Top Four Biggest Pet Frogs

The absolute biggest frog in the entire world is the Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath). It can reach up to 12 and a half inches long (snout to vent) and weigh upwards of seven pounds! However, we’re not including this behemoth frog on our top four biggest pet frogs list because they are currently endangered and due to the strict exportation regulation of this species, we don’t recommend keeping them as pets.

So now that we’ve gotten the Goliath frog out of the way, read on to find out more about our top four biggest pet frog species.

Gladiator Tree Frog (Hypsiboas boans)

This is a frog known by many names – the giant tree frog, the rusty tree frog, the giant gladiator tree frog – to name a few.

The Gladiator grows to around 4 inches long snout to vent. It gets its name because the males possess a bony spike on their hands that they use in combat with other males when it comes to defending territory or fighting for a mate.

Gladiator tree frog
This photo shows a Gladiator tree frog next to a quarter to show scale.

Gladiators can be grey or brown in color. They possess stripes, bars or blotches on their backs. Their feet have a lot of webbing and oversized toe pads.

Like all tree frogs, the Gladiator is arboreal and as such its enclosure should support its climbing habits. These frogs are also fond of adhering to the glass walls of their tanks, giving their owners a view of their underbellies.

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)

The Cuban tree frog makes our list at number three because it is commonly known to be the largest tree frog in North America.

Although these frogs might not be the largest in terms of weight or girth, they are definitely the longest tree frog in North America, reaching over five inches long from snout to vent when fully grown.

Most frogs that grow to be this long will also grow in diameter (i.e. their bellies will bulge and they will be quite wide animals), but the Cuban tree frog is actually very slender for a frog of its size. This is probably because they spend a lot of time in trees and weighing too much would make it tough for them to cling to a perch or leaf while being so high off the ground.

Cuban tree frog
Cuban tree frogs are slender, but very long.

Cuban tree frogs are originally from Cuba, as their name suggests, but have become an invasive species in the U.S. They are sometimes considered a nuisance in their natural habitat because the males actually bark very loudly in the mating season.

A single Cuban tree frog can be housed comfortably in a 15 to 20 gallon tank. Due to their arboreal lifestyle, the tank should be able to accommodate vertical space (i.e. be taller than it is wide) because your Cuban tree frog won’t spend a lot of time on the ground.

Pacman Frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli)

Pacman frogs are commonly sold as babies that are no larger than a quarter, but boy, do they grow fast! Pacmans have almost insatiable appetites and will not only expand in terms of length, but girth as well. In fact, many Pacman frog owners have to watch their frog’s weight and feed them a low-fat diet because these frogs can and will overeat if they’re not watched.

When fully grown, female Pacman frogs can be around four to seven inches long. Male frogs are slightly smaller, maxing out at around four inches.

Baby Pacman Frog
This baby Pacman frog is pictured next to a nickel. They start out tiny but grow into very massive frogs.

Pacman frogs are very popular pets not only because they are very appreciative eaters and put on a show at meal time, but because they are bred to be a variety of different colors. Captive breeding has produced some truly colorful Pacman frog morphs.

Because Pacmans are not picky eaters, we feed ours crickets as their staple food, and supplement with meal worms, night crawlers, and roaches. Occasional wax worms or horn worms are nice juicy treats, but just be sure to feed these to your Pacman in moderation.

Pixie Frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus)

Pixie frogs (AKA Giant African Bullfrogs) are true behemoths. These frogs not only grow long, but they grow hefty. It’s not unheard of for them to be large enough to eat adult mice!

large Pixie frog (Pyxicephalus adsperus)
Here’s a juvenile Pixie frog, perhaps four months old.

Male Pixies can reach lengths up to ten inches, while females will get to around five inches long, which is still impressive! Males have been recorded to weigh as much as two pounds, which might not seem like much, but in terms of frogs, this is really heavy!

Baby Pixie Frog
You can fit several baby Pixies in your hand at once!

Pixies are burrowers, so we recommend  substrate that holds moisture and allows for this behavior. Coconut fiber is ideal. They will probably hide most of the time, but you better believe that when its lunch or dinner time, the Pixie comes running…or rather, hopping. We feed ours low-fat diets that include crickets, mealworms, and roaches since it’s so easy for these frogs to become obese.

Pyxicephalus adspersus
This is a Pixie frog at a healthy weight. This frog is clearly well-fed, but not obese and that is key to keeping these behemoths healthy.

