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Diet Seasonality and Feeding Preferences of Brachycephalus pitanga (Anura: Brachycephalidae)
- de Oliveira, Eliziane Garcia, Haddad, Célio F. B.
- Journal of Herpetology 2015 v.49 no.2 pp. 252-256
- Anura, Araneae, Coleoptera, Collembola, Diptera, Formicidae, Hemiptera, diet, dry season, feeding preferences, females, larvae, males, mites, nutrition information, plant litter, rain forests, species diversity, stomach, wet season, Brazil
- Miniature toadlet species of the genus Brachycephalus are endemic to the Atlantic rain forest of Brazil, and little is known about their biology and ecology. We present data on the diet of Brachycephalus pitanga in both rainy and dry seasons and compare the diet to the prey available in leaf litter. We analyzed the stomach contents of 30 specimens: 20 of them collected in the rainy season and 10 in the dry season. Two hundred fifty-nine prey were identified, including spiders, mites, collembolans, ants, hemipterans, dipterans, and coleopterans. In the leaf litter, we identified 1,056 potential prey—676 in the rainy season and 380 in the dry season—belonging to 11 categories, with mites, collembolans, and ants being the most common potential prey. Toadlets consumed a larger number of prey but less volume and less taxonomic diversity in dry season compared to the rainy season. In the rainy season, females ate a larger number of items and a greater diversity than males, but their niche breadths were very similar. The prey items ingested showed greater similarity to the available items in the dry season, with mites and larvae being consumed in greater proportions than expected. Stomach contents collected during the rainy season suggested a preference for collembolans and spiders. Our results represent the first information on the diet of B. pitanga and are compared to data available for related species.