Effect of Introduced Mosquitofish on Pacific Treefrogs and the Role of Alternative Prey

Effect of Introduced Mosquitofish on Pacific Treefrogs and the Role of Alternative Prey Abstract: Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) are distributed by many mosquito control programs because of their broad habitat tolerance and because they are considered by some to be effective mosquito predators. As a result, mosquitofish have become established as an exotic species in numerous perennial streams in the Santa Monica Mountains within the last 10–15 years. Previous studies have found that mosquitofish prey heavily on California newt ( Taricha torosa) larvae that inhabit mountain streams. We found Pacific treefrog ( Hyla regilla) tadpoles in the stomachs of 65% of stream‐caught mosquitofish. In both laboratory and field experiments, we found that mosquitofish preyed heavily on treefrog tadpoles, even when high densities of mosquito larvae were presented as alternative prey. Thus, despite apparent high densities of Pacific treefrog populations, our experiments suggest that introduced mosquitofish may negatively affect stream‐breeding H. regilla in the Santa Monica Mountains. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Effect of Introduced Mosquitofish on Pacific Treefrogs and the Role of Alternative Prey

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Abstract

Abstract: Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) are distributed by many mosquito control programs because of their broad habitat tolerance and because they are considered by some to be effective mosquito predators. As a result, mosquitofish have become established as an exotic species in numerous perennial streams in the Santa Monica Mountains within the last 10–15 years. Previous studies have found that mosquitofish prey heavily on California newt ( Taricha torosa) larvae that inhabit mountain streams. We found Pacific treefrog ( Hyla regilla) tadpoles in the stomachs of 65% of stream‐caught mosquitofish. In both laboratory and field experiments, we found that mosquitofish preyed heavily on treefrog tadpoles, even when high densities of mosquito larvae were presented as alternative prey. Thus, despite apparent high densities of Pacific treefrog populations, our experiments suggest that introduced mosquitofish may negatively affect stream‐breeding H. regilla in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1999

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