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Enriched diets and the growth, development and survival of Litoria moorei (Anura) tadpoles reared in captivity at low density

Matson, P., Gaikhorst, G., Kappelle, W., Webb, S. and Brown, S. (2010) Enriched diets and the growth, development and survival of Litoria moorei (Anura) tadpoles reared in captivity at low density. Asian Herpetological Research, 1 (2). pp. 103-110.


Increasing numbers of amphibian species require conservation breeding programs for their survival. A major challenge is the efficient rearing of tadpoles, many of which require complex habitats and specialised diets. Aquatic tadpoles of the West Australian frog Litoria moorei were kept at low density (1 tadpole per 1.95 litres water) in aquaria at 25 degrees C. Fed on a staple diet of boiled lettuce and leaf litter, group of diets were supplemented with either control, Wardley (R) Premium Spirulina Discs, Sera (TM) GVG-mix tropical fish food, or a combination of Wardley (R) Premium Spirulina discs and Sera (TM) GVG-mix fish food. There was a relatively high loss (i.e., found dead, euthanized due to scoliosis, or not found) of tadpoles fed with the lettuce/leaf litter alone, but this was increased significantly when supplemented with Wardley (R) Premium Spirulina discs, either alone or with Sera (TM) GVG-mix fish food, and Sera (TM) GVG fish food alone. However, the survived tadpoles fed on the three supplements were all heavier after three weeks and at metamorphosis than those fed with lettuce/leaf litter alone, and reached metamorphosis quicker. It is concluded that any benefit of the food supplements in terms of increasing the rate of growth and development of the tadpoles is outweighed by greater mortality. There is now a need for the efficient rearing of tadpoles, many from novel species that need complex habitats. Further studies of diet are required due to the current conservation crisis of amphibians.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Science Press
Copyright: AHR Editorial Office and Science Press
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