Can an invasive prey species induce morphological changes in an endemic predator? Evidence from a South Korean snake (Oocatochus rufudorsatus)

Jun Haeng HEO, Heon Joo LEE, Il Hun KIM, Jonathan, Julio FONG, Ja Kyeong KIM, Sumin JEONG, Daesik PARK

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction of an invasive prey species into an ecosystem may affect an endemic predator’s fitness by altering the prey-predator system. Successful adaptation may allow the endemic predator to eat and control the invasive species, while unsuccessful adaptation may result in extinction of the predator. We examine the possible effects of the invasive North American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) on the endemic Red-backed rat snake (Oocatochus rufodorsatus) in South Korea. We do so by comparing the morphology and behavior of adult and hatchling snakes from bullfrog-exposed (Taean) and bullfrog-unexposed (Hongcheon) populations. Among the seven morphological characteristics investigated, relative tail length (tail length/snout-vent length) of both adults and hatchlings from Taean was significantly greater than that of adults and hatchlings from Hongcheon. Also, adult snakes from Taean had a significantly shorter latency of first tongue flick in response to prey compared to adults from Hongcheon. This difference was not observed in hatchlings. In other snake species, a longer relative tail length and shorter latency of first tongue flick are known to improve foraging efficiency, and these characters may be adaptations of O. rufodorsatus to prey on bullfrogs. This study provides preliminary evidence that the presence of an invasive prey species may cause morphological and behavioral changes in an endemic predator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Herpetological Research
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

snakes
predators
Lithobates catesbeianus
tail
tongue
South Korea
Rana
invasive species
extinction
foraging
ecosystems
rats

Keywords

  • invasive prey
  • bullfrog
  • Rana catesbeiana
  • Oocatochus rufodorsatus
  • predator response

Cite this

HEO, Jun Haeng ; LEE, Heon Joo ; KIM, Il Hun ; FONG, Jonathan, Julio ; KIM, Ja Kyeong ; JEONG, Sumin ; PARK, Daesik. / Can an invasive prey species induce morphological changes in an endemic predator? Evidence from a South Korean snake (Oocatochus rufudorsatus). In: Asian Herpetological Research. 2014 ; Vol. 5, No. 4. pp. 245-254.
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abstract = "Introduction of an invasive prey species into an ecosystem may affect an endemic predator’s fitness by altering the prey-predator system. Successful adaptation may allow the endemic predator to eat and control the invasive species, while unsuccessful adaptation may result in extinction of the predator. We examine the possible effects of the invasive North American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) on the endemic Red-backed rat snake (Oocatochus rufodorsatus) in South Korea. We do so by comparing the morphology and behavior of adult and hatchling snakes from bullfrog-exposed (Taean) and bullfrog-unexposed (Hongcheon) populations. Among the seven morphological characteristics investigated, relative tail length (tail length/snout-vent length) of both adults and hatchlings from Taean was significantly greater than that of adults and hatchlings from Hongcheon. Also, adult snakes from Taean had a significantly shorter latency of first tongue flick in response to prey compared to adults from Hongcheon. This difference was not observed in hatchlings. In other snake species, a longer relative tail length and shorter latency of first tongue flick are known to improve foraging efficiency, and these characters may be adaptations of O. rufodorsatus to prey on bullfrogs. This study provides preliminary evidence that the presence of an invasive prey species may cause morphological and behavioral changes in an endemic predator.",
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author = "HEO, {Jun Haeng} and LEE, {Heon Joo} and KIM, {Il Hun} and FONG, {Jonathan, Julio} and KIM, {Ja Kyeong} and Sumin JEONG and Daesik PARK",
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Can an invasive prey species induce morphological changes in an endemic predator? Evidence from a South Korean snake (Oocatochus rufudorsatus). / HEO, Jun Haeng; LEE, Heon Joo; KIM, Il Hun; FONG, Jonathan, Julio; KIM, Ja Kyeong; JEONG, Sumin; PARK, Daesik.

In: Asian Herpetological Research, Vol. 5, No. 4, 25.12.2014, p. 245-254.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can an invasive prey species induce morphological changes in an endemic predator? Evidence from a South Korean snake (Oocatochus rufudorsatus)

AU - HEO, Jun Haeng

AU - LEE, Heon Joo

AU - KIM, Il Hun

AU - FONG, Jonathan, Julio

AU - KIM, Ja Kyeong

AU - JEONG, Sumin

AU - PARK, Daesik

PY - 2014/12/25

Y1 - 2014/12/25

N2 - Introduction of an invasive prey species into an ecosystem may affect an endemic predator’s fitness by altering the prey-predator system. Successful adaptation may allow the endemic predator to eat and control the invasive species, while unsuccessful adaptation may result in extinction of the predator. We examine the possible effects of the invasive North American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) on the endemic Red-backed rat snake (Oocatochus rufodorsatus) in South Korea. We do so by comparing the morphology and behavior of adult and hatchling snakes from bullfrog-exposed (Taean) and bullfrog-unexposed (Hongcheon) populations. Among the seven morphological characteristics investigated, relative tail length (tail length/snout-vent length) of both adults and hatchlings from Taean was significantly greater than that of adults and hatchlings from Hongcheon. Also, adult snakes from Taean had a significantly shorter latency of first tongue flick in response to prey compared to adults from Hongcheon. This difference was not observed in hatchlings. In other snake species, a longer relative tail length and shorter latency of first tongue flick are known to improve foraging efficiency, and these characters may be adaptations of O. rufodorsatus to prey on bullfrogs. This study provides preliminary evidence that the presence of an invasive prey species may cause morphological and behavioral changes in an endemic predator.

AB - Introduction of an invasive prey species into an ecosystem may affect an endemic predator’s fitness by altering the prey-predator system. Successful adaptation may allow the endemic predator to eat and control the invasive species, while unsuccessful adaptation may result in extinction of the predator. We examine the possible effects of the invasive North American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) on the endemic Red-backed rat snake (Oocatochus rufodorsatus) in South Korea. We do so by comparing the morphology and behavior of adult and hatchling snakes from bullfrog-exposed (Taean) and bullfrog-unexposed (Hongcheon) populations. Among the seven morphological characteristics investigated, relative tail length (tail length/snout-vent length) of both adults and hatchlings from Taean was significantly greater than that of adults and hatchlings from Hongcheon. Also, adult snakes from Taean had a significantly shorter latency of first tongue flick in response to prey compared to adults from Hongcheon. This difference was not observed in hatchlings. In other snake species, a longer relative tail length and shorter latency of first tongue flick are known to improve foraging efficiency, and these characters may be adaptations of O. rufodorsatus to prey on bullfrogs. This study provides preliminary evidence that the presence of an invasive prey species may cause morphological and behavioral changes in an endemic predator.

KW - invasive prey

KW - bullfrog

KW - Rana catesbeiana

KW - Oocatochus rufodorsatus

KW - predator response

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/5030

U2 - 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00245

DO - 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00245

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 5

SP - 245

EP - 254

JO - Asian Herpetological Research

JF - Asian Herpetological Research

SN - 2095-0357

IS - 4

ER -