Does carnivory pay off? Experiments on the effects of different types of diet on growth and development of Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) tadpoles and carry-over effects after metamorphosis

Octavian Craioveanu, Cristina Craioveanu, Ioan Ghira, Vioara Mireșan, Tibor Hartel
2019 Herpetozoa  
Natural diets of anuran larvae vary widely in their relative amounts of nutrients. The proportion of these ingested nutrients has significant influence on larval and post-metamorphic performance. Here, we use the Common Toad to address the role of diet (exclusively carnivore, exclusively vegetarian and mixed) on growth and development of tadpoles and short-term carry-over effects on post-metamorphic animals. Larvae fed on an exclusively vegetarian diet performed better (faster growth and
more » ... r growth and development) than larvae fed on exclusively carnivore and mixed diets. Larvae fed on the exclusively carnivore diet had the lowest performance. Regarding the carry-over effects of larval diets, although the body condition indices of the toadlets were similar in all treatments, there was a major difference in the survival rate. While toadlets, originating from larvae fed on a vegetarian diet, were more successful and had the lowest mortality, those fed on a carnivore diet had the highest mortality level. Our results suggest that a plant-based diet may contain all the necessary nutrients needed by Bufobufo larvae. Furthermore, a diet based exclusively on food of animal origin might be detrimental for the larval performance and could have significant carry-over effects on the post-metamorphic animal.
doi:10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35627 fatcat:bupvg66gzbd45h65bzyvbxxs54