965). ...
... Pellet food is used for breeding several frogs in Asian frog farms (Pariyanonth and Daorerk 1994), Rana temporaria and Xenopus sp. as laboratory animals or for the pet trade (Miles et al. 2004). In addition, fruit eating in Xenohyla truncata (Da Silva et al. 1989) and mycophagy in Copiula fistulans (Stocks 1992) have been observed in controlled feeding experiments. In most of these examples, the ingested nonanimal matter comprised highly nutritional, easy digestible materials. ...
Article
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Although frogs are predominately opportunistic carnivores, numerous studies report large amounts of plant material in anuran stomachs, citing accidental ingestion as the likely cause. Herein, we present evidence suggesting deliberate plant uptake in the Sabre-toothed Frog (Odontobatrachus ziama) and propose that this trait is specific to the entire family Odontobatrachidae. We performed stomach-flushing on 814 frogs, resulting in 665 dietary samples comprising all 5 Odontobatrachus species and two similar-sized, syntopic frogs, Astylosternus occidentalis and Conraua alleni. We collected dietary samples across the entire range of Odontobatrachus, in both wet and dry season. Additionally, we collected stomach contents of an O. ziama population during a 12-d capture–mark–recapture study in three different river habitats and compared the consumed and available plant material. We found that all Odontobatrachus spp. ingested the pinnate leaf of the riparian tree Parkia bicolor. These leaves were the most abundant food items in the stomachs of three out of the five Odontobatrachus species. Although mean proportional uptake of the leaflets did not differ seasonally, the maximum amount of leaflets was greater during the dry season, coinciding with peak leaflet availability. We found up to 100 single leaflets in stomachs of Odontobatrachus arndti, but syntopic Astylosternus and Conraua had ingested considerably smaller quantities of Parkia leaflets. Lastly, we found a greater prevalence of Parkia leaflets in females, with significant variation in leaflet uptake between stream microhabitats that could not be explained by the availability of the plant material. Consequently, we analyzed the dietary items for co-occurrences of plant material and preyed-upon animals that would support the hypothesis of an accidental uptake. However, we could not find biologically meaningful co-occurrences. Based on the combined results of stomach-flushing, availability of food items, absence of meaningful co-occurrences of plant with animal matter and feeding experiment, we concluded that leaflets were likely swallowed deliberately, but not eaten for energy demands. The reason for the deliberate ingestion of plant material across the genus Odontobatrachus so far remains unresolved.
... Frogs and toads have been found to ingest fishing lures (Stebbins andCohen 1995), stones (Engelbert et al. 2008), and plant matter, such as seeds or flowers, if perceived as prey (Hamilton 1948, Oliver 1955, Stebbins and Cohen 1995. In most cases, it is unclear if ingestion of plant material is deliberate (but see Silva et al. 1989), but selecting for vegetation in the diet may provide anurans benefit (Anderson et al. 1999). Therefore, fruit-eating may prove to be a possible method of seed dispersal (Silva et al. 1989, Fialho 1990). ...
... In most cases, it is unclear if ingestion of plant material is deliberate (but see Silva et al. 1989), but selecting for vegetation in the diet may provide anurans benefit (Anderson et al. 1999). Therefore, fruit-eating may prove to be a possible method of seed dispersal (Silva et al. 1989, Fialho 1990). ...
... A previous suggestion, the presence of a pectoral patch of glands (also referred to as the scars of the large windows of forelimb emergence ;Izecksohn 1998;Caramaschi 1998), was not recovered as synapomorphy in a phylogenetic hypothesis that included phenotypic characters (Orrico et al. 2021). To date, there are three putative synapomorphies for the genus: (1) the presence of a small, transverse process in the urostyle (Faivovich et al. 2005) -although interpreted as a teratology by Orrico et al. (2021); (2) the frugivorous habits of the adults (data for X. eugenioi Caramaschi, 1998 are missing; Silva et al. 1989;Faivovich et al. 2005;Orrico et al. 2021); and (3) the curry-like odor and flavor that both species of Xenohyla exude, given that it is unknown for any other hylid species (Orrico et al. 2021). ...
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Dendropsophini is a highly diverse clade with a controversial phylogenetic and taxonomic history. Different generic arrangements have been proposed and the monophyly of several clades supported or rejected. Previous evidence suggested that larval morphology could play an important role in our understanding of the evolution and diversification of Dendropsophini, although data are missing for most lineages, including the sister group of Dendropsophus, Xenohyla. Herein we describe the internal morphology of the tadpoles of X. truncata and compare our results with available information for members of Dendropsophini and closely related lineages. We propose that the presence of a fan-like papilla in the buccopharyngeal cavity, a single element suprarostral, and a triangular process at the base of the muscular process are synapomorphies for Dendropsophini; moreover, the presence of a divided m. subarcualis rectus II-IV seems to be a synapomorphy for Pseudini and, the nasal sac insertion of the m. levator lateralis could be a synapomorphy of Dendropsophini + Pseudini.
