In Herpetological Review, we publish observations of predation, parasitism, diet, and other interesting natural phenomena. We peer-review each observation for its originality, veracity, and potential to inform biology. These important observations can include photo vouchers, like this spider restraining a toad in the December 2015 issue.
Pryadarshana et al. (2015) report on predation of a Kelaart’s Dwarf Toad (Adenomus kelaartii) on the Hunuwela Rubber Estate in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. A huntsman spider (Heteropoda) clung with the help of sticky webs to a sub-adult toad trying to escape, eventually immobilizing the toad with its venom. The Kelaart’s Dwarf Toad is a critically endangered Sri Lankan endemic anuran, and very little information exists on its ecology and behaviors. Now, we have evidence that at least one time an individual was consumed by a spider!
While we deal with amphibians and reptiles here at SSAR, natural history observations are missing for predation, diet, and behavior of lots of species of invertebrates and vertebrates. When you trek outside your door, keep your eyes open. You never know what you will find. In fact this observation occurred during a field trip to search for dragonflies. So always record your natural history observations by taking photos. Send your photo to a local expert to see if they are unusual sightings, tweet at biologist, or upload them into an online database like iNaturalist. With each observation, we learn more about our natural world.
Citation: Pryadarshana, T. S., and S. J. Perera. Adenomus Kelaartii (Kelaart’s Dwarf Toad). Predation. 2015. Herpetological Review 46 (4): 611.