Diet composition and trophic niche overlap between two sympatric species of Physalaemus (Anura, Leptodactylidae, Leiuperinae) in a subtemperate forest of southern Brazil

Camila Fernanda Moser, Fernanda Rodrigues de Avila, Mateus de Oliveira, Alexandro Marques Tozetti


Comparative studies of the diet of ecologically and phylogenetically close-related species assist in understanding the evolutionary processes underlying feeding specialization. The frogs Physalaemus lisei (Braun’s Dwarf Frog) and P. gracilis (Graceful Dwarf Frog) are good models for comparative diet studies because they occur in sympatry in several forest environments of Brazil. In this study we evaluated the gastrointestinal content of 83 individuals of these two species. We registered 12 prey categories in the diet of P. gracilis, and 19 in the diet of P. lisei. Formicidae was the most important prey category in the diet of both species, followed by Coleoptera and Araneae. Despite the high importance of ants in the diet of both species, as assessed by the Index of Relative Importance (IRI = 6469.9 for P. gracilis and 4522.0 for P. lisei), Coleoptera presented the highest volumetric contribution. Both species presented a similar trophic niche breadth and a high diet overlap (Ojk = 0.98). Our results indicate similarities in the diet composition and foraging behavior of P. lisei and P. gracilis.

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