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Just a little closer: little frog uses toes to attract prey

By: Chris Hosking, Category: At The Museum, Date: 30 Jun 2014

 First record of prey luring in an Australian frog has been captured on video.

Some interesting behaviour of our Crucifix Frogs, Notaden bennettii, has been recorded for the first time. When fed crickets, these frogs will wiggle the tips of the toes in a manner which readily attracts attention of the prey.

Prey luring behaviour has been recorded in various snakes and lizards. In amphibians such as Salamanders the behaviour involves utilising the toes and feet as the lures and is known as 'Pedal Luring'. Pedal Luring has also been recorded in some species of frogs such as the Horned Frog; Ceratophrys calcarata, from South America. If this is pedal luring, then this video is the first record of such behaviour in an Australian frog.

These frogs are on exhibit in Search & Discover at the Australian Museum.

Further reading

This behaviour was published by the Museum’s Martyn Robinson and Chris Hosking in Herpetological Review;

Robinson, M. & Hosking, C. 2014. Notaden bennettii (crucifix frog) pedal luring. Herpetological Review. 45(2): 306.

Tags Pedal, luring, wiggle, toe, foot, crucifix, frog, australian, museum, Notaden, bennettii, prey, captive, feeding,