Behavioral responses of American toad and bullfrog tadpoles to the presence of cues from the invasive fish, Gambusia affinis
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- Smith, G.R., Boyd, A., Dayer, C.B. et al. Biol Invasions (2008) 10: 743. doi:10.1007/s10530-007-9166-1
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The introduction of non-native predators is thought to have important negative effects on native prey populations. The susceptibility of native prey to non-native or introduced predators may depend on their ability to respond appropriately to the presence of these non-native predators. We conducted a laboratory based behavioral experiment to examine the response of American toad (Bufo americanus) and bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles to the presence of cues from the introduced mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), a potential tadpole predator. Neither the American toad tadpoles nor the bullfrog tadpoles responded behaviorally to the presence of mosquitofish cues. If tadpoles are unable to respond to the presence of mosquitofish cues appropriately, then their ability to avoid predation by mosquitofish may be compromised and this may contribute to the impacts of mosquitofish on some tadpole populations.