Kloh, J. S., C. C. Figueredo & P. C. Eterovick

In Issues 2021

No choice is not a choice: food selectivity occurs in different ontogenetic stages of Phasmahyla jandaia (Anura: Phyllomedusidae). pp. 513-519.

Abstract. Amphibians play important roles in aquatic habitats and also constitute important elements connecting aquatic and terrestrial food webs. The majority of tadpoles consume a large amount of aquatic resources before they metamorphose and move to the terrestrial habitat. However, the diets and specially the foraging behavior of tadpoles are largely unknown. Some studies have been showing that they can respond to factors as varied as tadpole ecomorphotype, seasonality, habitat structure, and tadpole developmental stage. Here we studied the diet of the morphologically specialized neustonic tadpoles of Phasmahyla jandaia in three different developmental stages to test for ontogenetic differences in their diet and food preferences. We found tadpoles in all stages to feed on food items available at the water surface as expected based on their morphological features, leading to great niche overlap among them. However, tadpoles in different stages still showed different electivity values related to consumed food items, showing active food choice, even within ecomophotype restrictions. Our results corroborate the complexity of tadpole foraging behavior and its influencing factors, advocating for more attention to these aquatic consumers.

Key words. Amphibia, Phasmahyla jandaia, tadpole diet, tadpole ecomorphotype, optimum foraging.

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