Vulnerability of Xenopus laevis to Gambusia holbrooki: can the larval phase of the African clawed frog be the Achilles heel in its invasive potential?
Xenopus laevis has been present in the Chilean Mediterranean region since at least the 1970s. Studies of the global invasion of the African clawed frog have paid little attention to its early life stages, whose environmental requirements and threats are different to those of the adults. This study provides evidence of the vulnerability ofX. laevis to Gambusia holbrooki, as well as information about its phenological development. Reproduction of X. laevis in Chile occurs between October and the end of April (austral spring to autumn). An overlap of early and late stages of larvae indicated variability within a clutch. The more recent establishment of G. holbrooki in Antumapu irrigation reservoir has resulted in a collapse in the reproduction and adult populations of X. laevis at this site.