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The Diet of the Common Toad (Bufo bufo) around a Pond in Mid-Wales

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There was no significant difference between the number of food items obtained by stomach-flushing toads caught in pitfall traps and from the dissection of corpses found on nearby roads. The frequencies of the different food categories were similar using the two methods. 97 % of the toads entering the pond in the spring had not recently fed, whereas 25% of toads leaving the pond had started to feed. Sloughed skin was found in 7% of stomachs. Vegetable matter was found in 15% of stomachs and inorganic matter in 6% of stomachs. The diet of the toad was found to be very varied, and the main food items were beetles, collembolans, millipedes, harvestmen and spiders. The diets of males, females and young toads were very similar, and only slight changes in diet were observed throughout the year. The size of food items ranged from 1 mm to 40 mm with most around 7 mm. There was no significant relationship between the size of the food item and the size of the toad for adult males and females, but there was for juveniles.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Biology, UWIST, P.O. Box 13, Cardiff CF1 3XF, U.K.


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