Locomotion and survival of two sympatric larval anurans, Bufo gargarizans (Anura: Bufonidae) and Rana zhenhaiensis (Anura: Ranidae), after partial tail loss

Guo-Hua Ding; Zhi-Hua Lin; Li-Hua Zhao
July 2014
Zoologia;Jul/Aug2014, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p316
Academic Journal
Tadpoles of two sympatric anurans, Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842 and Rana zhenhaiensis Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995, were used as model organisms to examine the effects of different levels of tail loss on swimming performance and survival. On average, B. gargarizans tadpoles were shorter and had smaller tails and body mass than R. zhenhaiensis. After 75% tail loss, the survival rate of experimental and control B. gargarizans tadpoles, and of experimental tadpoles of the two species, differed significantly; the number of tadpoles surviving a complete impairment of their swimming ability did not differ between B. gargarizans and R. zhenhaiensis. After 50% tail loss, the swimming performance (swimming speed, maximum distance and number of stops) of the two species was significantly affected. However, the adverse influence of tail loss on the swimming speed of B. gargarizans tadpoles was greater compared to R. zhenhaiensis tadpoles. Our data indicates that a 50% tail loss results in swimming costs for B. gargarizans and R. zhenhaiensis tadpoles, and that 75% tail loss decreases the survival rate of B. gargarizans tadpoles. Therefore, we conclude that tadpoles of different species and with the same degree of tail loss use distinctive strategies to improve individual fitness in the face of predator pressure.


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