... However, even though they could apparently access the same items, the Boana species likely used different strategies, as there was no correlation between head measurements and prey size in B. albomarginata. The species showed a certain opportunism in its trophic habit, feeding on arthropods of different sizes, while B. pombali preferably used larger prey, corroborating the prey selection pattern already observed for Boana species (Guimarães et al. 2011), in which the specimens with the largest head access larger prey (Silva et al. 1989, Caldwell & Vitt 1999). On the other hand, B. albomarginata showed a larger volumetric niche breadth as a means to avoid strong competitive interactions with its congener, thus covering a niche spectrum that is more relaxed. ...
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Phylogenetically close species are expected to exhibit similar characteristics related to their ecology. However, differences in some niche dimensions are necessary for coexistence. In this study, we evaluated the trophic ecology of the treefrogs Boana albomarginata and B. pombali, which live in sympatry in the Serra de Itabaiana National Park, Northeast Brazil. Data were collected for 15 consecutive days in January 2019, through active search at night from 18:00 h to 22:00 h, in the dry season. We analyzed the gastrointestinal content of 50 individuals of B. albomarginata and 31 of B. pombali. For each species, the categories of items consumed were evaluated by calculating the importance value index (IVI). We also calculate the niche overlap between species and there was a moderate (Ø = 0.62) similarity in relation to the abundance of prey, but a high (Ø = 0.92) overlap in relation to its volume. The most important categories of food items (IVI) for both B. albormarginata and B. pombali were Orthoptera (49.55%, 34.81%), insect larvae (22.27%, 14.58%), and plant material (11.17%, 31.67%). Analysis of morphometric data showed a correlation between head measurements and prey proportions for B. pombali, where individuals with the larger head ingested larger prey. On the contrary, B. albomarginata seemed to feed more opportunistically. The consumption of insect larvae and plant parts may be related to the dry season, as they provide higher energy return and water supply, respectively, for both taxa. Both species exhibited a very similar trophic niche; however, differences related to foraging behavior, resource availability, interaction with other individuals, and with microhabitat may also play an important role for coexistence of the two hylids.
... After metamorphosis, most anurans become insectivores (Duellman & Trueb, 1986 2006). Interestingly, the hylid frog Xenohyla truncata is unique among frogs with its frugivorous feeding biology (Da Silva et al., 1989;Da Silva & De Britto-Pereira, 2006). Among these diets, plant materials are rich in bitter substances (Glendinning, 1994;Wang et al., 2004), and insects can secrete defensive poisonous chemicals (always tastes bitter) ...
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Umami and sweet sensations provide animals with important dietary information for detecting and consuming nutrients, whereas bitter sensation helps animals avoid potentially toxic or harmful substances. Enormous progress has been made toward animal sweet/umami taste receptor (Tas1r) and bitter taste receptor (Tas2r). However, information about amphibians is mainly scarce. This study attempted to delineate the repertoire of Tas1r/Tas2r genes by searching for currently available genome sequences in 14 amphibian species. This study identified 16 Tas1r1, 9 Tas1r2, and 9 Tas1r3 genes to be intact and another 17 Tas1r genes to be pseudogenes or absent in the 14 amphibians. According to the functional prediction of Tas1r genes, two species have lost sweet sensation and seven species have lost both umami and sweet sensations. Anurans possessed a large number of intact Tas2rs, ranging from 39 to 178. In contrast, caecilians possessed a contractive bitter taste repertoire, ranging from 4 to 19. Phylogenetic and reconciling analysis revealed that the repertoire of amphibian Tas1rs and Tas2rs was shaped by massive gene duplications and losses. No correlation was found between feeding preferences and the evolution of Tas1rs in amphibians. However, the expansion of Tas2rs may help amphibians adapt to both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Bitter detection may have played an important role in the evolutionary adaptation of vertebrates in the transition from water to land.
... Little is known about Xenohyla, and data are highly skewed to one of the species: X. truncata. This species is the only anuran species that has been demonstrated to include fruits as an important dietary constituent (Silva et al., 1989), and it acts as seed disperser for at least four plant species (Fialho, 1990;Silva and Britto-Pereira, 2006). Adults are bromeliad dwellers, but tadpoles are found in ponds (Izecksohn, 1996). ...
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We provide data on the advertisement call and karyotype of the enigmatic anuran Xenohyla eugenioifrom the municipality of Ipirá, State of Bahia, Brazil. The advertisement call is formed by a single multi-pulsed note of 0.111 ± 0.015 s of duration and with dominant frequency of 1033.6– 2873.6 Hz along two bands. The species presents 2n = 24 chromosomes and fundamental number = 48. DAPI staining revealed positive labeling on centromeric position in all chromosomes, while FISH using telomeric probe labeled all chromosomal ends. These data shed light on the evolutionary history of the genus and contribute to understanding evolutionary aspects of its sister genus Dendropsophus.
... Their diets consist mostly of invertebrates, with only occasional consumption of vertebrates (Toft 1980(Toft , 1981Toledo et al. 2007;Carmo & Woitovicz-Cardoso 2018). Even with some species exhibiting frugivorous habits, these consumption activities are unusual for amphibians (Silva et al. 1989;Das 1996). ...
