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Accession Number 5002942

Title A review and synthesis of the biology of North American amphibian larvae and biology

of tadpoles

Project Description The tadpoles of anuran amphibians are important components of aquatic systems and serve as

major elements in energy transfer from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. In addition, tadpoles are

significant links in the aquatic food chain, especially in ephemeral wetlands. Basic research with

tadpoles has increased tremendously in the past 15 years and important aspects of their basic

ecologies are better known. Yet, application of this knowledge has been hampered by the lack of

a readily available synthesis of their morphology, ecology, behavior and diversity and by difficulty

of identifying tadpoles in the field. This project will provide a synthesis of the biology of anuran

larvae to facilitate their use in various kinds of research, both basic and applied. This synthesis

will take the form of a major reference that brings together all information on the biology of these

unique organisms. A different but related project will synthesize the extensive, scattered scientific

literature on the biology of North American amphibian larvae and provide keys, morphological

descriptions, and illustrations of all North American species to allow their identification in field


Keywords amphibian larvae, declining species, identification keys, inventory and monitoring, larval ecology,

species at risk, tadpole diversity, tadpole morphology, viability,

Principal Roy McDiarmid, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:;


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