Edinburgh Research Explorer

Asymmetric larval competition between two species of neotropical foam-nesting frogs: Leptodactylus fuscus and Engystomops pustulosus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2159
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number31-32
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Larval competition was investigated in foam-nesting frogs with contrasting breeding strategies. Leptodactylus fuscus nests in burrows with moderate numbers of large eggs, mainly on dry nights; Engystomops pustulosus makes floating nests with large numbers of small eggs, mainly on wet nights. Both use the same temporary pools in open habitat over an extended breeding season. Larval growth to metamorphosis was assessed in a semi-natural experiment and in the laboratory. Tanks contained either single species or equal numbers of both species. Inter-specific competition was asymmetric; L. fuscus survived as well as or better in competition with E. pustulosus than in intra-specific competition. Leptodactylus fuscus attained larger sizes with E. pustulosus present. In interspecific competition E. pustulosus showed worse survival and grew slower and to a smaller size. Outdoors, both species tolerated water temperatures that often rose to 42C and reached metamorphosis in very short times: 14 days after oviposition in L. fuscus and 17 days in E. pustulosus.

    Research areas

  • Anuran tadpoles , foam‐nesting, interspecific competition , Engystomops pustulosus , Leptodactylus fuscus

ID: 3510883