Toads of the genus Bufo co-occur with true frogs (family Ranidae) throughout their North American ranges. Yet, Bufo are rarely reported as prey for ranid frogs, perhaps due to dermal toxins that afford them protection from some predators. We report field observations from four different localities demonstrating that Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) readily consume juvenile western toads (Bufo boreas) at breeding sites in Oregon. Unpalatability thought to deter predators of selected taxa and feeding mode may not protect juvenile stages of western toads from adult Oregon spotted frogs. Activity of juvenile western toads can elicit ambush behavior by Oregon spotted frog adults. Our review of published literature suggests that regular consumption of toadlets sets Oregon spotted frogs apart from most North American ranid frogs. Importance of the trophic context of juvenile western toads as a seasonally important resource to Oregon spotted frogs needs critical investigation.
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Predation by Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) on Western toads (Bufo boreas) in Oregon, USA