12-04-2015, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Dendrobates auratus - discolored and hiding in substrate
I'd welcome any thoughts on the following issue, which is affecting a green-and-black Dendrobates auratus.
I hadn't seen the frog for some time, so yesterday I decided to perform a forensic search for it within the enclosure.
Eventually I found it when I disturbed some soil and it hopped out, appearing strangely discolored. At first I thought the discoloration was due to it being covered in soil, but I studied it for a few minutes in a small RUB and it really does seem as if the skin has become completely grey and brown, as opposed to green and black.
It seemed to be a good weight, although it wasn't particularly active.
It lives with another green-and-black D.auratus and both were 2015 froglets, gender unknown.
The setup is follows:
- Exo Terra Small Low (18 x 18 x 12 inches, or 16.83 gallons).
- Base layer of Hydroballs overlaid with Exo Terra mesh
- Lucky Reptile Jungle Bedding
- One large bromeliad attached to a flat piece of cork bark (the frogs have often been seen tucked inside the leaves in the past)
- Several inches of beech leaves (washed at 175 degrees then baked at 350 degrees for 20 mins)
- Coconut shell hide
- Light is provided by a UV tube outside of the enclosure.
- Custom cut pieces of acrylic cover the screen mesh at the top to raise humidity and reduce fruit fly escapes
- Humidity ranges from 90 - 100% and the temps are 68-75 in the day, with a drop to 64-68 at night. This is something that's changed recently as I've moved the enclosure. Previously temps were more like 75-84.
- The enclosure has the standard backdrop that ships with the Exo Terras and one side of the tank up against a wall, so there are two sides facing outwards.
Its tank mate is active, more frequently seen and looks very well, although I find this species is generally shyer than some others. Unlike my D.tinctorius or O.pumilio, I almost never see them eating, although fruit flies certainly disappear at a considerable rate and both frogs have grown well.
What could be causing the discoloration? Could it just be due to the frog burying itself in the soil, and why would it do that?
Could the frog be stressed by the presence of its tank mate? In the early days I saw them together a lot, which I took to be a sign they were reasonably comfortable around each other. I guess that could change as they age?
Any thoughts welcome on whether this is pathological or normal and whether I should consider changing anything in the setup, including the presence of the second frog. Thank you.