Bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana) and red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) are widespread introduced taxa that are problematic throughout the western United States. Their impact on native amphibians and crustaceans is well documented, but less is known regarding their influence on native fishes. Predator-prey tank tests showed both species consumed eggs and larvae of the endangered razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) in a laboratory setting. Tadpoles consumed 2.2 razorback sucker eggs/d and 1.4 razorback sucker larvae/d, while crayfish ate 6.0 eggs/d and 3.5 larvae/d. Relatively high densities of bullfrog tadpoles and crayfish in razorback sucker spawning areas suggest that these nonnative taxa might pose a threat to the recruitment success of this and other imperiled native fish.
Additional publication details
Bullfrog tadpole (Rana catesbeiana) and red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) predation on early life stages of endangered razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus)