The influence of carotenoid supplementation at different life-stages on the foraging performance of the Southern Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree): a test of the Silver Spoon and Environmental Matching Hypotheses
Organismal performance can be significantly affected by the nutritional conditions experienced during different life-stages. The Silver Spoon Hypothesis predicts that individuals will always perform better as adults when they experience advantageous conditions during development. In contrast, the Environmental Matching Hypothesis predicts that individuals will perform better if they experience similar conditions during development and adulthood. Past tests of these hypotheses have focussed on the effect of food quantity on growth and development, with little attempt to investigate the effect of individual nutrients on behavioural traits. This study aimed to test the predictions of the Environmental Matching and Silver Spoon Hypotheses by investigating the influence of carotenoid supplementation at different life-stages on the foraging performance of Pseudophryne corroboree. To assess foraging performance, adults were presented with prey in either a cryptic or conspicuous foraging matrix. There was no effect of diet treatment on time to first movement towards prey, number of stalking events, time spent actively foraging, proportion of successful strikes, proportion of prey consumed or number of pedal luring events. These findings indicate that carotenoid supplementation at different life-stages does not influence the foraging performance of P. corroboree, providing no support for either the Silver Spoon or Environmental Matching Hypotheses.