Frog of the Week

Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri)

Karlik-szponiasty02.jpg
Photo by Mwatro

leastconcern

Common Name: Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog
Scientific Name: Hymenochirus boettgeri
Family: Pipidae
Location: Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Nigeria
Size: 1.4 inches or 35 mm, females larger than males

The Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog is part of the group of frogs referred to as the Dwarf Clawed Frogs in the pet trade. The Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog is the most common species of the Dwarf Clawed Frogs in the pet trade.

The Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog is an aquatic species of frog. They only come up to the surface every few hours to take a breath. Like other members of the family Pipidae, the Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog lacks teeth and a tongue.

Advertisements
Pets

Meet Sven, the African Clawed Frog

004

Sven is the first African Clawed Frog I bought. He is named after the Reindeer in Frozen. I brought him to college with me even though I wasn’t allowed to have him in the dorms. He’s shy, often swims away and hides whenever anyone goes near his tank. He loves to eat food and is getting chunky. I wanna say I got him in 2013 so he’s around 5 years old.

Pets

Meet Holly, the Fire Bellied Toad

Holly is another one of my fire bellied toad. She shares a tank with Skyler and Walter Jr. She’s the newest addition but I got her I think in 2014. Interesting story about Holly, when I lived at home, my dad left their tank cover open and she escaped. I couldn’t find her and our basement is a mess so I thought she would die. I found her 6 months later just hopping around. She is green like Skyler but a tad darker shade which helps me with telling them apart. She is also a little smaller.

Frog of the Week

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photo by Arpingstone

leastconcern
Common Name: Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog, Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog, and Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Dendrobates leucomelas
Family: Dendrobatidae
Location: Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, and Venezuela
Introduced: United States – Hawaii
Size: 1.5 inches or 38 mm

The Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog is found in the tropical forests of South America. They are toxic as their name suggests but the toxin comes from their natural diet of ants. Captive Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs are non-toxic.

The Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs performs parental care for their offspring. Males rotate the eggs so the eggs get enough oxygen. Once the eggs hatch, the male carries the tadpoles one by one on his back to small bodies of water.

The Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog is common in the pet trade. It is easy to breed in captivity and fairly easy to take care of. The frogs in the wild make natural groups so housing a few together is fine until they start breeding. Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs have been found in the wild in Hawaii, though they haven’t done too much damage to the environment. Don’t release pets into the wild.

Articles

The Hate on Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians as Pets

IMG_0892

Pet owners of reptiles and amphibians are often criticized for their love of their animals. TV and movies often show people who own herps (reptiles and amphibians) as weird and strange. Articles are often posted about how reptiles and amphibians shouldn’t be kept as pets.  There’s so much hate and dislike for these wonderful creatures. I’m going to go over some of the benefits of owning herps.

Herps, especially snakes, are often feared and hated by the general public. This hate and fear can have serious consequences for the animals. There are festivals where they round up snakes and kill them. People try to kill all the snakes that they encounter which is the #1 cause of being bitten in the United States. Herp owners often try to change this attitude. Many owners are part of groups that do public events to try to show the positive signs of herps and to change people’s mind.

IMG_0468

Having a pet herp can also inspire people to help animals. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until I received some fire bellied toads. After feeding them and watching them, I learned what I wanted to do: save frogs. Many other scientists and conservationists have similar stories.

IMG_0699 (2)
Skylar, one of the original Fire Bellied Toads

Reptiles can be therapy animals and better than cats or dogs for some people. Reptiles don’t show emotions, like cats or dogs, which is better for some people. Some people are also allergic to cats and dogs but not reptiles. Reptiles are also less active than a dog so you don’t have to take it on a walk.

BeardedDragonEatting
Bearded Dragons are great therapy animals

One common arguments that people make against having a herp as a pet is that they are a common invasive species. Common herp pets such as Burmese Pythons, Cane Toads, and tegus are all invasive species in Florida (and elsewhere). These species are to blame for problems but are they worse than more common pets? It is estimated that cats kill over a million birds per day in Australia. That is an insane number for one country. Cats are maybe one of the worst mammal invasive species on the planet. Dogs are also considered an invasive species. Fish are huge problems. People release their fish from their aquariums all the time. Goldfish are found in many water bodies around the world now and these fish can grow BIG. There are more examples but I think I made my point. I don’t think we should blame herps when it’s all pets that are invasive.

27302C3800000578-0-image-a-1_1427877094434
DO NOT RELEASE YOUR GOLD FISH

I will admit, there are problems with the herp pet trade. Some breeders keep their animals in terrible conditions. Some stores sell malnourished or sick animals. Animals are removed from the wild, even ones that are low in numbers. These imported animals could be spreading diseases such as Chytrid Fungus. We need to fix these problems. Better regulations need to be put in place.