Conclusion

All large frogs have complimentary large appetites which makes feeding time a fun and entertaining experience.

We would highly recommend any of these frogs for a pet. If you think you’re prepared to adopt any of these great frog species, Backwater Reptiles has many large frog species for sale.

Do Bullfrogs Make Good Pets?

Bullfrogs as pets

Even though bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) are one of the most common and widespread frogs in North America, the Backwater Reptiles crew thinks they make awesome pets. We think they’re great natural accents if you have a decorative pond in your backyard, and they also make amusing indoor family pets.

Bullfrogs are an olive green base color with grayish brown mottling, although they can also have plain green skin. Their bellies are off-white or yellowish. Males are larger than females, but both genders have large, brown eyes with horizontal, almond-shaped pupils.

Both genders possess eardrums or tympanums behind their eyes, but the male’s tympanum is markedly larger than his eyes, while the female’s is about the same size as her eyes.

Pet Bullfrog
An olive-green female bullfrog with a yellow underbelly and speckles. A wonderful pet frog species for amphibian hobbyists.

Why a pet bullfrog?

Bullfrogs are “classic” frogs. What we mean by this is that they possess traditional green skin, are strong jumpers, and live semi-aquatic life styles. In other words, bullfrogs epitomize what most people visualize when they think of a pet frog. We think this works in their favor and makes them sort of the “All-American Frog.”

As we previously mentioned, bullfrogs are wonderful animals to have living in your backyard if you have a man-made pond. This is actually an ideal living situation for them. Because they will have access to natural day and night cycles, natural seasonal weather shifts, and natural food sources, you really won’t have much work to do as far as maintaining their health is concerned.

Outdoor pond life will allow your bullfrogs to reproduce, hibernate, and enjoy a natural life cycle. They will happily croak out the classic frog mating call during the appropriate season, engage in mating rituals, and eventually fill your outdoor pond with tadpoles and froglets.

Bullfrog
Bullfrogs can thrive outdoors in a manmade, backyard pond, but will also do well in an indoor tank.

We did mention that when kept outdoors, bullfrogs will essentially care for themselves as far as food is concerned, but we didn’t explain how this is beneficial to you as a homeowner. Most of us don’t particularly enjoy having bugs and other small pests in our yards, right?

Well, a backyard full of bullfrogs will certainly help keep that pest population under control. Bullfrogs will happily eat crickets, dragonflies, flies, spiders, and any other bug that you might consider troublesome to have in your yard.

In addition to being nice additions to your yard, bullfrogs are also great classroom pets for kids and will do just fine living an indoor life in an aquarium.

How do I care for my bullfrog in captivity?

If you are going the route of keeping your bullfrog indoors in a tank or aquarium, we recommend that you have a 55-gallon tank at minimum to house your mature frog or frog pair. Bullfrogs are very active frogs – they enjoy having room to swim, completely submerge themselves, and some area on land where they can bask. Bullfrogs are also very sizeable animals. Males can reach up to eight inches in length and need room to stretch their legs, so the larger the tank, the better.

Your tank set up should include both aquatic and land plants. Bullfrogs do like to hide and the plants, whether living or fake, will help replicate their natural environment. Your tank will also need a full-spectrum UV light and heat light set up as well as a secure lid. Bullfrogs have very strong legs and are incredible jumpers, so the cage top will ensure they don’t escape.

Rana catesbeiana
Bullfrogs are not picky eaters. Feeding time is never dull with a bullfrog.

In the wild, bullfrogs are opportunistic predators. They will sit and wait for prey to cross their path and then ambush. In the wild, bullfrogs will mostly eat invertebrates, and the same holds true in captivity. We recommend feeding your bullfrog a varied diet of insects such as crickets, mealworms, reptiworms, night crawlers, and silk worm larvae. They’re not really picky eaters and getting your bullfrog to eat should not be an issue.

If you should choose to keep your pet bullfrogs outdoors in your backyard, we highly recommend an enclosure or fence around your yard or pond. Bullfrogs are great escape artists and they can and will invade surrounding habitats and drive out the native species.

Conclusion

Bullfrogs can make rewarding and fascinating pets. They will positively thrive in an outdoor environment that replicates their natural home, but will also happily live in an indoor aquarium.

Backwater Reptiles has very affordable bullfrogs for sale if you are interested in owning a few or starting a colony in your backyard.

