Behavioral responses of laboratory-reared and wild-caught Polypedates maculatus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) tadpoles to dietary cues from the carnivorous tadpoles of Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (Anura: Dicroglossidae)
Keywords:Antipredator behavior, Anuran larvae, Dietary cues, Predator-prey interactions
The behavioral responses of laboratory-reared and wild-caught tadpoles of Polypedates maculatus to predatory tadpoles of Hoplobatrachus tigerinus were studied in the laboratory. The predator’s diet-derived metabolites released in excreta of predator after consumption of P. maculatus tadpoles were used to simulate predation threat. Both laboratory-reared and wild-caught tadpoles of P. maculatus showed antipredator behavioral responses i.e., reduced swimming movements and overall time spent in swimming and had a higher burst speed in response to water borne dietary cues of predators. Further, the antipredator responses of wild-caught tadpoles were significantly higher than those exhibited by laboratory-reared tadpoles. The studythus shows that antipredator behavior in these tadpoles is innate. Further, an enhanced antipredator behavior of wild-caught tadpoles may suggest their prior experience with predators in natural waters.
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