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Diet is one of the most important dimensions of the ecological niche. Pseudopaludicola genus comprises 25 species of which four have their diet studied. In this study, we quantify the diet of the recently described Pseudopaludicola restinga, which is found in sandy coastal environments of southeastern Brazil. We obtained a sample of 137 individuals from Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba from which 97 were used in analyses of diet composition. We registered 136 prey items distributed in 10 prey categories. Only arthropods were consumed. Insects were the most common food items. Hymenoptera was the most important item in terms of prey frequency, number, and index of relative importance. The variety of prey categories suggests that P. restinga is an opportunistic predator. In comparison with dietary information available for other four Pseudopaludicola species, P. restinga has intermediate values of the number of prey items, niche breadth, and importance index. This study is the first to document aspects of the natural history of P. restinga and to compare it with data available for congeners. Data brought here provide a better understanding of life history aspects of P. restinga. These information hence could guide development of effective conservation strategies for this poorly known species.
Technical Report
Review of the wider benefits and ecosystem services provided by the conservation of the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus; Amphibia: Salamandridae) with particular reference to locations in North East Wales, UK.
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Anurans are predator and prey, playing an important role in ecosystem functioning. The diet composition is closely related to feeding strategy, and the information about prey items is useful to understand intra and interspecific interactions in trophic webs. Here we determined diet composition, feeding strategy, and relation between prey ingestion and body measures of Crossodactylus timbuhy, a recently described anuran species. We found 466 prey items from 20 prey categories in the stomach of 66 specimens (15 males and 51 females) of C. timbuhy. The diet consists mostly of Formicidae and Coleoptera, the items with the highest number, frequency of occurrence and prey importance. The diet composition was relatively similar to other species of Crossodactylus. Prey volume was positively related to frog size and weight, suggesting frogs may feed upon any prey they can swallow. Diet showed some variation between sexes. Despite females were larger and heavier than males, females had higher consumption of smaller prey, and ingested a larger number of prey categories. We suggest C. timbuhy has an invertebrate-opportunistic feeding habit. It is likely C. timbuhy uses a combination of ‘sit-and-wait’ and ‘active search’ strategies due to high consumption of both highly mobile and sedentary prey.
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Bufo marinus was introduced into the New Guinea region in the late 1930s. Its present distribution in Papua New Guinea is mapped. In the Port Moresby area, the population of Bufo marinus is capable of reproduction at any time of the year. Sampling at a rain forest and a savanna site near Port Moresby showed that the density of savanna toads is 10 times that of rain forest toads but that the rain forest toads are longer and heavier. This size difference probably results from the greater amounts of food and a larger proportion of proteinaceous food in the stomachs of rain forest toads. No native frogs appear to have been displaced by the successful invasion of the toad. Similarly, no native animals have become apparent toad predators. The literature on Bufo marinus ecology is summarized.
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Data were obtained from the examination of 455 stomachs of bullfrogs collected from farm ponds between the inclusive dates, April 11, 1950, to October 21, 1951. Bullfrogs for study were obtained by hand-grabbing, by gigging, or by shooting with a .22 caliber rifle and shot-shells, in each case aided by a strong light. Food habits data were obtained for almost the entire period that bullfrogs were out of hibernation in Missouri (March through October). The data, presented as monthly and seasonal percentages, revealed definite changes in feeding habits throughout the year. Principal foods consumed closely parallel availability, with noted exceptions. A total of 82 animal and 33 plant foods were identified in the stomach contents. Principal foods, by major group, with percentages by volume, were as follows: Insects, 32.6%; crayfish, 26.4%; frogs, 11.1%; tadpoles, 10.4%; meadow mouse, 3.0%; fish, 2.8%; birds, 2.2%; snails, 2.1%; toad, 2.0%; miscellaneous invertebrates, 1.9%; and snapping turtle, 1.0%. Plant materials, consisting mainly of unclassified vegetative parts, leaf fragments, and filamentous algae, were found in 53.8 per cent of the stomachs examined, and comprised 3.0 per cent of the total volume of stomach contents. Plant materials, nevertheless, were considered to have been taken accidentally with animal foods.
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Sixteen recently metamorphosed and forty-seven mature frogs were captured and the stomach contents examined. In view of the more limited choice of available prey imposed upon the former, due to the smaller jaw span, it was decided to tabulate the contents separately. Aposematic prey formed a substantial proportion of the diet. Large numbers of flowers were recovered from several stomachs. Specific choice of prey varied with the individual, and it was concluded that R. esculenta as a species is not selective. In the natural habitat R. esculenta does not by choice leave the water to feed unless there are insufficient aquatic prey. It was found that mature adult frogs showed cannibalistic tendencies and this, coupled with a thermotactic response, influenced their distribution within the habitat.
Observations on the feed-ing behavior ofBufo marinus (Linne)
  • Herpetological Notes Herpetological Notes Literature Cited Alexander
HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES HERPETOLOGICAL NOTES LITERATURE CITED ALEXANDER, T. R. 1964. Observations on the feed-ing behavior ofBufo marinus (Linne). Herpetologica 20:255-259.