Title

Ontogenetic Changes in Predatory Behavior of Larval Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum)

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Zoology

Publication Date

1986

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1139/z86-199

Disciplines

Biology

Abstract

The predatory behavior and selectivity of larval tiger salamanders was examined in a laboratory study. Larvae of three size classes, based on snout–vent length, were used in experimental trials conducted in three time blocks. Larvae of different sizes behaved differently. The number of behaviors exhibited per second, trial length, and consumption and miss rates varied significantly with larval size class. Electivity index values also varied with size class. Small larvae tended to lunge at prey most frequently. With the exception of the number of behaviors exhibited per second, time of day did not significantly influence these predation variables. Larvae were inefficient at prey capture as indicated by the greater number of failed than successful captures. Small larvae exhibited different foraging strategies from medium or large larvae, which exhibited similar strategies. These differences can be attributed to the state of limb development of the larvae. These ontogenetic foraging strategy changes may produce different effects on the aquatic community.


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