Page 1

A Guide to‌

Australian

FROGS in Captivity

SNEAK PREVIEW By Scott Eipper


CONTENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...................................................................................................................................14 CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR..........................................................................................................................................14 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................................................................................................................................15

INTRODUCTION TAXONOMY ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................17 COMMUNICATION ........................................................................................................................................................................................18 EGGS AND DEVELOPMENT ...........................................................................................................................................................19 THREATS TO SURVIVAL........................................................................................................................................................................19 Amphibian Chytrid Fungus ............................................................................................................................................................19 Drought...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................20 LEGAL REQUIREMENTS .......................................................................................................................................................................21

GENERAL MANAGEMENT PET QUALITIES ..................................................................................................................................................................................................21 SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR..................................................................................................................................................................................22 CHARACTERISTICS AND HABITS .........................................................................................................................................23 SELECTION ................................................................................................................................................................................................................23 Health Considerations ............................................................................................................................................................................23 ACQUIRING YOUR FROG .................................................................................................................................................................24 Frogs From The Wild...................................................................................................................................................................................24 Where to Source Frogs ...........................................................................................................................................................................25 HANDLING .................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 TRANSPORTATION.......................................................................................................................................................................................28 Short-term Travel ............................................................................................................................................................................................28 Long-term Travel..............................................................................................................................................................................................29

HOUSING INDOOR HOUSING .......................................................................................................................................................................................30 Plastic Enclosures ...........................................................................................................................................................................................30 Glass Enclosures ...............................................................................................................................................................................................30 OUTDOOR HOUSING ...............................................................................................................................................................................31 Outdoor Housing Materials ...........................................................................................................................................................31 TYPES OF ENCLOSURES ......................................................................................................................................................................32 Aquatic Enclosures .......................................................................................................................................................................................32 Semi-aquatic Enclosures.....................................................................................................................................................................33 page 4


Terrestrial Enclosures ...............................................................................................................................................................................34 Arboreal Enclosures....................................................................................................................................................................................34

THERMOREGULATION AND HEATING.....................................................................................35 Thermostats .............................................................................................................................................................................................................35 Incandescent Bulbs .....................................................................................................................................................................................36 Halogen/Dichroic Lights .....................................................................................................................................................................36 Heating Mats and Heat Cords ....................................................................................................................................................36 Water Heating.......................................................................................................................................................................................................37

LIGHTING............................................................................................................................................................................................................37 Ultraviolet Lights .............................................................................................................................................................................................37

HUMIDITY .........................................................................................................................................................................................................38 SUBSTRATES ..............................................................................................................................................................................................38 Gravel..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................38 Coco Peat and Palm Peat ....................................................................................................................................................................39 Sand ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................39 Paper Towels ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................40 Bare Ground ............................................................................................................................................................................................................40

WATER.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................40 pH Levels, Water Hardness and Filtration...............................................................................................................41

FURNISHINGS .........................................................................................................................................................................................41 Plants .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................41 Hide/Shelter.............................................................................................................................................................................................................42 Perches .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................42 Ventilation ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................42

RECORD KEEPING .........................................................................................................................................................................42

FEEDING

How Much and How Often to Feed ...................................................................................................................................43 NUTRITIONAL CONTENT ...................................................................................................................................................................43 Dusting.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................44 LIVE PREY ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................44 Crickets ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................45 Cockroaches ............................................................................................................................................................................................................45 Mealworms................................................................................................................................................................................................................45 Flies ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................45 Other Arthropods...........................................................................................................................................................................................46 Insect Collection ...............................................................................................................................................................................................46 Nominal Insect Weight Chart ......................................................................................................................................................46 Mice .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................47 page 5