Freddy Krueger Frog Care

Have you heard of the “Freddy Krueger” frog? If you haven’t, we bet you’ll always remember them after reading this blog article. These frogs are bizarre and entertaining which makes them not only memorable, but delightful pets. We’re going to focus on how to care for Freddy Krueger frogs.

Freddy krueger frog care
The Budgett’s frog (aka Freddy Krueger frog) is flat and “blob-like,” which makes them fun aquarium subjects. They are easy to care for when setup correctly.

Also known as Budgett’s Frogs (Lepidobatrachus laevis), the Freddy Krueger frog’s physical appearance is reminiscent of a blob of green, olive, or yellow-colored Jello. They are flat, fat, and sort of jiggly when at rest. They have tiny but protuberant eyes that sit atop their head as well as pretty long fingers…at least as far as frog fingers are concerned. We imagine that’s partially where they get their Krueger moniker.

When stressed, threatened, or upset, a Budgett’s Frog will puff itself up, rear up on its hind legs, open its big mouth as wide as possible, and emit what can best be described as a scream. The frog’s mouth is toothless with the exception of two tiny sharp protrusions on their lower jaw that make them look like they have tiny fangs. What an interesting and strange defense mechanism.

Screaming Budgetts Frog
This is an angry Freddy Krueger Frog. He is puffed up, screaming, and showing off his two little “fangs.”

We actually sell quite a few of these unique blob-frogs at Backwater Reptiles. We think this is not only due to their comical appearance and screaming capabilities, but because they are great pet frogs overall.

Although their body shape might suggest otherwise, Budgett’s Frogs are mainly aquatic and prefer to stay in the water rather than to be on land. Their arms are quite strong making them adept swimmers. Because their eyes sit directly on top of their head, they can easily submerge themselves completely in the water and just leave their eyes poking out of the surface to see.

When kept in captivity, the Freddy Krueger Frog’s type of watery environment should be replicated as closely as possible. For a single, solitary, full-grown frog, we recommend a tank that is at least 12 inches wide and 24 inches long. Make sure the water you put in the tank is dechlorinated and in the range of six to nine inches deep. Although your Budgett’s Frog might not actually leave the water of its own accord, it is always recommended that a platform or place where the frog can escape the water completely and be on dry land is provided.

Freddy Krueger Frog
This top view of the Budgets Frog shows how its eyes sit directly on top of its head, making it easy for the frog to see when submerged in water.

The water temperature for a Budgett’s Frog is also important. In order for the frog to thrive, the water should stay in the temperature range of 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be acheived by using a thermometer or thermostat and a small tank water heater. Because Budgetts frogs are hefty and can dislodge water heaters, we recommend a mounted heater that has a safety cut out, just in case.

It also should be noted that Budgett’s Frogs create a lot of waste for a frog. Their tank should have a filtration system in place, unless you want to change the water every few days. A good rule of thumb when it comes to water filtration systems is that you do get what you pay for. Depending on the frequency you want to change the frog’s water, it might make sense to purchase a pricier unit that filters better so you don’t have to change the water too often.

Because Budgett’s Frogs are such hearty eaters and therefore produce a lot of waste, we don’t usually line their tank bottoms with any kind of substrate. It makes it easier to handle the frequent water changes and also ensures that the frog doesn’t accidentally ingest anything it shouldn’t.

We recommend aquarium decor that is minimal as well as functional. Items that provide good hiding spaces and are aesthetically pleasing such as decorative caves purchased from a pet store, terra cotta pots, or similar items are all good options. Just make sure that whatever decor you do choose is too large for the frog to eat because they really are voraciously hungry and will try to ingest items you wouldn’t imagine they would.

No Budgett’s frog care sheet would be complete without mentioning their feeding habits. Due to their hefty appetites, you should feed your young Budgett’s frog as much as it will consume in a single sitting on a daily basis. Adults don’t require feeding quite as often – every other day is fine for a mature frog.

Lepidobatrachus laevis
Although its legs make it appear stumpy, the Budgets Frog is actually a really good swimmer.

Budgett’s Frogs will eat invertebrates like nightcrawlers, crickets, roaches, and wax worms. They will also happily eat small feeder fish and de-shelled land snails. You can feed them in the water or place the food on their land platform. Because these frogs are not picky eaters, they will usually take whatever you offer them and feeding time is quite an entertaining event.

