Folivory and seasonal changes in diet in Rana hexadactyla (Anura: Ranidae)

Animal Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
Journal of Zoology (Impact Factor: 1.88). 05/2009; 238(4):785 - 794. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05430.x


The autecology of Rana hexadactyla (Lesson) was studied at a seasonal locality in south India. The herbivorous larva transforms into an insectivorous frog, and a second dietary switch from insectivory to folivory occurs in adults, with plants constituting 79.5% of the diet, by volume. A variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates is consumed, especially by the adult females before the reproductive season. Larger frogs take larger animal prey and more prey types. Monthly figures of prey diversity generally show high values during the wet months.In Rana hexadactyla, the utilization of permanent waterbodies may help buffer the impact of the long dry seasons and, together with a supply of abundant food in the form of aquatic macrophytes, is thought to be linked to the capacity of the species to spawn three times a year.

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    • "Although Formicidae and Coleoptera were important prey in the diet of R. ornata, these toads apparently might feed on different prey types depending of local prey availability. Some authors suggested that the consumption of plant material may sometimes be voluntary (Silva et al. 1989, Das 1996), however, plant remains such as seeds, twigs and leaves found in the diet of R. ornata were considered as result of accidental ingestion at the moment of prey capture by the individuals because of its low volumetric importance. Analysis of our data indicated that larger toads consume more and larger prey, similar to other studies with anurans (Lima & Moreira 1993, Van Sluys et al. 2001, Marra et al. 2004, Dietl et al. 2009, Martins et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Herein, we analyzed microhabitat use, daily activity period, and diet of three populations of Rhinella ornata from three Brazilian Atlantic rainforest remnants: Estação Ecológica Estadual Paraíso (EEEP), Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA), and Morro São João (MSJ). Leaf litter (35.2%) and bare ground (29.4%) were the microhabitats where most anurans were first sighted. Activity was predominantly nocturnal, and juveniles, opposed to adults, were active also during daylight. Diet was composed predominantly by arthropods, mainly Formicidae and Coleoptera. Isoptera was of relevance in the MSJ's population. The similarity of the trophic niche (Oij) of R. ornata between populations in terms of numerical proportion of food categories consumed was 0.999 between EEEP and REGUA, 0.523 between EEEP and MSJ, and 0.505 between REGUA and MSJ, and in terms of volumetric proportion was 0.689 between EEEP and REGUA, 0.300 between EEEP and MSJ, and 0.126 between REGUA and MSJ. The mean number and the mean volume of food items consumed per individual were higher in MSJ, and there was no difference between EEEP and REGUA. These differences might have occurred due to differences in prey availability among these areas. These results reveal some level of variability in prey types consumed among populations. The number of food items was related with the SVL in EEEP, and the jaw width affected the volume of food items ingested in the three populations studied. This may occur due to smaller-sized prey become energetically less favorable with increase of anurans' body size and also because smaller individuals are relatively constrained by jaw width. Flexibility in prey consumed may result in a low trophic similarity among different populations of R. ornata, and might represent an advantage in environments with varying prey availability.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · North-Western Journal of Zoology
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    • "Plant remains were detected in half of the examined stomachs. The ingestion of plants is generally considered accidental in anurans (Brandão et al. 2003; Solé and Pelz, 2007), but folivory (Das, 1996) or frugivory (Silva and Britto-Pereira, 2006) have been reported for Silva and Britto-Pereira, 2006) have been reported for a few species. During our studies we retrieved a seed of a jack tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus) from one of the examined frog stomachs. "
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the diet of Leptodactylus ocellatus in a cacao plantation in southern Bahia state, Brazil and compared our results with data available from populations inhabiting natural and human modified habitats. Stomachs of 117 specimens were flushed whereby 77 stomachs revealed at least one prey item. Our results indicate that L. ocellatus consumes a great variety of food items at the study site, whereby Lepidoptera larvae, Coleoptera and Araneae dominated its diet. The presence of vertebrates including Teleostei and Anura in the diet revealed in previous studies was confirmed, although these items made up only minor parts of the diet. The index of relative importance showed that the diet of L. ocellatus was dominated by Lepidoptera larvae, followed by Coleoptera and Araneae. The Levins index observed in our samples was 8.51 and the standardized Shannon-Weaver index was 0.56. Apparently, the structure of the trophic niche of L. ocellatus is not affected by habitat alteration. The present study provides evidence for the opportunistic feeding behaviour and broad trophic niche breadth of L. ocellatus.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Herpetology Notes
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    • "Feeding mechanisms of most anurans is based on detection of prey by visual cues followed by capture and retrieval with the tongue (Stebbins and Cohen 1995). Dietary studies of green frogs indicate that prey choice reflects prey availability as well as habitat characteristics (Berry and Bullock 1962, Jenssen and Klimstra 1966, Houston 1973, Whitaker et al 1981, Duellman and Trueb 1986, Popovic et al 1992, Kovács and Török 1995, Werner et al 1995, Das 1996, Hirai and Matsui 1999, 2001). Diverse food items found in the stomachs illustrate the ability to utilize a wide variety of taxa. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the food composition of the Marsh Frog, Pelophylax ridibundus Pallas 1771, population from Dobromir, Constanţa County, Romania. Stomach contents of 100 (27 juveniles, 10 ♂, 63 ♀) individuals were investigated. We found that the species mainly fed on terrestrial invertebrates preys belonging mostly to arthropod groups. The most frequently consumed were Curculionida and Carabida (50%), Araneida (46%) and Muscida (41%). There are differences in diet between sexes.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2008
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