Fish feeding frogs?

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JBotha
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Fish feeding frogs?

Postby JBotha » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:41 pm

Dear Readers
Does anyone have some confirmed records of Western Australian frog species actively hunting and catching fish (eg. goldfish). I have a pond covered by wire to prevent the goldfish being taken by cats. As far as I know no other predators are around, but banjo frogs are sometimes present in and around the pond. The goldfish seem to vanish, and once I had some shrimps / prawns in there who also seemed to being caught by something.
Your opinions on this would be appreciated
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John Botha
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Postby Gulper » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:31 pm

Tiger snakes are really good at catching fish- i think that would be more likely than Banjo frogs, but it doesn't explain the shrimps disappearing. I have never heard of any frogs feeding underwater, but if anyone else has, I would like to know about it.

I have heard stories about Cane Toads trying to mate with goldfish, but I don't know if that is just an urban myth, and somehow I doubt if Aussie frogs would be so crass as to indulge in piscephilia. In any case, you don't have Cane Toads in Perth.

Maybe you have an eel lurking under the mud at the bottom of your pond? Or perhaps there is a planet on the other end of a wormhole inhabited by odd socks, biros, and your goldfish.

Anyone else see Comet McNaught last night? Wow!!!!

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Fish eating frogs? Unlikely. Tiger snake possibly to blame

Postby JBotha » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:54 pm

Thanks for that speedy reply. Well, I may need to investigate if we have snakes around the pond. As for the shrimps it may well be that they just leaped out of the water in fear of the gold fish. It has happened before, and though the gold fish do not take the live shrimps (> 2 cm) the shrimps seem to find the red colouring especially intimidating.

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Postby Ged » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:33 pm

I would doubt a frog is eating your goldfish.

If you have covered the pond with chicken wire and it is still close to the surface of the water the cats may still be taking them. We have birds i.e. kookaburras remove goldfish from ponds covered in chicken wire.

How big are the goldfish?

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Postby JBotha » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:49 pm

Ged wrote:I would doubt a frog is eating your goldfish.

If you have covered the pond with chicken wire and it is still close to the surface of the water the cats may still be taking them. We have birds i.e. kookaburras remove goldfish from ponds covered in chicken wire.

How big are the goldfish?


Thanks for that. The goldfish are about 4 to 6 cm on average (new generation of young ones) Yes, good point about the kookaburras, we do hear them around. I have seen a cat taking some goldfish, and I gather that as you say some may aquire the skill to catch them through the wire.

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Postby GrantW » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:41 pm

It is unlikely that the frogs are taking your goldfish, however an adult Motorbike Frog (Litoria moorei) may attempt it, as they are an aquatic species, however gold fish do seem a little large for a frogs to try and eat.

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Postby samehada » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:42 pm

maybe youve got bigass dragonfly larvae. :lol:

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Postby Evan » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:13 pm

I think you should consider swapping the gold fish for native fish. The gold fish will eat the egg and tapoles of any frogs which lay in there. Natives will also be less susceptable to being eaten by birds, cats etc. as they are of a more appropriate colour for staying alive (hidden).

Alex, I think Litoria dahli has been recorded to eat fish and tadpoles. Since Litoria moorei is such a close relative, that would be the most likely frog to eat the fish. However, I don't think a frog has done this, it is most likely birds.

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Postby Gulper » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:40 pm

Hi Evan, I'm a long way from libraries and the world of academic research- but i am curious to know any references that point to dahlii being a close relative of moorei- also any tadpole feeding refs. I do know that dahlii feed on other frogs and given their very aquatic lifestyle if any frog ate fish it would be dahlii, but I always assumed that the similarity to Fitzinger's Ranoidea group (moorei, raniformis, aurea, castanaea et al) was about parallel evolution rather than anything phylogenetic. I'll be grateful to be proven wrong, mind you.

I totally agree with you regarding native fish- and I would go one more and say fish endemic to that area should be kept in preference to any of those imports.

Could be a busy next few days- there is a fire near Cradle Mountain.

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Postby Evan » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:15 pm

I just assumed they were closely related because of all the similarities. I haven't put any actual reasearch into it, but will look it up tomorrow.

Litoria dahlii is one of the most interesting species of frog in Australia. I read recently (will get the reference for you tomorrow if I can find it), that they were found eating road kill, even though it was not moving. I will also look up the fish/tadpole thing, I think it is a major part of their diet at certain times of the year.