BREEDING SEXING ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................48 Calling ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................48 Visible Male Characteristics...........................................................................................................................................................49 CARE OF REPRODUCTIVE INDIVIDUALS ...........................................................................................................50 BREEDING CUES ...............................................................................................................................................................................................50 Cooling .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................50 Day Length.................................................................................................................................................................................................................50 Rainfall ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................50 Humidity........................................................................................................................................................................................................................51 BREEDING STIMULUS .............................................................................................................................................................................51 Rain Chambers ....................................................................................................................................................................................................51 Outdoor Weather Usage (Screen Enclosures) ..................................................................................................52 Call Simulation and Rubbing ......................................................................................................................................................52 Hormone-induced Breeding ........................................................................................................................................................52 BREEDING CYCLE ...........................................................................................................................................................................................53 Amplexus......................................................................................................................................................................................................................53 Spawning .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................53 TADPOLES ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................56 Housing Tadpoles...........................................................................................................................................................................................56 Temperature............................................................................................................................................................................................................56 Water Quality .........................................................................................................................................................................................................57 Lighting...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................57 Food ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................58

HEALTH AND DISEASES DISCLAIMER............................................................................................................................................................................................................59 Supply of Prescription Medications.................................................................................................................................59 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................................60 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS......................................................................................................................................................60 QUARANTINE ......................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Procedure for Disinfecting Enclosures ........................................................................................................................61 ASSESSING YOUR FROG’S HEALTH..................................................................................................................................61 Restraint .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Weight ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Activity .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Respiration.................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Skin .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Eyes ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 Disease Checklist.............................................................................................................................................................................................62 page 6


INFECTIOUS DISEASES VIRAL DISEASES...............................................................................................................................................................................................64 BACTERIAL DISEASES.............................................................................................................................................................................64 Abscesses .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................64 Skin Infections, Red Leg and Septicaemia ............................................................................................................65 Osteomyelitis.........................................................................................................................................................................................................65 Mycobacteriosis ................................................................................................................................................................................................66 Chlamydiosis ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................66 FUNGAL DISEASES ......................................................................................................................................................................................66 Chytridiomycosis Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis..........................................................................................66 Saprolegniasis ......................................................................................................................................................................................................66 Mucor Amphibiorum ................................................................................................................................................................................66 PARASITIC DISEASES...............................................................................................................................................................................67 Protozoa .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Myxozoans ................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 WORMS ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Rhabdias ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Oxyurids .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Sparganosis ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Flukes—Trematodes ..................................................................................................................................................................................67 Ectoparasitism .....................................................................................................................................................................................................68

NON-INFECTIONS DISEASES AND CONDITIONS

Metabolic Bone Disease ......................................................................................................................................................................68 Emanciation .............................................................................................................................................................................................................68 Obesity .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................68 Gastric Overload...............................................................................................................................................................................................69 Gastrointestinal Obstruction ......................................................................................................................................................69 Prolapse ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................69 Corneal Lipidosis .............................................................................................................................................................................................70 Hypovitaminosis A .......................................................................................................................................................................................70 Oedema (Swelling) .......................................................................................................................................................................................70 Chemical Toxicity.............................................................................................................................................................................................71 TRAUMA ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................71 Lacerations ................................................................................................................................................................................................................71 Fractures and Amputations ...........................................................................................................................................................71 Rostral Abrasion (Snout Trauma)..........................................................................................................................................72 Neoplasia (Tumours) .................................................................................................................................................................................72 SUPPORTIVE CARE ....................................................................................................................................................................................72 Care and Prevention ..................................................................................................................................................................................72 Worming ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................72 Ultraviolet Light ................................................................................................................................................................................................72

GLOSSARY FOR HEALTH AND DISEASES CHAPTER .............................73 page 7


SPECIES INTRODUCTION ..............................................................................................................................................................................................75

TREE FROGS 窶認AMILY HYLIDAE EASTERN SNAPPING FROG Cyclorana novaehollandiae

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................77 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................77 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................78 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................78 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................78

WATER-HOLDING FROG Cyclorana platycephala

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................79 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................79 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................80 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................80 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................80

GREEN AND GOLD BELL FROG Litoria aurea

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................82 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................82 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................83 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................83 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................83

