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Small fish (Leucaspius delineatus) that are often released into garden ponds and amphibian breeding sites prey on eggs and tadpoles of the common frog (Rana temporaria)

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Non-native fish often negatively affect amphibian populations. The sunbleak (Leucaspius delineatus), a small cyprinid fish, is often released into ponds that support amphibian populations because it is thought not to consume amphibian larvae; the argument was based on diet analyses. Here, we present results from a laboratory experiment that demonstrates that sunbleak consume amphibian eggs and larvae. Mortality of eggs and small tadpoles was 100%. Thus, sunbleak at least potentially could be harmful to amphibian populations despite their preference for small prey items reported in the literature. Although diet analyses are valuable, the assessment of whether a species is a predator of another should not be based solely on diet analyses. Experimental predation trials are necessary to assess predation risk.

Affiliations: 1: karch, Passage Maximilien-de-Meuron 6, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Mühletal 23, 3033 Wohlen bei Bern, Switzerland; 2: karch Regionalvertretung Bern, Naturhistorisches Museum, Bernastrasse 15, 3005 Bern, Switzerland; 3: karch, Passage Maximilien-de-Meuron 6, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland; 4: karch, Passage Maximilien-de-Meuron 6, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Zoologisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland;, Email:


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