Introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) have established breeding populations in several provinces in China since their introduction in 1959. Although Bullfrogs are viewed as a potentially important predator of Chinese native anurans, their impacts in the field are difficult to quantify. We used two experiments to examine factors likely to mediate Bullfrog predation on native anurans. First, we examined effects of Bullfrog size and sex on daily consumption of a common Chinese native (Rana limnocharis). Second, we examined whether Bullfrogs consumed similar proportions of four Chinese natives: Black-Spotted Pond Frog (Rana nigromaculata), Green Pond Frog (Rana plancyi plancyi), Rice Frog (R. limnocharis), and Zhoushan Toad (Bufo bufo gargarizans). We found that larger Rana catesbeiana consumed more R. limnocharis per day than did smaller R. catesbeiana, and that daily consumption of R. limnocharis was positively related to R. catesbeiana body size. When provided with adults of four anurans that differed significantly in body size, R. catesbeiana consumed more individuals of the smallest species (R. limnocharis). However, when provided with similarly sized juveniles of the same four species, R. catesbeiana did not consume any species more than expected by chance. Our results suggest that body size plays an important role in the predatory interactions between R. catesbeiana and Chinese native anurans and that, other things being equal, smaller species and individuals are at greater risk of predation by R. catesbeiana. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
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Body size affects the predatory interactions between introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and native anurans in China: An experimental study