GREEN TREE FROG Litoria caerulea

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................85 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................85 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................86 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................86 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................86

RED-EYED GREEN TREE FROG Litoria chloris

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................87 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................87 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................88 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................88 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................88

BLUE MOUNTAINS TREE FROG Litoria citropa

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................89 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................90 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................90 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................90 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................90 page 8


BROWN TREE FROG Litoria ewingii

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................91 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................92 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................92 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................92 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................92

DWARF TREE FROG Litoria fallax

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................93 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................93 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................94 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................94 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................94

DAINTY TREE FROG Litoria gracilenta

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................95 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................95 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................96 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................96 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................96

GIANT TREE FROG Litoria infrafrenata

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................97 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................97 Status ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................97 IN CAPTIVITY.........................................................................................................................................................................................................98 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..............................98

LESUEUR’S FROG Litoria lesueurii

DESCRIPTION........................................................................................................................................................................................................99 IN THE WILD ............................................................................................................................................................................................................99 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................100 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................100 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................100

MOTORBIKE FROG Litoria moorei

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................102 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................102 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................103 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................103 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................103

NARROW-FRINGED FROG Litoria nudidigita

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................104 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................104 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................105 page 9


IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................105 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................105

PERON’S TREE FROG Litoria peronii

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................106 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................106 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................107 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................107 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................107

GREEN STREAM FROG Litoria phyllochroa

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................108 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................108 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................109 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................109 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................109

SOUTHERN BELL FROG Litoria raniformis

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................110 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................110 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................111 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................111 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................111

ROTH’S TREE FROG Litoria rothii

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................112 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................112 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................113 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................113 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................113

RED TREE FROG Litoria rubella

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................114 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................114 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................115 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................115 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................115

MAGNIFICENT TREE FROG Litoria splendida

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................116 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................116 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................116 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................117 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................117

page 10


WHISTLING TREE FROG Litoria verreauxii verreauxii

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................118 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................118 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................119 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................119 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................119

STONEY CREEK FROG Litoria wilcoxii

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................120 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................120 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................121 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................121 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................121

ORANGE-THIGHED FROG Litoria xanthomera

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................122 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................122 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................123 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................123 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................123

MARSH FROGS 窶認AMILY LIMNODYNASTIDAE GIANT BURROWING FROG Heleioporus australiacus

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................125 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................125 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................126 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................126 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................126

EASTERN BANJO FROG Limnodynastes dumerilli

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................127 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................128 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................128 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................128 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................128

STRIPED MARSH FROG Limnodynastes peronii

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................129 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................129 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................130 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................130 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................130

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SPOTTED MARSH FROG Limnodynastes tasmaniensis

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................131 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................131 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................132 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................132 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................132

HOLY CROSS FROG Notaden bennetti

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................134 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................134 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................135 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................135 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................135

GROUND FROGS窶認AMILY MYOBATRACHIDAE COMMON FROGLET Crinia signifera

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................137 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................137 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................138 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................138 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................138

GREAT BARRED FROG Mixophyes fasciolatus

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................139 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................139 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................139 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................140 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................140

GIANT BARRED FROG Mixophyes iteratus

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................141 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................141 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................142 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................142 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................142

RED-CROWNED TOADLET Pseudophryne australis

DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................143 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................143 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................143 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................144 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................144

page 12


SOUTHERN TOADLET Pseudophryne semimarmorata DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................................................................................................................145 IN THE WILD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................145 Status ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................146 IN CAPTIVITY.....................................................................................................................................................................................................146 Housing, Diet, Breeding, Longevity, Ease of Keeping, Availability ..........................146

GLOSSARY .......................................................................................................................................................................................147 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................................................150 AUSTRALIAN HERPETOLOGICAL GROUPS.................................................150 AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE LICENSING CONTACT INFORMATION ..............................................................................................................................151

