How to Care for Your New Tomato Frog
Aqualand's inside scoop on Dyscophus species
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Color Comments: We should call them “grocery store tomato frogs” because they’re not quite as red as home-grown tomatoes.
Predator Protection: When bitten, tomato frogs exude a nasty, gooey slime that repels would-be eaters from continuing the eating process. Their aposomatic red color supposedly telegraphs this message to potential predators.
Appeal: It’s hard not to like a red frog – especially an easy-to-keep critter with such a pleasant personality. Tomatoes are not as colorful as poison dart frogs but they are so much easier to keep alive.
Size and Sexing: Males grow to three inches. Females grow to five. If you want to sex them, the females are also redder. There’s lots of color variation in the young ones. But if you’ve had yours a year or so, they should be easily sexable.
Housing: For one tomato frog, you need a ten-gallon tank. They need clean water and a land area. Most frogs inhabit the shore line surrounding their home pond. They are on the lookout for insects or other small prey that might wander within “tongue range.” They’re also ready to leap into deeper water to escape birds and small boys.
Water: Good old
Foods: Tomato frogs
slurp up crickets like a
Temperature: We keep our tomato frogs at 75 degrees 24/7. For best results (faster growth and breeding), bump them to 85 during the day. You can do this most easily with a basking (humidity reducing) light bulb. Put it on a timer.
Decor: You can keep your tomato frog over dirt, if you like messy tanks. They show well over any colors except red, orange, and brown. Unlike dirt, colored gravel will not get smeared all over the walls. Then add some jungly-looking plants.
Breeding: We haven’t bred our tomato frogs yet. They’re too darn expensive to accumulate a herd. You should see the standard frog amplexus, 1,000 to 1,500 floating eggs (definitely non-standard), resulting in filter-feeding tadpoles (also non-standard) for 30 to 45 days. Do not leave the adults in there or they will eat the froglets.
Froglet Care: We’ve had the froglets before. They eat small crickets. They would probably love wingless fruit flies.
Last Word: I do not understand why tomato frogs cost so much. They spew as many eggs as a toad. So we’ll plan to breed them this summer. Maybe few tadpoles survive? They look great over black gravel. LA.
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