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Predation on amphibian eggs and larvae in temporary ponds: The case of Bufo calamita in southwestern Spain

AuthorsPortheault, Alexandre; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen ; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola
Issue Date2007
PublisherSociété nationale d'acclimatation et de protection de la nature
CitationRevue d'Ecologie (La Terre et la Vie) 62: 315- 322 (2007)
AbstractEggs and larvae of bufonids are often unpalatable or toxic. We assessed the vulnerability of Bufo calamita eggs and larvae to nine potential predators. Ingestion did not exert toxic or distasteful effects on most predators, but small predators had difficulties extracting eggs from the jelly. In laboratory, the most intensive predation was by larvae of Sharp-ribbed Salamander Pleurodeles waltl (Amphibia, Salamandridae), the common crustacean Triops cancriformis (Crustacea Notostraca) and the introduced Red Swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Decapodes, Cambaridae). Predation rate was related to the body size of predators. Predation in breeding ponds reached up to 95-100% eggs, and breeding success was only recorded in ponds without the three major predators above. While other species of Bufo that contain toxic substances are able to colonize permanent aquatic habitats, for Bufo calamita only the compact jelly of eggs serves to deter small predators.
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