Caring for Your New Leopard Frog
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Leopard Frog Factoids

Origin

Wetlands of the USA

Sexing

Females do not croak.

Temp

No heater needed  

Attitude

Lazy.  Easily spooked in the wild.

Jumper

Can jump 3 feet

Schedule

Eats when the sun shines

Lighting

Full-spectrum good but not needed

Habitat

Lives at pond’s edge

Security

Sits in shallows

Foods

Insects, fish, worms, frogs

Cleaning 

Dirty water a problem

Breeding Age

About 3 years

Gestation 

Eggs hatch in a few days

Brood Size

Hundreds

Breeding

May in ponds

LA
His mottled pattern helps the leopard frog blend in.
  Moss looks good.

LA
Leopard frogs blend into multi-colored gravel, but stand out fine on this light-colored rock.


Origins:  You can find these spotted bug eaters around the edges of most lakes, ponds, and pools.  Leopard frogs also inhabit marshes and any other place that stays moist.  They migrate during a good rain and can wind up nearly anywhere.  Most of the tadpoles we sell turn into leopard frogs.  If you need tadpole info, ask for our “Tadpole Fact Sheet” or click on it on our web site.

LA
Leopard frogs make good specimens to study metamorphosis.

Excellent "learner frog" to start with.  If you ever purchased an Uncle Milton "Surf Frog" kit, they send you leopard frog tadpoles (for a ridiculous price).

Our local pond (Riverview) contains bullfrogs which severely limit the quantity of these tasty leopard frogs.  With some six miles of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetlands just across the bike trail, we'll never run out of these frogs in Des Moines.

Froggie Went a Courting.  On a dark and rainy night in the spring, you will see these guys and gals crossing the road.  You see leopard frogs leaping in your headlights as they look for love in all the wet places.  On the coldest nights they stay at home, you can hear the males karaoking all along the romantic shores of any lake or pond within hearing distance.  You will see tadpoles later.

If you ever drove thru northern Iowa or lower Minnesota on a rainy spring night, you couldn't miss the swarms of leopard frogs crossing the highways.  We'll, you'd miss a few and flatten a few.

LA Pic
Can leopard frogs change their spots?

LA
As leopard frogs grow, their spots also grow.  10-gallon tanks provide plenty of room.

 

Container:  Any covered container that holds water will work.  A covered 10-gallon tank gives you about the right amount of room.  Of course, since a leopard frog that can jump three feet, he would prefer much more room.

LA
Too much water.  Leopard frogs can drown in tanks with too much water.

LA
Actually, this leopard frog was not dead, but was too far gone to recover.

LA
Most leopard frogs live on the edge -- the edge of the pond, that is.  They have to stay moist.

Water:  Leopard frogs need constant access to CLEAN water or they will croak (for good).  Frogs absorb oxygen thru their moist skins. Frogs cannot tolerate dirty water – water with a lot of dissolved organics or dead crickets floating in it.  Change their water often and use a water conditioner that neutralizes chlorine. Filters make your job easier.  Frogs like a layer of duckweed on the water -- because it keeps you from seeing them.

LA
Bad.  Crowded leopard frogs in dirty tank.  We edited out the dead, stinky ones.  They reeked.

LA
Better.  Same leopard frogs.  Same 15-gallon tank -- after cleaning.  Still crowded long term.

LA
Pieces of flat wood always help leopard frogs survive.

Decor:  Leopard frogs ignore vegetation but fake plants make their habitat look better.  Bare tanks look boring.

LA
Floating Styrofoam islands work out well for leopard frogs.

Temperature:  Leopard frogs adjust to a wide variety of temps.  Neither cool weather nor hot water bothers them much.  However, very cool weather will slow them down.

LA
Leopard frogs grow to a good size with some tasty looking legs.

Temperament:  Although leopard frogs can jump three feet when trying to escape, they spend most of their time loafing at the water’s edge waiting for food to wander past.  Herons, cranes, and snakes eat them during the day.  Raccoons and French people eat them at night.  If they jump into deep water to escape, big fish and turtles also eat them.

Winters:  Leopard frogs in the wild spend the coldest months buried in the mud.  They do not hibernate in captivity.  They just get fatter and lazier.

LA
New leopard frogs are actually smaller than the tadpoles they morph from (2-inch bowl).

Maximum Size:  Expect about four inches for the females – a little smaller for the males -- plus their long legs.

 

Foods:  Leopard frogs eat moving foods – a wide variety of foods fill the bill.  However, they cannot see unmoving, dead bugs.  Of course, you can always trick them into eating by blowing gently on the dead insect with a soda straw.  Or you can dangle a worm in front of them until they gulp it down.  You need to train them to eat from your fingers.  They do not trust you at first.

Supplements:  An occasional dusting of their prey (crickets) with powdered calcium and vitamins suffices.  Don’t over-vitaminize your leopard frogs.  Dusted crickets on the menu once in a while will give them all the calcium and D3 they need.

Lighting:  Leopard frogs don’t need full-spectrum light, but they do appreciate a regular day and night schedule.  Although they don’t absolutely need it, they look better (and probably feel better) under full-spectrum light.

LA
Just starting to "frog out."  He can jump about four inches at this stage.  Note the wet hands.

Limit Handling:  Few amphibians enjoy handling.  Your hands often remove part of their skin.  Leave leopard frogs alone as much as possible.  Wash your hands after handling them.  And keep them out of your mouth.  You can get Salmonella from any critter that swims around in its own digested food -- and that goes for chickens, also.

Last Word:  Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling leopard frogs or any other herptile.  At least frog sweat won’t burn your eyes.  LA.

© 1998, © 2003, © 2004, © 2006, © 2009  LA Productions.

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

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