Experience of predacious cues and accessibility to refuge minimize mortality of Hylarana temporalis tadpoles
We explored the effect of a prior experience of predation threat and access to the refuge sites on larval mortality in Hylarana temporalis with a 2 × 2 factorial design. The design included predator-naïve or predator experienced prey subjects, and presence or absence of a natural shelter. Water scorpion adult individuals (Laccotrephes species) provided predation threat and also an opportunity to the prey to experience a direct danger of predation. Both previous experience with predators and availability of shelters affected larval survival independently and not conjointly. A prior encounter with predators enabled prey tadpoles to escape predation more effectively with a significant increase in their survival in comparison to the predator-naïve subjects. Similarly, access to refuge sites significantly increased survival of predator-naïve as well as predator experienced tadpoles compared to that in the absence of shelters. Clearly, ability to sense water borne predacious cues in the vicinity and use refuge sites plays a key role in escaping from predation in the bronze frog tadpoles.