Lithobates areolatus (crawfish frog) predation

Crawfish frog impaled on barbed wire fence by a shrike.


Lithobates areolatus is declining and distributed sparsely in remnant prairie habitats of the central United States. Owing to their extensive use of crayfish/small mammal burrows and highly secretive nature, limited data exist regarding the life history of L. areolatus, particularly natural sources of mortality. Experimentally, two species of insect (both backswimmers [Notonecta spp.]) have been identified as predators of larval L. areolatus. Reported predators of post-metamorphic L. areolatus include Heterodon platirhinos (Eastern Hog-nosed Snake), Coluber constrictor (North American Racer), Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Gartersnake), and Procyon lotor (Raccoon); however, other common predators of ranid frogs such as snakes, birds, and mammals are suspected. Here we report the predation of L. areolatus by Nerodia erythrogaster (Plain-bellied Watersnake) and Lanius ludovicianus (Loggerhead Shrike) in northwest Arkansas, USA.

In Herpetological Review