2015 | VOLUME 32
Effects of three diets on development of Mantidactylus betsileanus larvae in captivity
Conservation breeding programmes are increasingly needed for amphibians given the ongoing amphibian extinction crisis, yet key aspects of husbandry such as larval diet remain understudied and in many cases completely unknown. In Madagascar, enacting such programmes can also be challenging due to the unavailability of diets designed specifically for tadpoles. We tested three diets locally available in Madagascar — mustard greens, spirulina algae, and atyid shrimp — on the larvae of Mantidactylus betsileanus and recorded their growth and development. Tadpoles fed mustard greens took longer to develop and completed metamorphosis at a smaller size. No difference was found in the survival of tadpoles between treatments. These results suggest that mustard greens are a poor food source for rearing M. betsileanus and similar species. Instead, spirulina and atyid shrimp should be used, although other alternatives such as commercially manufactured tadpole and fish foods might yield even better results.
Published: 5 October 2015