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Old 08-08-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Default How long can pumilio tadpoles go?

Hi guys,

I'm working with pumilio in Costa Rica (for PhD research), and I'm wondering if you guys have any opinions from your captive breeding on how long pumilio tadpoles last if the parents aren't feeding them? I need a way to determine that mothers have officially abandoned their young, and I think if I go "X" number of days without seeing eggs in the bromeliads, that would do it. What's X?

Thanks for any opinions!!

-Jenny
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:49 PM
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I would imagine in the wild (and in a well balanced vivarium) small insects will fall into the water that the tadpole is in, drown and end up as detrius that the tad can feed upon. This happens in our closed vivariums and I have seen tads (that I was unaware of) fully develop on chance fruit flies that fall in and drown.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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Hmmm...I don't doubt that that happened in your vivarium, but it definitely doesn't work that way in the forest. All I ever find in the water is spiders and big ants. Perhaps because there aren't many small, wingless bugs wandering around lost in the wild. Those cultured fruit flies are definitely missing half the tiny brain they should have. And pumilio tads don't tend to be vegetarians...

In others' previous studies, any abandoned tadpoles don't make it (if eggs aren't seen for many days, there's always a dead tadpole). However, no one's mentioned how long that takes...and the info would really help me out. 3 days? a week? 2 weeks?
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Zimmerman
I would imagine in the wild (and in a well balanced vivarium) small insects will fall into the water that the tadpole is in, drown and end up as detrius that the tad can feed upon. This happens in our closed vivariums and I have seen tads (that I was unaware of) fully develop on chance fruit flies that fall in and drown.
You've had this happen with pumilio? Seems unlikely. Non obligate egg feeders, sure. But if you are raising pumilio without food eggs, you have some secrets you need to share.

Also, I don't know if it is possible to edit the subject of the original post. But putting pumilio in there might attract a few more people to respond. I would think Robb or some of the other people who have tinkered with hand rearing pumilio should be able to give a ballpark guestimate.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:05 PM
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I still worry over "lack of feeder eggs seen" being the key to telling how long they have gone between feedings... I've had pumilio in the past that I rarely saw feeder eggs for, I just didn't see the eggs before they'd get mauled by the tadpoles... so how likely is it that you're missing eggs being fed that you didn't witness?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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Default Pumilio tadpoles...how many days to starvation?

I suppose its possible that I'm missing the eggs, but mothers only feed between 7 and 11am based on previous studies. I'm checking once an hour during that time every day for about 80 tadpoles.

My study (at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica) is looking at whether mothers still feed when tadpoles are switched between bromeliad axils. The study is still in the "try stuff out" stage, so I'm just trying to determine a way to define "abandoned". In the end, I'll see if more "switched" tadpoles were abandoned than just "picked up and put back" tadpoles. There's reason to believe that dendrobatid moms can't recognize their tadpoles, and that they only remember where they put them. (and that dads can recognize their eggs, since they'll eat others' eggs, but not their own).

PS - pumilio is in the original subject, but thanks for the suggestion.
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