Record of defensive behaviors in two species of Odontophrynus Reinhardt and Lütken, 1862 (Anura: Odontophrynidae)

Diva Maria Borges-Nojosa


Some amphibian species when touched or captured react by showing defensive anti-predator mechanisms, such the death feigning. These mechanisms evolved through increased survival rate. Such defensive behaviors are registered here for two species of the genus Odontophrynus, with exclusive geographical distribution in South America. Specimens of O. carvalhoi were collected in 2005 in the Maciço of Baturité, Guaramiranga municipality (Ceará, Brazil), and when transported and handled showed body inflating and death feigning behaviors. The specimens of O. cultripes were collected between 2003/2004 and 2006/2007 in the region of Queimado Hydroelectric Power Station, municipal districts of Unaí and Cabeceira Grande (Minas Gerais, Brazil), municipalities of Cristalina and Formosa (Goiás), and Paranoá Administrative Area (Distrito Federal). The individuals showed body inflating, deimatic and death feigning behaviors. Death feigning has been registered for anuran species of different families, including Hylidae, Bufonidae, Cycloramphidae, Microhylidae and Odontophrynidae. Deimatic behavior, on the other hand, is less common in the literature, restricted to the Bufonidae, Dendrobatidae and Leptodactylidae family. Therefore, this is the first record of deimatic behavior for the Odontophrynidae Family


Amphibia; Death feigning; Deimatic behavior; Survival strategy; Thanatosis

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