The roles played by nonfatal secretions of adult anurans in the avoidance of predation remain unknown. The adult Wrinkled frog (Rana rugosa) has warty skin with the odorous mucus secretion that is not fatal to the snake Elaphe quadrivirgata. We fed R. rugosa or Fejervarya limnocharis, which resembles R. rugosa in appearance and has mucus secretion, to snakes and compared the snakes' responses to the frogs. Compared to F. limnocharis, R. rugosa was less frequently bitten or swallowed by snakes. The snakes that bit R. rugosa spat out the frogs and showed mouth opening (gaping) behavior, while the snakes that bit F. limnocharis did not show gaping behavior. We also compared the responses of the snakes to R. rugosa and F. limnocharis secretions. We coated palatable R. japonica with secretions from R. rugosa or F. limnocharis . The frogs coated by R. rugosa secretion were less frequently bitten or swallowed than those coated by F. limnocharis secretion. We concluded that compared to different frog species of similar sizes, the adult R. rugosa was less frequently preyed upon by, and that its skin secretion was effective in avoiding predation by snakes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)