Rate of Food Consumption of Acris Crepitans Blanchardi Harper in South-Central Iowa
Johnson, Bruce Kenneth
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The problem. The relationship between food consumption and seasonal activity was not known for Acris crepitans blanchardi Harper, Blanchard's cricket frog, nor had the rate of food passage through the stomach of this species been calculated. This study determined these factors and calculated a yearly insect consumption figure for Acris in southcentral Iowa. Procedure. An analysis of the diet of Acris was correlated with various features of the frog's life cycle. A total of 340 frogs were captured from 5 April 1972 until 27 October 1972. Stomach contents of 218 frogs were analyzed. The remaining 122 cricket frogs were used to determine the rate of food passage from the stomach. Findings. Acris were active from early April to late October. Juveniles first appeared in August. and by October were the same size as April specimens. Nearly all the items in the stomachs were arthropods. Insects contributed the largest percentage of numbers and volume followed by arachnids. Food items passed through the stomachs in approximately eight hours. Acris fill their stomachs three times daily. Conclusions. A typical Acris consumes approximately 4,840 food items each year. Agricultural pests consumed included members from Aphididae, Cicadellidae, Curculionidae, Syrphidae, and Locustidae. Recommendations. The techniques developed for determining the rate of food passage can be applied to studies of other anurans. Field cages should be used to reduce unnatural conditions.
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