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Lethal Parasitism of an Aposematic Anuran (Atelopus varius) by Notochaeta bufonivora (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)

Martha L. Crump and J. Alan Pounds
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 71, No. 5 (Oct., 1985), pp. 588-591
DOI: 10.2307/3281428
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3281428
Page Count: 4
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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.
Lethal Parasitism of an Aposematic Anuran (Atelopus varius) by Notochaeta bufonivora (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)
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Abstract

Larvae of Notochaeta bufonivora (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) were found parasitizing harlequin frogs, Atelopus varius (Anura: Bufonidae) along a stream in Costa Rica during dry season. This association is unusual because these frogs, which are brightly colored, diurnal, and slow-moving, contain a potent neurotoxin (tetrodotoxin) in their integument. Frogs in the early stages of myiasis had a single small wound on the posterior surface of 1 thigh; all hosts died within 4 days after we found them. After maggots crawled out from the dead frogs, we placed them in vials with wet paper towel where they pupated within 48 hr; eclosion occurred within 17 to 30 days. Female frogs were parasitized out of proportion to their occurrence in the habitat relative to males. Flies attacked frogs located near waterfall spray zones more often than expected by chance. As far as is known, N. bufonivora specializes on anuran hosts.

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