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Contains articles and advice on a wide variety of amphibian species, including frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians. Answers and addresses questions on species husbandry, captive status, breeding, news and conservation issues concerning amphibians.

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 2

In Part I of this article we reviewed some general points to consider when choosing a substrate – moisture retention, suitability for burrowing and so forth.  Today I’ll examine specific types of substrates more closely.

A Note on Substrate Ingestion

We do not fully understand why captive animals sometimes suffer intestinal blockages after swallowing substrates that they likely consume in the wild without incident.  It may be related to the consistency of the foods they eat, hydration levels, health or even micro-nutrient intake (for example, Calcium is essential for proper muscle contraction…a deficiency may affect the passage of food through the digestive tract).  Read More »

Meet the Green Frog – Typical “Pond Frog” of the USA – Part 2

Green Pond FrogThe widespread Green Frog (Lithobates/Rana clamitans) often provides aspiring herpetologists with an introduction to frog-keeping.  Please see Part I of this article for more on its natural history.

Status in the Wild

Although fairly common throughout much of its range, in some places the Green Frog is impacted by habitat loss due to shoreline development and the introduction of Bass, Carp and other fishes, which consume eggs and tadpoles.

In recent years, deformed Green Frogs have been found in ever-increasing numbers.  The cause is unknown, but pesticide or other chemical pollution is suspected.  Farm ponds usually have a higher incidence of deformed individuals than do urban or rural habitats.  Green Frogs are regulated as a game species in several states, as they are collected for the food trade (frog’s legs) and for use as fishing bait (ahh!). Read More »

Meet the Green Frog – the USA’s Typical Pond Frog – Part 1

Green Frog
Green Frogs (Lithobates/Rana clamitans) and their tadpoles are often the first species to be collected by curious children exploring the great outdoors. They make hardy and interesting pets – so much so that experienced herp-keepers, myself included, often make room for a pair in their collections. Overlooking this fascinating frog because it is so common is a big mistake! Today I’d like to provide a short introduction, followed by care and natural history details next time. Read More »

New Edition of Newts and Salamanders, A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual, is Published

Barred Tiger SalamanderI’ve recently finished writing a revision of my 1997 book Newts and Salamanders and would like to introduce it here and to thank everyone for their past support and kind comments.

Care and Natural History

Although technically a captive care manual, I’ve included a great deal of natural history information garnered from a lifetime of working with amphibians as well as research updates from technical and popular journals.  Captive breeding is stressed, with specific advice given for each species covered.  Read More »

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 1

Western Spade-foot Toad Bark, moss, sand, coconut husk, wood chips …selecting the proper substrate for one’s pets can be a difficult task these days (in contrast to years ago, when we were limited to newspapers, earth or gravel!).  Please check out our extensive line of Reptile and Amphibian Substrates to see examples of what is available.

Factors to Consider

A number of factors – some obvious, some not – must be taken into consideration when deciding upon a substrate.  Some of the most important are as follows: Read More »

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