Budgett’s frogs grow quite large and will reach lengths of up to six inches, although three and a half to five inches is more common. They can live 15 to 20 years.

Freddy Krueger frog care – conclusion

We very highly recommend Budgett’s Frogs as pets. Not only are they visually interesting and appealing, they are also quite interactive and great eaters, sometimes even jumping out of the water to attack prey. If you’re ready to spring for a Freddy Krueger frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles has Budgetts Frogs for sale.

The Grumpy Rain Frog (Breviceps mossambicus)

Are you familiar with the meme of the “Grumpy Frog?” It’s usually a variation of this picture with text indicating that the frog is unhappy in some way.

Rain frog care

If you ever wondered what type of frog Grumpy Toad actually is, you’re in luck! Backwater Reptiles just got in a rare batch of these frogs, which are commonly called Rain Frogs and we’re going to tell you all about them in this post.

There are actually several Rain frog species that appear in the memes, but Backwater Reptiles has a species called the Mozambique Rain Frog (Breviceps mossambicus). They are also known as the Flat-faced Frog due to their squashed-looking faces.

Mozambique Rain Frog
We love how these frogs have such smushed, grumpy little faces. It’s not hard to see why these frogs are also called flat-faced frogs! This picture also gives a good view of the inward-facing feet of this unique little frog.

These comical little frogs are balloonish, round, squat-figured amphibians with toes that face inward (i.e they are pigeon-toed). Their manner of walking, grumpy-looking features, and overall compactness generally remind us of bulldogs which makes them very comical, yet aesthetically-appealing pets.

We should also mention that even though these frogs have been nicknamed “Grumpy Frogs,” in reality they are very docile amphibians. They don’t really bite, move pretty slowly, and overall don’t mind being handled. They are not only cute to look at, but they are easy to keep as well.

Here’s a short video we took of one of our Mozambique Rain Frogs on a stroll, just to give you a better idea of how silly these little critters actually are when it comes to locomotion.

As its name suggests, the Mozambique Rain Frog hails from Mozambique, but is also found in other African countries. It’s natural habitat is dry or moist savannah grasslands, scrublands, and rural or pastoral gardens.

When the weather is dry, the Rain Frog will hide under rocks or small crevices in or around tree roots. While hidden, it will eat small invertebrates as an ambush predator. When rainfall occurs, winged termite swarms will emerge and rain frogs will come out from their hiding places en masse to feed on all the termites.

Breviceps mossambicus
Squat, fat, round, and balloon-like are all good adjectives to describe the Mozambique Rain Frog. They’re the bulldogs of the frog world!

While the Mozambique Rain Frog is listed by the IUCN as a species of “least concern” due to its widespread range throughout Africa, they are actually pretty uncommon in the reptile/amphibian hobby world.

These frogs also have very distinct calls. Unlike a traditional frog’s croak or clicking calls, the rain frog lets out a small noise that sounds like a squeak, squeal, or kitten’s cry. It can be very amusing, so long as the frog is not crying out in distress.

rain frog
In general, the Mozambique Rain Frog is a dark brown in color with an orange or peach stripe running down each side. It’s underbelly is a lighter cream color with speckles.

When keeping a Mozambique Rain Frog in captivity, keep in mind that these frogs are burrowers. They are not jumpers or climbers and would much prefer having horizontal tank space to walk around in than vertical space as they won’t climb branches or trees. To satisfy the burrowing habits of the rain frog, make sure to coat your enclosure in a substrate that retains moisture and also holds its shape. We also recommend that there are no heavy decorative items in the enclosure since the frog might burrow underneath it and accidentally injure itself. Plastic hide rocks and a small fake plant or two should be suitable.

Since the natural diet of the Mozambique Rain Frog consists of small invertebrates, we feed ours crickets, dubia roaches, meal worms, and occasional wax worms.

flat faced frog
The rain frog’s short legs make it a poor jumper. It much prefers to waddle around.

As we previously mentioned, Backwater Reptiles currently has Mozambique Rain Frogs for sale. We just received a shipment of these humorous little frogs. They are relatively hard to come by in the reptile/amphibian pet trade, so we recommend buying yours now if you’re interested before they sell out since we likely won’t get any more until next breeding season.

 

 

Frogs vs. Toads

Ever wonder what the difference is between frogs and toads?

