Ecological and reproductive aspects of Aparasphenodon brunoi (Anura: Hylidae) in an ombrophilous forest area of the Atlantic Rainforest Biome, Brazil.
Gomez-Mesa, L., Pereira-Ribeiro, J., Ferreguetti, A. C., Almeida-Santos, M., Bergallo, H. G., & Rocha, C. F.
Presented is the first information on the ecological and reproductive aspects of the treefrog, Aparasphenodon brunoi Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920, living in ombrophilous forest areas of the Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil. We recorded the species’ daily activity and over the course of a year, population density during the year, microhabitat usage, diet, and some reproductive features (quantity, diameter and mean mass of oocytes, mean reproductive effort of female). Field sampling was conducted monthly from June 2015 to July 2016. Searches for treefrogs were systematic, using visual encounter surveys along 14 plots RAPELD long term research modules established in the forest. For each captured individual, we recorded the hour, microhabitat used, and perch height. The diet of the population was ascertained based on 15 individuals collected outside the study plot areas. Treefrogs used seven different types of microhabitats in the forest but the preferred microhabitats were tree-trunks and lianas. The amount of accumulated rainfall and air temperature interacted to explain the number of A. brunoi individuals active throughout the year. The reproductive strategy for females of this comparatively large arboreal frog in the ombrophilous forest is to produce clutches with a large number (900.8 ± 358.1) of relatively small-sized eggs. We conclude that in the ombrophious forest of the Vale Natural Reserve, A. brunoi is a nocturnal arboreal treefrog active throughout the year but activity increases during the wet season as a result of increased precipitation. In the forest, treefrogs tend to perch mainly on tree-trunks and lianas about 1 m above ground, where it feeds preferably on relatively large bodied arthropod prey. When living in the ombrophilous forest of the Atlantic rainforest, A. brunoi may change some features of its ecology (e.g. marked difference in the use of bromeliads) compared to when living in restinga habitats.