Direct and indirect effects of dragonfly (Anax imperator) nymphs on green toad (Bufo viridis) tadpoles Academic Article uri icon


  • We conducted an artificial pond experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of predation on Bufo viridis tadpoles. We ran three treatments: free Anax (unrestrained predatory dragonfly nymph Anax imperator), caged Anax (non-consumptive effects), and control (no Anax). Anax showed both strong consumptive and non-consumptive effects on Bufo tadpoles. Free Anax eliminated all of the tadpoles within six days. Tadpoles preferred the shady side of the ponds. Caged Anax caused tadpoles to increase their spatial preferences. Tadpoles avoided the center of the pond, and in the presence of the caged predator, they were found in the center even less. Tadpoles also showed a strong preference for crowding together, and in the presence of a caged Anax, they tended to crowd more. Moreover, Bufo metamorphosed earlier and at a larger size in the caged Anax ponds, possibly by providing extra food resources due to the extra organic matter excreted by the predators.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007