Leptodactylus savagei Heyer, 2005
Savage's Thin-toed frog, Giant Bullfrog, Rã-de-dedos-delgados-de-savage, Rana de dedos delgados de Savage
|Species Description: Heyer WR 2005 Variation and taxonomic clarification of the large species of the Leptodactylus pentadactylus species group (Amphibia: Leptodactylidae) from Middle America, Northern South America, and Amazonia. Arquivos de Zoologia 37:269-348.|
© 2012 Todd Pierson (1 of 31)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Many types of predators assault frogs; an unusual group of micropredators are frog-biting midges (Diptera: Corethrellidae). These tiny flies home in on calling frogs from which they get a blood-meal. Although corethrellids have been studied in the context of their predation on single species, the broader interactions among predators and prey have not generally been examined. For example, does a midge species attack only a single frog species, and how many midge species are in a community? Virgo et al. (2021) examined a midge-frog community of 17 frog species in Costa Rica and found that although a single midge species may attack a variety of frog species, there is some degree of specialization, and certain frog species were targeted much more frequently. Although five different morphospecies of corethrellids were identified, DNA analysis detected several, up to 20, cryptic species. When the DNA-delimited candidate species were used as units instead of the morphospecies, the specificity of the mite-frog interactions increased. Much remains to be investigated in this fascinating system, such as whether there has been co-evolution of the flies and their prey, or what exactly attracts certain fly species to frog species. (Written by DCannatella)This species was featured in News of the Week July 29, 2019:
Many frog and toad species produce loud vocalizations to communicate to other members of their species, often to defend territories or attract mates. Many predators, like bats, or parasites, like blood-sucking midges, also use these calls to find and attack their amphibian prey. Midges may be particularly troublesome for frogs because they can cause irritation, blood loss, and increase pathogenic infections. Virgo et al (2019) experimentally tested how characteristics of the calls of different species in a Costa Rican frog community influence how often midges attack various frogs. Frogs that call at low frequencies (<1 kHz) and with a shorter pulse (250-500 ms) attracted the most midge attacks. In particular, frog-biting midges prefer frog calls that were not continuous but which pulsed with very short inter-pulse durations. This is fascinating because it suggests midges are able to detect complex, trilling calls as are common of many toad species that can easily blend in with ambient background noise. Interestingly, frog species differ in how often they are bitten by midges and different midge species prefer different types of frogs. Calls of the giant bullfrog (Leptodactylus savagei) attract the most biting midges and some midges prefer frog species of the genus Leptodactylus while others prefer hylid tree frogs. This new work highlights that the incredible diversity of frog calls in a given community shapes the evolution and preferences of different blood-sucking midge species which can subsequently influence the health of parasitized frogs. (Written by MLambert)
Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2022-02-06)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Leptodactylus savagei: Savage's Thin-toed frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6713> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2023.
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