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Breeding the African Clawed Frog

Clawed Frog PairThe African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis, is an extremely popular pet and lab animal.  It is also one of the few amphibians that will sometimes reproduce “spontaneously” (that is, without being induced by artificial “rain storms” and other such tactics) in captivity.  Yet there is precious little available concerning how to breed this frog, or what to do if one is suddenly presented with eggs.

Natural History

Unlike most amphibians, African Clawed Frogs may reproduce at any time of the year.  This adaptation allows them to take advantage of favorable conditions whenever they occur, and is responsible for their ability to thrive as an introduced species in a great many countries. Read More »

Frog Reproduction Made Simple – Breeding Fire-Bellied Toads

Chinese Fire Bellied ToadAlthough no frog can be classified as “easy” to breed in captivity, the Chinese or Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad, Bombina orientalis, is at least “reliable”. Two related species that appear in the trade, the European Fire-Bellied Toad, B. bombina and the Yellow-Bellied Toad, B. variegata, are also regularly bred by hobbyists.

The Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad is the most colorful and readily available of the 6 described species.  Ranging from eastern Siberia to northeastern China and Korea, it makes a wonderful introduction to the fascinating world of amphibian reproduction. They are also among the most interesting anurans that one can keep – owners invariably describe them as “amusing”, and I must agree! Read More »

Artificial Bromeliads as Poison Frog Breeding Sites – Part 2

artificial bromeliad In Part 1 of this article I introduced Hagen’s new Smart Plants, an exciting line of realistic artificial plants (Bromeliads and Scindapsis) that contain small water-holding pools at their bases.  When properly positioned in a terrarium, they provide naturalistic sites into which female Poison Frogs can deposit their tadpoles.  Today we’ll see how other amphibians and reptiles can make use of this new and much-needed innovation.

Arboreal Reptiles

In the wild, most highly arboreal snakes and lizards find all the water they need without ever setting foot or belly on the ground.  Captives, especially high-strung or wild caught individuals, may be stressed if forced to do so.   Read More »

Constructing a Rain Chamber – the Ultimate Amphibian Breeding Technique

Frog in frogspawnExposing frogs, toads and salamanders to an artificial “rainy season” is hands down the surest method of encouraging captive breeding in most species.  Fortunately, even someone with my limited building skills can easily construct a simple rain chamber.

Timing and Temperature

Before placing potential breeders into a rain chamber, it is important to research the species’ natural history, as timing, temperature and other factors are important considerations.  For example, Smoky Jungle Frogs (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) and certain other tropical Anurans have surprised me by breeding at nearly any time of the year, and without temperature manipulations, but Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica), Marbled  Salamanders (Ambystoma opacum) and other temperate zone amphibians need a cooling-off period beforehand.  Read More »

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