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Acris blanchardi (Blanchard's Cricket Frog), Predation

June 9, 2020

Invertebrates are well-known predators of amphibians with many documented cases of spiders preying upon anurans (reviewed in Toledo 2005. Herpetol. Rev. 36:395–400). Wolf spiders are known to feed on a variety of frogs, including those in the genus Acris (Blackburn et al. 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:299). Although typically terrestrial, wolf spiders have been found feeding on arboreal frogs ca. 1 m above the ground (Aucone and Card 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:48). To our knowledge, no records exist of a wolf spider feeding on a terrestrial frog at an elevated height. At 0113 h on 30 April 2019, we observed an adult female wolf spider (Tigrosa georgicola: Lycosidae) feeding on an adult Acris blanchardi ca. 1.5 m high on the trunk of a small tree at the edge of a pond in Sherburne Wildlife Management Area, St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA (30.424°N, 91.663°W; WGS 84; Fig. 1). The spider was positioned facing the ground and the partially digested frog was hanging from its mouthparts. The spider likely captured the frog on the ground near the edge of the water and retreated up the tree with its meal (Fig. 1B). Movement of spiders with prey from an initial point of capture is documented in wolf spiders (Aucone and Card 2002, op. cit.) and other large terrestrial spiders (Maffei et al. 2010. Herpetol. Notes 3:167–170). This behavior may minimize the vulnerability of the spider to predators. We thank Zack Lemann, Curator of Animal Collections at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, for spider identification.

Publication Year 2020
Title Acris blanchardi (Blanchard's Cricket Frog), Predation
Authors Brittany R. Maldonado, Brad Glorioso, Raymond P. Kidder
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Herpetological Review
Index ID 70210535
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center