Jennifer S. Del Río-García, Víctor H. Serrano-Cardozo, Martha P. Ramírez-Pinilla
South American Journal of Herpetology 9 (1), 52-61, (1 April 2014) https://doi.org/10.2994/SAJH-D-13-00031.1
KEYWORDS: Acari, Coleoptera, foraging, Formicidae, Salamander, Stomach-flushing
Bolitoglossa cf. pandi is a terrestrial salamander that inhabits a fragment of secondary forest located in the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes. Few aspects of its biology are known. Here we studied its diet, microhabitat use, population structure, and arthropod richness at the study site during rainy and dry seasons. We also recorded perch height, substrate type, and time of capture. Encounter rate for Bolitoglossa cf. pandi was very high during rainy months and low during dry season. Juveniles were more abundant than adults. To obtain consumed items we used the stomach-flushing technique; the contents of 87 stomachs were analyzed and 1324 prey items were identified and grouped in 20 prey categories. Diet was represented by a great variety of arthropods and the most important prey categories, according to the index of relative importance (IRI), were Acari, Coleoptera, and Formicidae. No differences were found in diet between sexes; however, ontogenetic variation was found: there was a shift in consumption of ants and mites related to ontogeny. Volume of coleopterans and ants in stomachs increased with body size, whereas occurrence of mites varied inversely with body size. Only Acari consumption changed between dry and wet seasons. Bolitoglossa cf. pandi forages on the ground, as well as on herbaceous vegetation; larger individuals were found in the highest perches, usually on leaves. Diet and microhabitat use of this salamander is similar to other species of Bolitoglossa and are affected by local environmental factors, such as prey availability and climate regime, and endogenous factors, such as body size.