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The Natural History and Captive Care of the Smokey Jungle Frog – Part 2

Smokey Jungle FrogPlease see Part 1 of this article for information on the natural history, amazing reproductive biology (including terrestrial nesting) and captive breeding of the Smokey Jungle Frog (a/k/a South American Bullfrog, Leptodactylus pentadactylus).


The hefty, robust adults are capable of taking quite large prey, including small birds, snakes, other frogs, mice and other rodents, scorpions and tarantulas as well as earthworms, roaches, moths and other invertebrates.

Smokey Jungle Frogs they are one of the few animals known to consume the highly toxic Poison Frogs, Dendrobates spp.

I’ve had good success with a diet comprised largely of earthworms, roaches, crickets and wild-caught insects (please see my article on Collecting Feeder Insects).  I use shiners and crayfishes as a calcium source, but a pink mouse may be offered every 6-8 weeks if desired. Read More »

The Red-Eyed Treefrog – Notes on Captive Care and Natural History

Red-eye Tree Frog in camo modeThis article is one of a series in which I plan to provide a brief introduction to both popular and rarely-kept amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.  I’ll cover such topics as unique habits in the wild, common mistakes or concerns in captive care, pet pros and cons, little-known husbandry tips and so forth.  Detailed care articles will follow…until then, I would enjoy receiving your questions and comments.  Today we’ll take a look at the Red-Eyed Treefrog, Agalychnis callidryas.

Night Shows Only!

Ranging from southern Mexico to Panama, this striking beauty (its scientific name translates as “Beautiful Tree Nymph”) has become something of a “rain forest darling”, appearing on more calendars, book covers and travel brochures than any other amphibian.  Frog keepers, enamored of its huge, brilliant red eyes and lime-green skin, have taken to it as well.  Read More »

The Conservation and Captive Care of the Diamondback Terrapin

Diamondback TerrapinTurtle enthusiasts find the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) very difficult to resist. Sporting a beautiful carapace that is deeply etched with concentric rings, and clad in a bewildering array of gray, silver and black markings, this estuary specialist does, however, present a few challenges to prospective keepers.

A Unique Natural Habitat

The Diamondback Terrapin is the only North American turtle completely restricted to estuaries, tidal flats, lagoons and salt marshes. Neither a fresh water nor marine species, it is uniquely adapted to brackish habitats. Read More »

Study Hints at Global Snake Population Decline

A recent review of studies involving 17 populations of 8 snake species, including Ball Pythons, Asps, Rhinoceros Vipers and Gaboon Vipers, has raised the alarming possibility that steep declines may be in progress in many countries.  While it is too early to draw conclusions, this news is disturbingly similar to the origins of the global amphibian decline first uncovered in 1990.

Ominous Findings

The most frightening aspect of the study is the fact that unrelated snake species in widely varying habitats and locations (Italy, Nigeria, France, Australia) were involved.  Some of the largest declines – 90% in several cases – were recorded in protected areas.  Much like the extinction of the Golden Toad, which disappeared from a pristine cloud forest in Costa Rica, these mysterious declines point to causes that are difficult to identify and remedy.  Read More »

Current Field Research – Amphibian Behavior and Natural History

Strawberry Poison FrogMany interesting, current amphibian and reptile field research reports are published in professional journals such as Copeia, Herpetologica and Herpetological Review, and are not available on the internet.  Unfortunately, such journals are usually quite expensive (if well-worth the price).  From time to time I’ll provide summaries of some of the fascinating articles that I come across.  Today’s report covers Spring, 2020 publications: Clouded Salamanders, Red-Eyed Treefrogs, Green Frogs and Strawberry Poison Frogs.

Clouded Salamander, Aneides ferrus

Although known to climb trees, the Clouded Salamander is most often found (and studied) below fallen logs.  Researchers in southwestern Oregon were, therefore, surprised to find a pair of these salamanders in a tree cavity (Douglas Fir) 240 feet above the ground.  Red Tree Voles (small arboreal rodents) were also using the site for food storage.

It is not known if water contained within tree cavities might provide a breeding site for Clouded Salamanders.

Red-Eyed Treefrog, Agalychnis callidryas

Researchers in Costa Rica reported the first known example of a spider feeding upon amphibian eggs.  A Rusty Wandering Spider (Cupiennius getazi) was photographed while consuming Red-Eyed Treefrog eggs, which had been deposited on a leaf overhanging a small pond.  Interestingly, the spider appeared to defend its food source.

The eggs did not spontaneously hatch when disturbed by the spider, as they do when attacked by wasps and snakes.
Red-eyed Tree Frog

Strawberry Poison Frog, Oophaga pumilio

Although diurnal activity is the rule for Dendrobatids (Poison Frogs), male Strawberry Poison Frogs were observed calling and engaging in territorial battles after dark (Costa Rica)…perhaps its time to install night-viewing lights on our Poison Frog terrariums!

Green Frog, Rana clamitans

Long known for occasionally producing blue-colored Green Frogs, a stream in upstate NY has now yielded a brilliant yellow specimen.  The frog also sported a black blotch on its back, green above the eyes, and greenish-brown legs – quite a sight!

Further Reading

A video of a treefrog eggs hatching while being attacked by a snake, along with fascinating info and photos, is posted on the Warkentin Lab website.



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