Acris blanchardi (Blanchard's Cricket Frog), Predation

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Abstract

Invertebrates are well-known predators of amphibians with many documented cases of spiders preying upon anurans (reviewed in Toledo 2005. Herpetol. Rev. 36:395–400). Wolf spiders are known to feed on a variety of frogs, including those in the genus Acris (Blackburn et al. 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:299). Although typically terrestrial, wolf spiders have been found feeding on arboreal frogs ca. 1 m above the ground (Aucone and Card 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:48). To our knowledge, no records exist of a wolf spider feeding on a terrestrial frog at an elevated height. At 0113 h on 30 April 2019, we observed an adult female wolf spider (Tigrosa georgicola: Lycosidae) feeding on an adult Acris blanchardi ca. 1.5 m high on the trunk of a small tree at the edge of a pond in Sherburne Wildlife Management Area, St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA (30.424°N, 91.663°W; WGS 84; Fig. 1). The spider was positioned facing the ground and the partially digested frog was hanging from its mouthparts. The spider likely captured the frog on the ground near the edge of the water and retreated up the tree with its meal (Fig. 1B). Movement of spiders with prey from an initial point of capture is documented in wolf spiders (Aucone and Card 2002, op. cit.) and other large terrestrial spiders (Maffei et al. 2010. Herpetol. Notes 3:167–170). This behavior may minimize the vulnerability of the spider to predators. We thank Zack Lemann, Curator of Animal Collections at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, for spider identification.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Acris blanchardi (Blanchard's Cricket Frog), Predation
Volume 51
Issue 2
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 1 p.
First page 296
Country United States
State Louisiana
County St Martin Parish
Other Geospatial Sherburne Wildlife Management Area
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