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Susceptibility of fire-bellied toad (B. bombina and B. variegata) tadpoles to predation

Cite this dataset

Nürnberger, Beate; Smolinský, Radovan; Baláž, Vojtech (2020). Susceptibility of fire-bellied toad (B. bombina and B. variegata) tadpoles to predation [Dataset]. Dryad.


B. bombina and B. variegata are ecologically distinct taxa that nevertheless hybridise in nature wherever their distribution ranges adjoin. These data were collected to test the hypothesis that B. variegata tadpoles are more susceptible to predation than those of B. bombina. The former develop in ephemeral aquatic sites that can be predator-free, whereas the latter are found in predator-rich semi-permanent ponds. Tadpoles of both taxa were raised under under uniform laboratory conditions and their relative predation risk was assessed over a four-week period using dragonfly larvae as predators. The tadpoles were reared in the presence of chemical predation cues so that they could develop a predator-induced phenotype. The data confirm our hypothesis. These results suggest that B. variegata traits associated with higher predation risk produce barriers to gene flow across the hybrid zone.


Data associated with each predation trial includes the trial composition (full-sib families of B. bombina and B. variegata that were represented), morphological measurements of each tadpole, the identity of the first consumed tadpole (out of 4, trial ended after the first predation event). Behavioural data (time spent by a focal tadpole swimming, feeding or resting) were collected from a subset of trials. The archive contains a Perl script (plus input and output files) that was used to generate lists of pseudo-random trial compositions according to the experimental design (see README.txt for details).

Usage notes

The structure of each data file is documented in the README.txt file.


Czech Science Foundation, Award: 16-26714S

University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Award: FVHE/Pikula/ITA2020