Orange-thighed Frog Litoria xanthomera

page 13


A ELLIOTT

The floor of the enclosure must also be escape and predator-proof—some species of frog can dig. A solid floor of concrete, with a layer of substrate above, is recommended for aviary-style enclosures. If a terrestrial species is being kept in an enclosure with mesh that extends to the base, a smooth material should be added, extending from the base approximately 20cm up the sides to help prevent nose rubbing on frogs trying to escape. Most commercially available mesh products and sheet metal are made from galvanised A suitable outdoor enclosure or Zincalume™ steel, which have sacrificial coatings that leave toxic trace elements in water. While they are more expensive, stainless steel, Colorbond™ or powder-coated metal, which do not emit toxic chemical compounds, are much safer for use with frogs.

TYPES OF ENCLOSURES Enclosures for housing most Australian frogs can be split into four main categories and two subcategories. These are— • Aquatic—including slow-flowing or ‘still’, and fast-flowing water • Semi-aquatic • Terrestrial and • Arboreal. For some species, specialised enclosures incorporating chillers may be required to simulate alpine bogs and marshes.

Aquatic Enclosures

A ELLIOTT

Designed for keeping predominantly water-based species of frogs, an aquatic enclosure has a large proportion, if not the whole of the tank’s base covered in water. Furnishings protruding from the water provide dry areas. The speed at which the water moves (via filtration or pumps), and how it returns to the body of water in the tank, is the main difference between the fast-flowing or ‘stream simulation’ enclosure and a slowflowing or ‘still’ aquatic tank—a simulation of a pond or ephemeral pool. A higher water level in the tank will provide more filter options. Some filters need to be submerged, while other designs have an inlet pipe which is placed below the water level, so that the water An aquatic enclosure with a small land area. Filtration and is drawn into the filtration unit by suction. heating equipment is located below the tank and lighting The water is then pumped through the is positioned above the enclosure lid page 32


Dusting

Dietary supplements

To ensure amphibians receive the required amount of vitamins and minerals, prey items are often ‘dusted’. This involves sprinkling the item with a powder or even two separate powders—one calcium and the other vitamins. Dusting should generally be carried out every 2–3 feeds during non-breeding times and increased during the breeding season as activity levels rise. These supplementary vitamin and mineral powders are easily obtained from retailers or by mail. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as it is possible to overdose, which may in turn lead to health issues.

LIVE PREY Most frogs require moving live prey, however some species can be trained to eat ‘wiggling’ dead food from forceps and even fingers. There are a number of food types available— the nutritional content and size of prey are important considerations. As a general rule the size of prey offered should be no greater than the distance between the frog’s eyes—a frog with a distance of 10mm between the eyes should be offered a food item no bigger than 10mm across its length or width, whichever is greater. When feeding, it is advisable to cool insects in a fridge prior to introducing them into the enclosure. This will make the insect easier for the keeper to handle and for the frogs to capture. Slow-moving insects still provide enough movement to incite a feeding response, but make their capture much easier. If using rodents as food, it is important to use either freshly killed or thawed frozen individuals, as live rodents may inflict damage on frogs. In many cases it is also illegal to feed live vertebrates. While it is possible to culture or breed your own insects, it is generally easier to obtain them from a supplier. Many insects are reasonably easy to breed under the right conditions, which include consistent temperature and humidity for regular breeding. However, some insect species can also be quite labour intensive, so while breeding is possible, it may not be a feasible undertaking Forcep-feeding a superworm to a Green Tree Frog depending on your personal time constraints. page 44


Á LUMNITZER

Blue Mountains Tree Frog Litoria citropa

HEALTH AND DISEASES IN FROGS

BY DR ROBERT JOHNSON

BVSc MACVSc (Feline Medicine) CertZooMed BA Grad Dip Asian Studies CMAVA

DISCLAIMER

This chapter is designed to assist frog owners to understand amphibian diseases. It is neither meant nor designed to take the place of the person best qualified to assist you in the diagnosis and treatment of your frog—your amphibian veterinarian. Neither is it a complete text of amphibian medicine. It cannot be stressed enough—if you have a sick or injured frog, take it to a veterinarian. Layman remedies seldom work and the time wasted waiting for a response can be the difference between a live frog and a dead one. Any treatments or procedures described in this book are meant to help you better understand frog health. The author and the publisher accept no responsibility or liability for any person using these treatments without direct veterinary advice.

