The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 01. Dietary overview of Pelophylax perezi from Monegros rice fields (northeast Spain)

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Open Access

pp. 219-224
Authors: Burghelea, Carmen I.; Zaharescu, Dragos G. & Palanca-Soler, Antonio

Abstract: Amphibians are sensitive indicators of habitat degradation. Understanding their dietary patterns in altered landscapes is fundamental to understanding the effects of habitat loss worldwide. A stomach content analysis was conducted on Pelophylax perezi, an endemic anuran heavily colonizing rice fields in Monegros, an arid region in northeast Spain. The taxonomic range of prey consumed by this species was compared with prey availability and dietary changes were evaluated among frog size groups. Small adult insects (dipterans, coleopterans, ants and heteropterans) were the main diet, indicating an active foraging mode. Frogs showed no preference for any prey taxa. Larger frogs consumed a higher volume of food, but relatively fewer prey than smaller individuals. A large niche breadth was recorded for all groups. Food partitioning was lowest between distant size groups. Maximum prey size was significantly related to morphological constraints such as frog size and mouth width. Bigger frogs preyed on larger items while also foraging on smaller ones, indicating no prey size selection. Overall, P. perezi had a generalist feeding pattern dictated mainly by prey availability. These food habits may help the species to persist in the agricultural landscape of this arid region.

Keywords: ELECTIVITY, RICE PADDIES, MONEGROS ARID REGION, NICHE BREADTH, PREY SIZE SELECTION, DIET

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