Frogs and toads are very similar animals after all and both are in fact amphibians. So what differentiates these two animals from one another? Read our Frogs vs. Toads blog post to find out!

Frogs vs Toads

Frogs vs. Toads – Proximity to Water

One difference between frogs and toads is that frogs live in or near a water source. Toads, on the other hand, can live on land in dryer environments, although they do still need a certain degree of moisture present to thrive.

Eastern Spadefoot Toad
This is an Eastern Spadefoot Toad. It has unusually large and bulbous eyes for a toad as well as unusually moist skin.

Frogs will actually spend most of their time in the water and are adept swimmers. Toads prefer to be on land and are not very graceful in the water.

Frogs vs. Toads – Physical Differences

There are a number of physical differences in the way frogs and toads are built that also help differentiate them from one another.

Frogs have smooth, moist skin, while toads have rough, bumpy skin that is often dry.

Glass Frog Underbelly
This is a glass frog. This species is known for its transparent skin that allows you to see its internal organs.

The hind legs of frogs are very long, graceful, and powerful because their main method of locomotion is jumping. Toads tend to have shorter, stumpier legs that enable them to walk or hop instead of jump long distances.

Frogs are generally lean, athletic-looking amphibians, whereas toads tend to have bodies that make them appear squat and out of shape.

A toad’s eyes are usually shaped like a football, but a frog has round, saucer-like eyes. A frog’s eyes will also bulge out a bit from its skull, while a toad’s eyes will not bulge.

Firebelly Toad
Don’t let is name fool you! The Firebelly Toad is not actually a toad at all, but rather a frog. It lives a mostly aquatic life.

Most frogs also possess some kind of teeth. Some frogs have vomerine teeth, which are located on the roof of the frog’s mouth. Other frogs might have maxillary teeth in addition to (or in place of) the vomerine teeth. This distinguishes them from toads, which have no teeth.

Frogs vs. Toads – Behavior

The main difference in behavior between toads and frogs is the amount of time each animal spends in the water. As mentioned earlier, most frogs prefer aqueous environments, whereas toads live on dry land.

South American Giant Marine Toad
The South American Giant Marine Toad is an enormous toad that exhibits the classic toad physical traits of bumpy skin and squatness.

Both toads and frogs are omnivores and eat everything from worms, crickets, and roaches to algae and pond sediment.

When it comes to reproduction, frogs lay their eggs in clusters very near to a water source as the tadpoles need to hatch into a watery environment. Toads will often lay their eggs in long chains. The young of both frogs and toads need to be born/hatched near water to survive.

Frogs vs. Toads – Toxicity

Both frogs and toads can be poisonous, however only toads possess poison glands behind their eyes.

Frogs, such as the Poison Dart Frog, can exude a poison through their skin. Scientists are currently unsure of what causes these frogs to be able to secrete such a poison, but they believe it to be something the frogs generate from plants or food in their wild habitats since the captive bred frogs are not toxic.

Tomato Frog
The Tomato Frog can exude a white substance from its skin when aggravated. This substance can be irritating if it comes into contact with human skin.

A toad’s toxicity comes from the poison glands behind its eyes. Whenever a toad feels threatened, it can secrete poison through its skin. This poison can then be ingested by a predator or come into contact with the skin of another animal (even a human handler) and cause irritation.

The same gland behind the toad’s eyes can also produce a separate compound that makes the toad taste awful when a predator tries to eat it. The predator will try to eat the toad and end up spitting it out due to the bad taste. Frogs do not possess these glands.

Frogs vs. Toads – Conclusion

These are not all the differences between frogs and toads, but they are the basic ones.

It should also be noted that the differences and similarities listed are discussed as generalities and that not all frogs or toads will fit neatly into one category or another. A good example of this is the Surinam Toad (Pipa pipa) which is technically a frog but looks very much like a toad and even has the word “toad” in its common name. We wrote a whole blog article discussing the unique nature of this frog that you can read here.

One thing that both frogs and toads have in common is that they make great pets. This is why Backwater Reptiles has a large selection of frogs for sale as well as a sizable collection of toads for sale.

Suriname Toad (Pipa pipa)

The Suriname Toad (Pipa pipa) is one very unique and fascinating amphibian. Everything about them – from their appearance to the manner they reproduce – is odd.

Because these amphibians are growing in popularity in the reptile/amphibian pet world, we thought we’d dedicate an entire blog post to them in which we’ll address the most frequently asked questions we get about these unusual animals.

