Diet and parasites of the anuran Physalaemus cuvieri Fitzinger, 1826 (Anura: Leiuperidae) from an Atlantic Forest fragment

Peterson Trevisan Leivas, Fernando Willian Trevisan Leivas, Karla Magalhães Campião

Abstract


Anurans fit an important trophic position in ecosystems because they are both predators and prey of many invertebrate and vertebrate organisms. Here, we describe the diet and parasites associated with Physalaemus cuvieri Fitzinger, 1826 in disturbed areas within the Ombrophylous Forest, in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We collected 56 specimens, and found preys of the Phylum Arthropoda, belonging to the classes Insecta (85.7%) and Arachnida (14.3%). Among the Insecta, Isoptera had the highest contribution in the diet, followed by Hymenoptera, Hemiptera and Coleoptera. For Arachnida, Araneae had greatest contribution in the diet followed by Acari. Among these specimens 93% were infected by parasite belonging to seven helminth taxa, two of them acanthocephalans, and five nematodes. Overall, our results showed that P. cuvieri feeds mainly on insects, and have high prevalence of nematodes and acanthocephalans. These results point to the terrestrial habitat of this anuran, once the preferred insects are terrestrial and the directly transmitted nematodes are acquired through the soil. The dietary preferences in turn, influenced the acquisition of acanthocephalans, which have indirect life cycle and were transmitted by the ingestion of insects.

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