Author(s): Blayda Toh, NGoran Germain Kouam, NGuessan Emmanuel Assemian, Germain Gourne
We studied the diet of two syntopic rocket frogs, Ptychadena mascareniensis and P. pumilio, in Banco National Park, south-eastern Ivory Coast. We determined the prey of juveniles, males and females of both species in order to understand the potential avoidance of food competition. Insects dominated (>77.9%) the general diet of both species. We determined insect prey items down to the level of the order. At this level the diet of both species were mostly represented by coleopterans, hymenopterans and orthopterans. However, whereas P. mascareniensis preyed mainly on orthopterans (36%, grasshoppers and crickets), the diet of P. pumilio was dominated by coleopterans (42%, beetles and lightning bugs). We could observe a seasonal change in the diet of P. mascareniensis, but not in P. pumilio. Juveniles of both species mainly fed on small beetles and ants, while adults consumed various prey up to larger prey item (e.g. amphibians). However, the large overlap in prey can be taken as a hint that competition for food does not play a major role between these two frogs. The slightly different diets are more likely the result of so far undetected differences in habitat preferences and / or activity patterns.