Is the Suriname Toad actually a toad? Or is it a frog?

You’d think that because the word “toad” is in its name that Pipa pipa would be a toad, right? Although it does resemble a toad in color, it is still very much a frog.

Suriname toad - Pipa pipa
This is a front view of the Suriname Toad out of the water. These are some FLAT frogs!

Toads live much of their life on dry land (albeit close to a water source), but Pipa pipa is an aquatic amphibian and actually spends most of its time in the water. While these frogs can leave the water, their body shape just isn’t designed that well for life on land. They are awkward on land, whereas in the water, they are quite at home and even graceful.

Frogs have thin, smooth skin that is usually wet, whereas toads have dry, nodular, bumpy skin. The Suriname Toad’s skin more closely resembles a frog’s because even though it does possess texture, overall it is smooth to the touch and nearly always wet.

Why are these animals so flat?

One of the attributes that draws hobbyists to Pipa pipa is its bizarre appearance. The first thing most people notice when seeing one of these frogs for the first time is how flat they are. Being flat helps them to camouflage and appear like leaf litter, wooden detritus, or other large sediment that settles to the bottom of murky ponds.

Their unique body shape also allows them to be streamlined when swimming.

Surinam Toad
You can see how this frog’s flat body shape helps it to look like detritus on the floor of a pond.

I’ve heard these frogs have amazing reproductive habits. Do they really hatch babies from their backs?

Yes! One of the most intriguing tidbits about the Suriname Toad is that rather than lay eggs that require hatching like most amphibians, Pipa pipa “hatches” fully formed froglets from the skin on its back! Unlike most amphibians which go through metamorphosis, the Surinam toad emerges as a fully formed miniature version of the adult frog.

After very elaborate mating rituals in which the males make clicking sounds underwater to attract a mate, the mating begins. While the male and female are performing the act, they somersault and do acrobatics that allow for the eggs to stick to the female’s back. The eggs will then sink into her back skin and form a “honeycomb” from which baby froglets will hatch.

Is the Suriname Toad endangered?

Thankfully, the Surinam Toad is listed as being an animal of “Least Concern” according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

They are commonly found and widespread throughout the Amazon Basin in South American countries.

How do I care for my pet Suriname Toad?

The nice thing about keeping Pipa pipa as a pet is that they are undemanding amphibians. They just need the bare minimum to be healthy and happy. A twenty gallon aquarium, which is the minimum recommended size for a single adult, an aquatic plant or two, and plenty of food is pretty much all that is needed.

Top view of Pipa pipa
The top view of Pipa pipa shows that it has weak front arms, powerful hind legs for swimming, a blocky triangular head, and beady little eyes.

Because they lack tongues, the Suriname toad is an ambush predator. Unlike a typical frog which will can extend its sticky tongue to catch food, this toad will sit unmoving until prey gets near it. Then it moves very quickly and snatches up anything small enough to fit in its mouth. They are happy to eat small feeder fish and earth worms which are readily available at any pet store.

Overall, the Suriname toad is a very quiet animal and will simply sit on the bottom of its tank for most of the day. From time to time, they swim to the surface of the water for air, but unless it’s feeding time, you can expect them to be very predictable pets.

If you want to own one of these “ugly cute” frogs for yourself, Backwater Reptiles has Suriname Giant Toads for sale.

Tomato Frog Facts (Dyscophus guineti)

Ever wanted to know more about the pudgy Tomato Frog? Well, here’s your chance. Read on and let our factoids school you on this red amphibian!

Tomato Frog – Fact One

We bet you’ll never guess how the Tomato Frog (Dyscophus guineti) came by its common name…but, just in case you haven’t already figured it out, scientists and taxonomists like to name animals after things they resemble. And the tomato frog, due to its squat, round nature and red color, was appropriately named after the common fruit.

tomato frog facts
Because this frog looks more flat and melty than he does round and spherical, we think he resembles a tomato-based food product like lasagna more than an actual tomato! 😛

Tomato Frog – Fact Two

Adult tomato frogs and juveniles can look very different from one another. The babies might still have the same color scheme, but they are much slimmer frogs. As they grow, they will develop more vibrant red colors and pack on the pounds.

tomato frogs
Juvenile & adult tomato frog side by side comparison. Notice how slim the juvenile is when compared to the adult.

