Journal article

Designing a diet for captive native frogs from the analysis of stomach contents from free-ranging Leiopelma

SD Shaw, LF Skerratt, R Kleinpaste, L Daglish, PJ Bishop



Diets for captive amphibians are often inadequate and lead to poor health. To determine the natural diet of two New Zealand frog species, we analysed the stomach contents of 16 Archey's frogs (Leiopelma archeyi) from the Moehau Range of the Coromandel Peninsula and nine Hochstetter's frogs (Leiopelma hochstetteri) from the Mochau Range of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hunua Ranges and Maungatautari. These specimens were obtained as by-catch from invertebrate pitfall traps from 2002 to 2008. Both species ate a wide range of invertebrates including springtails, mites, ants, parasitic wasps, amphipods and isopods. Leiopelma archeyi also ate snails. The mean ratio of maximum prey size ingested t..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by the New Zealand Veterinary Association Wildlife Society Marion Cunningham Grant. The authors would like to thank Gribbles Veterinary Laboratory, Auckland, for the use of their facility space and microscales. We also thank the Department of Conservation staff and EcoQuest staff and volunteers who set and checked pitfall traps, for their time and effort. Thanks to Peter West, Nicole Kunzmann, Natalie Clark, Tanya Shennan, Andrew Nelson, Ian Fraser, Michelle Whybrow and Lana Canzak-all native frog zoo-keepers at Auckland Zoo-who spent long hours collecting and breeding new invertebrates to feed out and for their support in changing the captive diet. Thanks to John Potter, veterinarian at Auckland Zoo for assistance and support with diet analyses. Many thanks to the Maori iwi for their support of research and conservation of native frogs: Hauraki Maori Trust Board, Mataora No 1 & 2 Block Inc, Moehau Nga Tangata Whenua, Ngati Hei Trust, Ngati Huarere, Ngati Maru ki Hauraki Inc, Ngati Paoa Trust, Ngati Pukenga ki Waiau Society, Ngati Rahiri Tumutumu, Ngati Rongo U Charitable Trust, Ngati Tai Umupuia Te Waka Totara Trust, Ngati Tawhaki, Ngati Whanaunga, Te Kupenga O Ngati Hako Inc, Te Patukirikiri Iwi Inc, Te Runanga O Ngati Pu, Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngati Tamatera and Te Uringahu Ngati Maru Manaia.