Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Shared behavioral responses and predation risk of anuran larvae and adults exposed to a novel predator.

Abstract

Invasive species are a regional and global threat to biological diversity. In order to evaluate an invasive predator species' potential to harm populations of native prey species, it is critical to evaluate the behavioral responses of all life stages of the native prey species to the novel predator. The invasion of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) into southern California provides an opportunity to evaluate the predation risk and behavioral responses of native amphibians. We performed predation trials and explored prey behavioral responses to determine how this invasive predator may impact native amphibian populations using Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) as a representative native California prey species. We found that X. laevis will readily prey upon larval and adult life stages of P. regilla. Behavior trials indicated that both larval and adult P. regilla exhibit prey response behaviors and will spatially avoid the novel invasive predator. The results suggest that native anurans may have a redundant predator response in both the larval and adult life stages, which could reduce the predatory impact of X. laevis but also drive emigration of native amphibians from invaded habitat.