Diet of larval Ambystoma rivulare (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), a threatened salamander from the Volcán Nevado de Toluca, Mexico

  • Julio A. Lemos-Espinal Universidad Nacional Autónoma do México
  • Geoffrey R. Smith Denison University
  • Guillermo A. Woolrich-Piña Laboratorio de Paleontología y Geobiología, ESIA Ticomán - IPN
  • Raymundo Montoya-Ayala Universidad Nacional Autónoma do México
Keywords: empty stomachs, nematodes, ostracods, stomach contents.

Abstract

Several species of salamander in the genus Ambystoma occur in the mountains surrounding Mexico City and are considered at risk of extinction. However, little is known about their ecology and natural history. The Toluca Stream Siredon (Ambystoma rivulare) is classified as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN, and considered “Threatened” under Mexican law. From October 2013 to September 2014, we examined the diet of larval A. rivulare from a stream on the Volcán Nevado de Toluca in Mexico to provide insight into the suitability of the habitat to support this population of salamanders. Ostracods accounted for approximately 90% of all prey items consumed by larval A. rivulare. The number of ostracods found in stomachs increased with individual body size, but the proportion of ostracods in stomachs did not vary with body size. Nematodes were observed in approximately one third of the stomachs we examined. The diversity of prey in the diet of A. rivulare in the stream we studied is low and dominated by a single prey taxon, ostracods. Our results suggest that if environmental conditions in the stream change such that ostracods are negatively affected then the long-term persistence of this population of A. rivulare might be in jeopardy.

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Author Biographies

Julio A. Lemos-Espinal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma do México
Laboratorio de Ecología - UBIPRO, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Av. Los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, 54090, Mexico.
Geoffrey R. Smith, Denison University
Department of Biology, Denison University, Granville, Ohio 43023, USA.
Guillermo A. Woolrich-Piña, Laboratorio de Paleontología y Geobiología, ESIA Ticomán - IPN
Laboratorio de Paleontología y Geobiología, ESIA Ticomán - IPN, Av. Ticomán 600, Col. Ticomán, D.F. 07340, Mexico.
Raymundo Montoya-Ayala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma do México
Laboratorio de Cómputo - UBIPRO, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Av. Los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, 54090, Mexico.
Published
2015-06-30
How to Cite
Lemos-Espinal, J. A., Smith, G. R., Woolrich-Piña, G. A., & Montoya-Ayala, R. (2015). Diet of larval Ambystoma rivulare (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), a threatened salamander from the Volcán Nevado de Toluca, Mexico. Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology, 14(1), 33-41. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.2316-9079.v14i1p33-41
Section
Articles