Tomato Frog – Fact Three

Adult males are smaller and duller in color than the females. Males grow to reach about 2.5 inches max, while females can grow to be four inches long snout to vent.

They can be long-lived frogs when properly cared for living up to ten years in captivity. On average, however, six years is a far more common life span.

tomato frog adult
An adult tomato frog.

Tomato Frog – Fact Four

A ten-gallon tank is large enough to house two adult tomato frogs, but a 20 gallon would be ideal.

Tomato frogs are secretive animals and enjoy burrowing and hiding, so be sure to provide your frog with a substrate such as soil or coconut fiber/mulch to allow this behavior. It’s also wise not to put any heavy decorative items in their enclosure since they can accidentally crush themselves by burrowing underneath.

dyscophus guineti
Top view of a tomato frog which demonstrates how these round frogs get their name.

Tomato Frog – Fact Five

Tomato frogs are carnivores and will only eat live insects such as crickets, wax worms, silk worms, and roaches. They also enjoy night crawlers.

It’s a good idea to dust your feeder insects once a week when dealing with adults and more frequently when feeding hatchlings and juveniles.

tomato frog picture
Tomato frog baby

We hope you enjoyed reading our Tomato Frog facts. We think they are fascinating frogs, plus we have a special fondness for fat frogs at Backwater Reptiles. We currently have both hatchling and adult tomato frogs for sale.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Mossy Tree Frogs (Theloderma corticale)

Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs (Theloderma corticale) are fascinating and unique animals. They are not common pet frogs, so we wanted to let them shine a little this week. So read on and maybe you’ll discover something new about these neat little frogs.

1. Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs get their common name from their camouflage habits. Whether trying to blend in with moss on a tree, rock, or log, the texture of this frog’s skin combined with its green, brown, and black color palette makes it appear very moss-like to potential predators.

mossy tree frog facts
Notice the knobby texture of the frog’s skin. What a great camouflage tactic!

2. Because they are nocturnal and semi-aquatic, mossy frogs are active at night and should always have access to a pool of water in which they can fully submerge. 

Naturally found in flooded caves and mountain streams in Vietnam, these frogs can be shy and secretive. Excessive handling is therefore not recommended.

mossy tree frog
This picture was taken at our facility and we can’t get enough of it!

3. When full-grown, mossy frogs will reach lengths of up to three and a half inches. The females are larger than the males.

Their lifespan in the wild is unknown, but on average they will live twelve to fifteen years in captivity.

theloderma corticale care

4. Vietnamese Mossy Frogs breed readily in captivity and thus have become healthier and more common in the pet trade than they were some years ago. 

They breed between April and June in rock cavities with water collected in the bottom or tree knot holes. The females lay the eggs on rocks or plants directly above a pool of water so that when the eggs hatch, the tadpoles will fall directly into the water.

The entire metamorphosis cycle from tadpole to mature frog takes about a year for the mossy frog.

mossy frog photograph
Mossy tree frogs generally do extremely well in captivity–just make sure they don’t dry out.

5. Like all frogs, the Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frog has no hard palate in its mouth. Instead, when the frog chomps a tasty insect meal, it blinks in order to help it swallow the food down. With no roof of the mouth to help push the food against, the frog will close its eyes and essentially push the eyes down into the top of its mouth, which in turn forces the prey down the frog’s throat.

mossy frog pet

 

Backwater Reptiles has captive bred Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs for sale if you feel inclined to purchase your own after reading our fun little factoids.

Popular Pacman Frog Morphs

Would you like to meet some of our Pacman frog morphs? Like many popular reptiles and amphibians, Pacman frogs have been bred to express a variety of different colors or morphs. In this blog article, we’ll lay out the most popular and common morphs.

Green “Normal” Pacman Frog

Popular Pacman frog morphs

As you probably surmised, the “normal,” “regular” or “green” Pacman is the standard coloration for these frogs. The normals are generally bright green with brown spots just like the one pictured.

popular pacman frog - Ceratophrys cranwelli

Proportionately, these hungry and hefty frogs start out small but grow to quite large sizes due to their voracious and seemingly unending appetites.

ceratophrys cranwelli
A happy little “regular” Pacman Frog.

Strawberry Pineapple Albino Pacman Frog

strawberry pineapple pacman frog

The Strawberry Pineapple Albino morph is named after the colors of the fruits it resembles. Standard strawberry morph Pacmans have much more pink tones to their skin, but because this little frog is an albino, the colors are duller from lack of pigmentation.