Thanks,

Evan

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Brad M
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Postby Brad M » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:56 am

Off the AMNH website:

In the Litoria aurea group of Tyler and Davies, 1978, Aust. J. Zool., Suppl. Ser., 63: 12, and the Litoria aurea complex of Barker, Grigg, and Tyler, 1995, Field Guide Aust. Frogs., Ed. 2: 100. For discussion see Tyler, Davies, and King, 1978, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust., 102: 17-24.

But they are a while back now.

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Postby Brad M » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:18 am

I've also heard about L. dahlii taking prey from the water. Im not sure where I read it though, if I find it I will post a link.

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Postby Donna » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:41 pm

On page 45-47 of "Australian Frogs A Natural History" by Tyler it says "Few species are capable of capturing food under water, but Cyclorana platycephala and Litoria dahlii can feed in this way." It goes on to say they are both muscular animals and that in aquariums will even catch fish.

Donna

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Postby Gulper » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:46 pm

Thanks very much for that guys, I really appreciate it.. I will chase up those references when I can next and see if the placing was based on morphology or genetics.. I have always considered dahlii a really "out there" frog just on its ecology and distribution- all the other "Ranoidea" have distinctly Bassian distributions. As for catching fish, how do they not get a gut full of water? I wonder if they swallow on the surface?

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Postby Nathan Litjens » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:43 am

John,

Yes, some frogs do take food underwater. I have heard numerous reports of Growling Grass Frogs (the Southeast version of your Motorbike Frog) eating tadpoles and small fish underwater. Although not documented, I am sure the other frogs from that group would also eat food underwater.

Cheers

-Nathan

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Postby Evan » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:51 am

I found the observation of Litoria dahlii eating carrion (it was actually a dead death adder).

Observations of a Hylid frog Litoria dahli (Boulenger, 1896) feeding on a road-killed death adder. Williams, Drew E. Herpetofauna Volume 34 (1) June 2004.

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Postby Brad M » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:41 am

evan wrote:I found the observation of Litoria dahlii eating carrion (it was actually a dead death adder).

Observations of a Hylid frog Litoria dahli (Boulenger, 1896) feeding on a road-killed death adder. Williams, Drew E. Herpetofauna Volume 34 (1) June 2004.


You can't really imagine it can you. :lol: Well atleast I can't. :o

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Postby Evan » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:59 am

No, it is kind of hard to believe. But if any native frog can do it, it would be Litoria dahlii, they are very strange.

I guess if Cane Toads can do it, some other frogs should be able to.

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Postby GrantW » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:30 am

Yeah I remember reading that article and I thought it was very strange, but very interesting at the same time.

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Postby Gulper » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:22 pm

The dahlii was probably saying "I'll teach you to eat frogs, you fat headed adder, you!"

Indeed, dahlii are very strange frogs.

I saw a Tiger snake eating a maggotty antechinus once, but I think carrion feeding in snakes is not unheard of.

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Postby JBotha » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:12 pm

Thanks Nathan
How is it that you joined in 2003 and have detailed info on motorbike frogs but are still only a tadpole? :shock:
I'm originally from S. Africa and now start to remember that the main animals we used in doing experiments on heart rate etc. in Zoology 2 were what we used to call Platannas. It is a corruption of Plathanders meaning flat hands. They are tongueless water-living and extremely predacious frogs, and based on all the responses I got I thought I might read up on them this morning. They apparently take goldfish if the can wholly swallow it, and also other fish such as tiny Tilapia etc. I remember keeping their tadpoles as a child. They were transparent creatures tending to stay in shoals, and their intestines were like that of a glowlight tetra. I saw the wild dog side of my green sword tails, who at one stage attacked the poor Platanna tadpoles, ripping them apart.
Well, I have never used these chat rooms type of things before, and it is just amazing how many responses I got to the question on frogs taking live fish underwater :!:
Cheers
John

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Postby Gerry Marantelli » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:18 pm

All the bell frogs (L.aurea group) and at least some of the cyclorana (the two are closely related groups) can actively hunt, catch and swallow food underwater. The water holding frog is especailly good at it and i remember a freind in Sydney who kept one in her goldfish tank with a log to climb on - she just kept restocking her goldfish and the frog looked after itself.

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Postby JBotha » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:50 am

Thanks Jerry
Got more than I bargained for in answers & learnt a lot.
Regards
John B.


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