Evaluation of food and feeding habits of Hoplobatrachus occipitalis (Günther, 1858) from four locations on Obafemi Awolowo campus, Ile-Ife.
The food and feeding habits of Hoplobatrachus occipitalis (Dicroglossidae), in Obafemi Awolowo Campus, Ile-Ife were evaluated. This was with a view to determining the feeding behaviour and the foraging preference for prey by the species. The ingested food items were retrieved by stomach flushing and viewed under a dissecting microscope and identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level. The rate of feeding activity was estimated as the percentage of stomach containing food with respect to the total number of stomachs examined. One hundred and fifty eight (158) adult specimens of H. occipitalis with Snout-Vent length (SVL) varying from 7.60 ± 0.23 cm to 12.4 ± 0.18 cm were utilized for this study. The rate of feeding activity in the frog was estimated at 92.41% while the Vacuity index was 7.59 %. A total of Eight hundred and fifty four prey items which belonged to 15 categories were recovered from the stomachs of specimens collected from the four sampled locations. Of these, ants (24.60 %), earthworms (18.97 %), and termites (15.57 %) made up the dominant prey item categories. The study concluded that Hoplobatrachus occipitalis in Obafemi Awolowo University Campus was an opportunistic feeder which consumed a variety of food items depending on their availability.
Keywords: Feeding, Hoplobatrachus occipitalis, Stomach Flushing, vacuity Index.