Like most albino animals, this frog also has red eyes. Due to the lack of pigment, there are no other colors to hide the blood vessels, which ultimately makes the eye appear red.

baby pacman frog

Albino Pacman Frog

This morph is similar to the strawberry albino described above, but there is no pink tint to the frog. Instead, the lack of pigment creates a yellow and orange skin tone. The frog still possesses red eyes.

albino pacman frog
Top view of an albino Pacman Frog.

baby albino pacman frog

Notice the red eyes on this albino morph.

Chocolate Mint Pacman Frog

We’re a fan of naming animals after foods, which is why we like this morph. Just like the strawberry pineapple, this frog is named for the colors of the food it resembles.

chocolate mint pacman frog morph

Mint chocolate Pacmans are a paler green color than the standard Pacman with lighter, less harsh brown accent spots.

popular frog morphs

High Red Ornate Pacman Frog

All the Pacman frogs are in the same family of Horned Frogs (Ceratophryidae), but the High Red Ornate Pacman is actually a Ceratophrys ornata and not a Ceratophrys cranwelli like all his cousins described above.

ornate pacman frog morph

If you noticed this morph’s coloration is very vibrant, that would explain where the morph gets the “high” title. Any reptile or amphibian morph with “high” in the name basically just means “super” or “a lot.” So this particular morph is named high red ornate because it’s skin is a very vibrant and noticeable red.

ornate pacman frog morph
Top view of a high red ornate Pacman Frog.

ceratophrys ornata

Summary

All of these Pacman Frog morphs are in the same family of horned frogs. The various morphs just reflect what captive breeding them has produced. Not only are the animals healthier, but they are uniquely colored.

best pacman frog morphs
A collage of Pacman morphs.

Backwater Reptiles currently offers a variety of Pacman frog morphs for sale, all of which are captive bred.

What’s your favorite Pacman Frog morph?

What Do Pixie Frogs Eat?

Are you wondering what Pixie frogs eat? If you’ve ever seen a Pixie Frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus), we bet you couldn’t help but fall in love. These frogs are adorable when they’re babies and as they grow older and pudgier, they’re quite possibly even cuter!

what pixie frogs eat
A pudgy Pixie. Sometimes they get bruises on their noses because, being such aggressive eaters, they sometimes hit the glass wall of the terrarium.

Pixie Frogs are great pet amphibians because they are extremely hardy and they are pretty docile overall, which means they don’t mind being handled and held. Oh, and another thing we should mention that probably contributes to their popularity is that these frogs are fatties and will eat pretty much anything you allow them to, making feeding time fun for both frog and owner.

That brings us to the discussion of what you should actually feed your pet Pixie Frog. What do they eat in captivity?

Pixie frog pet
Pixie frogs eat just about anything that moves, so be careful because they do have teeth!

What we feed our Pixie frogs

At the Backwater facility, we feed our Pixies dusted, gut-loaded crickets on a regular basis and supplement with other types of insects such as wax worms, meal worms, and even roaches. It’s important to note that the size of insect you are feeding your Pixie should be appropriate to their body size. Mid-size Pixies should eat mid-size insects, babies should eat small insects, and full-grown frogs weighing from three and a half to five pounds can eat large insects (i.e.locusts, large night crawlers, and big beetles).  Full-grown Pixies can also eat frozen/thawed mice in moderation. Overall, no matter what size your Pixie is, be sure that it has a varied diet as this helps to ensure it receives all the nutrients it requires to be a happy, healthy, amphibian.

Because Pixies are prone to obesity (especially in captivity), you must be careful of how often you feed your froggie friend. Babies will of course need to eat more frequently than adults. It’s recommended to feed your baby frog twice a day and your adult frog once per day. Adult frogs also need their insects dusted less frequently than babies do.

Pyxicephalus adspersus
Here’s a fat Pixie frog, which was fed crickets and roaches.

Lots of Pixie parents have trained their frogs to eat from tongs. If this is the case, you can feed your frog canned insects too. This is helpful for some people who might have an aversion to live, wriggling feeder insects.

Backwater reptiles has both captive bred hatchling Pixie Frogs for sale as well as slightly larger frogs in the two to four inch range. You can also purchase a range of feeder insects of varying sizes for your own hungry Pixie.