CIB Annual Research Meeting - Natasha takes a prize

10 November 2017

The 13th Annual Research Meeting of the CIB - Congratulations Natasha!

The 13th Annual Research Meeting of the CIB took place at Stellenbosch University Thursday and Friday.

Presentations were made by Nitya, Natasha and Marike.

From top right:

1. The judges receive their thank you presents from Dave Richardson: Piero Genovesi, Laura Meyerson, Petr Pyšek & Tim Blackburn.

2. Marike answers a question from the audience (and who was part of the winning pod)

3. Natasha gives the talk that won her best runner up for a PhD presentation

4. Nitya wows the audience with the size of his bullfrog. 

Well done to the whole lab who put on a magnificent set of froggy presentations. Especially well done to Natasha!

  aSCR  Frogs  Lab  meetings  prizes  Xenopus

"Aquatic" Xenopus move all over the place and up to 2.4 km overland!

10 November 2017

Xenopus not so aquatic

A new paper using the data from Andre's MSc project shows that African clawed frogs move large distances overland (up to 2.4 km). The 3 year study found that 5% of frogs moved between 8 ponds in the study area of Kleinmond. This amount of movement may be so much that these frogs can no longer be considered a metapopulation. 

We got the top slot on the PeerJ website (again!). 

The really surprising result is the amount of movement between sites, and the animals that were moving. We found no evidence of the smallest size classes of frogs moving between ponds. This would turn the dispersal paradigm on its head for this species. For most pond breeding frogs, it is the metamorphs and juveniles which are responsible for most of the dispersal within a population. This may not happen for X. laevis as smaller animals are so much more susecptible to dessication. The study isn't over and we will be following up on this idea in years to come. 

De Villiers FA, Measey J. (2017Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): empirical dispersal data from within their native rangePeerJ 5:e4039 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4039

Read the article here

Thanks to @Xen_Ben for the blog title!

  Frogs  Lab  Xenopus

OTS - FFP at Cape of Good Hope

28 October 2017

OTS-FFP back in the Cape of Good Hope Again!

The Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS) are back in town and we had a fantastic session marking up Xenopus gilli for three days down at the Cape of Good Hope. We last saw them in February - see blog entry here, here and here!

The FFP group was excellent, and very happy to get their hands (and occassionally feet) wet, in order to mark up as many frogs as possible. 

I was really lucky to have the help of PhD student Nitya Mohanty (above) who got stuck into the tagging work. Together with OTS, we had 282 captures of X. gilli as well as 8  X. laevis  which were removed from the reserve. 

By the end of the trip, they were all literally jumping for joy!

Really looking forward to the frog report from: Anson MacKinneyJake VoorheesBlythe Owen, 

  Frogs  News  Xenopus

Urban frog invasivions

23 October 2017

Does restricted access limit management of invasive urban frogs?

In a paper published today, we ask whether restricting access to properties could limit the success of management interventions when controlling or erradicating three different invasive frogs. And it does!

We chose the scenario of Constantia in Cape Town as our peri-urban environment where Gio did his PhD study on invasive Guttural Toads.

We then used life history information from each of these three species to build models for their invasions. 

The results show just have different invasions can be with different amphibian ecotypes.

This paper came about due to our participation in the Urban Invasions Workshop in November 2016. Read my blog post about it here.

Read the paper here:

Vimercati, G., Davies, S.J., Hui, C. & Measey, J. (in press) Does restricted access limit management of invasive urban frogs? Biological Invasions  doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1599-6  doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1599-6

  Frogs  Xenopus

Julien defends his thesis

19 September 2017

Julien Courant defends his PhD thesis 

Congratulations Julien! Doctor Invaxen Courant defends his thesis infront of a jury of amphibian experts from around the world. 

Invasive biology of Xenopus laevis in Europe: ecological effects and physiological adaptations

Julien has already published a lof of papers from his thesis, but there are still some great ones to come...

Courant, J., Vogt, S., de Villiers, A., Marques, R., Measey, J., Secondi, J., Rebelo, R., De Busschere, C., Ihlow, F., Backeljau, T., Rödder, D. & Herrel, A. (2017) Are invasive populations characterized by a broader diet than native populations? PeerJ 5:e3250 DOI 10.7717/peerj.3250 pdf

Rödder D, Ihlow F, Courant J, Secondi J, Herrel A, Rebelo R, Measey GJ, Lillo F, de Villiers FA, De Busschere C, and Backeljau T (2017) Global realized niche divergence in the African-clawed frog Xenopus laevisEcology and Evolution 2017;00:115. pdf

Ihlow F, Courant J, Secondi J, Herrel A, Rebelo R, Measey GJ, Lillo F, de Villiers FA, Vogt S, De Busschere C, Backeljau T, and Rödder D. 2016. Impacts of climate change on the global invasion potential of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.  PLoS ONE 11(6): e0154869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154869 pdf

De Busschere, C., Courant, J., Herrel, A., Rebelo, R., Rödder, D., Measey, G.J. & Backeljau, T. (2016) Unequal contribution of native South African phylogeographic lineages to the invasion of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in Europe PeerJ 4:e1659 

Louppe, V., J. Courant and A. Herrel (2017) Differences in mobility at the range edge of an expanding invasive population of Xenopus laevis in the West of France? J. Exp. Biol. 220: 278-283.

Courant, J., J. Secondi, V. Bereiziat and A. Herrel (2017) Resources allocated to reproduction decrease at the range edge of an expanding population of an invasive amphibian, Xenopus laevis. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. DOI 10.1093/biolinnean/blx048

  Frogs  Xenopus