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Feeding Ecology of Panamanian Litter Anurans: Patterns in Diet and Foraging Mode

Catherine A. Toft
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr. 30, 1981), pp. 139-144
DOI: 10.2307/1563372
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1563372
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Feeding Ecology of Panamanian Litter Anurans: Patterns in Diet and Foraging Mode
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Abstract

Litter frogs at two rainforest locations in Panamá elect prey in a pattern similar to that found for litter frogs in lowland Perú (Toft, 1980) despite differences in the frog fauna between Panamá and Perú. Species of litter frogs form a continuum from species that specialize on ants and mites, through generalists, to species that avoid ants and mites. Modes of foraging and predator defense and taxa of litter frogs are correlated with position along the continuum. Atelopus and Bufo (Bufonidae) and Dendrobates (Dendrobatidae) are poisonous, searching foragers which eat many small prey, primarily ants and mites, per day. Colostethus (Dendrobatidae) eat ants, but to a lesser degree, and have a more sedentary foraging behavior than Dendrobates. Eleutherodactylus (Leptodactylidae) are cryptic, sit-and-wait foragers which eat few large prey per day, with the exception of E. vocator, which eat ants in proportion similar to Colostethus. Evidence within the Dendrobatidae suggests that specialization on ants is derived from a generalized mode of foraging. Ecological correlates of foraging mode in litter anurans are summarized and are generally similar to those in desert lizards.

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