Supply of Prescription Medications

Each Australian state and territory has a health department which regulates the supply of prescription drugs—e.g. antibiotics, pain killers and sedatives—to both people and animals. These regulations state clearly that it is illegal for veterinarians to supply prescription medications for the treatment of animals not under their direct care. ‘Direct care’ means that the veterinarian must have recently examined and diagnosed the animal in question for the disease or condition for which the medication is required. This means that unless the veterinarian has seen your frog(s) for this disease within the past few months, it is illegal for that veterinarian to dispense any prescription medications. These regulations exist to protect both people and animals. The indiscriminate use of medications will eventually mean that many of these drugs are rendered useless as immunities build up to their efficacy. Then, when the drug is needed in an emergency, it may not work. Asking your veterinarian to supply antibiotics or other prescription medication for frogs that they have not seen or treated is asking them to break the law, risking heavy fines and possible deregistration. page 59


The beauty of the Blue Mountains Tree Frog was once captured in a postage stamp

TREE FROGS

FAMILY HYLIDAE

At the time of publication there were three genera of Australian Tree Frogs recognised—Cyclorana, Litoria and Nyctimistes. However there is a major taxonomic revision of the genus Litoria occurring with new taxonomic arrangements including the addition of more genera likely in the future. page 76


Status

RODMORRIS.CO.NZ

Green and Gold Bell Frogs sometimes turn a brown colour in captivity

Numbers of Green and Gold Bell Frogs have massively reduced, largely due to Chytrid Fungus and predation of eggs and tadpoles by the introduced Mosquito Fish Gambusia affinis. At the time of publication they were classified as vulnerable.

IN CAPTIVITY Housing

Albino Green and Gold Bell Frog  

A small group of three to four adult frogs would do well in either an aquatic or a semi-aquatic enclosure measuring 120cm long x 60cm high x 60cm wide. This species loves to bask and must have access to full-spectrum lighting including UV-B. A small basking light near the full-spectrum light, aimed down onto a branch, will be used by the frogs for thermoregulation. The enclosure should be about room temperature with a warm spot under the basking light. A normal photoperiod should be provided. This species likes occasional misting. page 83


MAGNIFICENT TREE FROG

Litoria splendida DESCRIPTION

The Magnificent Tree Frog is also known as the Splendid Tree Frog. It is a large frog, measuring approximately 106mm in length and 96 grams in weight. It has a robust body form. Colouration varies from light to dark green, with stunning yellow spots and flecks. The back is smooth, without bumps or protrusions, however behind the head is a pair of glands that give almost a top-heavy appearance.

IN THE WILD Found in northern Western Australia into the Northern Territory, the Magnificent Tree Frog is restricted to Keep River National Park. It seeks out slow-moving or still water, including manmade structures such as toilet blocks and natural habitats including caves and rock escarpments, where it lives in the cooler gorges. The male call has been recorded from 1.5–2 metres above a rock pool (Tyler, Smith and Johnstone 2000), primarily after rain, during summer. The call is a deep ‘brawwwk’.

Status Magnificent Tree Frogs are fairly common in the wild and are listed as being secure. page 116


MARSH FROGS

FAMILY LIMNODYNASTIDAE Following a recent taxonomic change the original Australian family Myobatrachidae was divided into two families—limnodynastidae and myobatrachidae. The Marsh Frog family Limnodynastidae includes the genera Adelotus, Heleioporus, Lechriodus, Limnodynastes, Neobatrachus, Notaden, Philoria and Platyplectrum. page 124


Sneak preview of A Guide to Australian Frogs in Captivity  

This full colour, 152 page book provides detailed information on all aspects of captive husbandry relating to the most commonly kept species...

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