Tomato Frog Care
Tomato Frog Care
Tomato Frog (Dyscophus antongilii)
Native habitat: Tropical rain forest
Size: 2.5 to 3 inches not counting the legs
Lifespan: 6-8 years
Appearance: Its name comes from its bright-red color and shape it makes when it puffs up in defense. The bellies are usually more yellow, and sometimes there are black spots on the throat. Males are not as brightly colored, and thus are a duller orange or brownish-orange. Juveniles are also dull colored and develop brighter coloration as they mature.
Activities: They are nocturnal and terrestrial. Tomato frogs sit still and wait to ambush prey as it moves past.
Defense Mechanisms: It puffs up to look more threatening when in danger. They also can give off sticky, white mucus that is irritating to mucous membranes and may serve to ward off predators.
Up to three adult Tomato Frogs can be housed in a 15-gallon aquarium with a screen top. Tomato Frogs are ground dwelling amphibians that do not climb well, so floor space is more important than height. The substrate should be about 2 – 3 inches deep and consist of loose, semi-moist peat moss or humus mixed with potting soil. It should also consist of a damp top layer of dead leaves, reptile bark and sphagnum moss. This additional layer provides cover and maintains a steady humidity level. Provide lots of hiding places in the form of cork bark, and silk or live plants to encourage exercise.
Temperature and Humidity
Tomato Frogs are usually comfortable at normal room temperature. Mist the enclosure each day with just enough chlorine-free, room-temperature water to keep the substrate damp but not soggy. Maintain a humidity level of 70-75 percent.
Provide eight hours of full spectrum lighting each day. Do this with a supplemental low-output UVB light such as a fluorescent lamp designed for frog terrariums. Fluorescent bulbs need replacing every six months. Glass blocks out UVB light, so keep overhead light sources behind a wire mesh cover, not a glass or acrylic tank top. There should be a distinct day/night cycle. Use a timer to set day/night periods. If a heat source is required to maintain correct nighttime temperatures, use heat mats or strips mounted below or on the side of the tank, infrared heat lamps, ceramic heat emitters, or a combination of these.
Feed adults every other day. They will eat large crickets, mealworms, mealworm beetles, earthworms, small pinkie mice and fly larvae. Adults can eat from 9-12 gut-loaded and dusted crickets in one feeding. Feed youngsters twice every day. They will eat small crickets, fruit flies, small sow bugs and freshly shed small mealworms. Give them as much as they will eat until they are full-grown. Provide a 1-2 inch shallow plastic water dish sunk into the substrate that your frogs can get in and out of easily. The water depth should be half the height of the Tomato Frog. Change the water as often as needed to keep it clean.
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