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Old 06-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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Default Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Hello,

today I wanted to share a story of an "unknown" frog that was given to me on februari 16 2019. Again, I will try to write this in my best English.
Here we go :


Februari the 16'th I got a message from a friend's father that said a friend of his ( who is a florist) found a frog in one of his flowers he just bought at a wholesale for his store. He send me these pictures :




He asked me if I was able to take care of this frog, cause he knew I have been keeping PDF's for almost 10 years now. So he brought over the frog and now I got a unknow frog in my collection. What species was this frog? Where did it come from? Is it healthy? ....? All these and more questions came to mind.

The first thing I did, was placing the frog in a plastic container with some wet paper towels and a small plantcutting with big leaves and some small sized cricets. I made a well educated guess this frog was either a tree- or reed frog... I guess you (the reader) also figured this out.



I also imedialty posted a topic on the dutch a belgian frog fora with the pictures I got and the question if someone knew what frog thos was and if annyone knew of a similar story or has experienced or read about this before.
First I got allot of guessing, most of us guessed it was a Dendropsophus sp.
Later Remco Stuster came up with the name Afrixalus. He knew there was a difference between the eyes of Afrixalus sp. and Dendrosophus sp. and this would be the best indication of what species the frog would be.

Afrixalus sp. :

Dendrosophus sp. :


Conclusion : Afrixalus!

I imedialty begin to search on google. Not allot of time passed and I came across these websites :

https://nimo.fr/forums/570788-afrixalus-dorsalis/

https://www.gifkikkerportaal.nl/Forum/aft/105256

Similar stories and same flower everytime!



After some more research I found this french website :

EnquÍte - "Une grenouille chez mon fleuriste¬*?!" - Nature Midi-Pyrťnťes

As you can see on this website, finding these frogs in these flowers have been a real common thing in France back in 2007-2011! And also problematic for this country due the possible invasion of an african reedfrog species! Allot of risk for diseases and even a possible outbreak chytridiomycose.



As far as I can understand this, the frog were collected by a group of researchers and these surveis were handed out :

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1F...wRuWg/viewform


So we can now say for sure we have a Afrixalus Dorsalis in our collection and both the country of France and the African flowerdestributor have a big problem.
But we still have the questions : Does it cary a disease? Is the frog healty after his long travel. You have to understand this frog has travel in a cooled container to keep the flowers in best shape.

Fortunatly a friend of mine who also keeps frogs (Johan D.G.) , is working as a bioligist and was able to do a healthcheck on the animal. Conclusion : nothing found, except for a few worms, but nothing abnormal.

The frog was now a few months in my collection and doing fine, and my friend Johan was realy interested in the frog so I suggested he would take the frog of my hands.
I did not have the room or time to keep the frog and I knew he would take very good care of this beautifull animal. He imediatly said yes.

In the meanwhile Johan also contacted the wholeseller of the flower, but we did not get a good response at all and they kinda shut us down. I guess they did not wanted to get in problems of some sort... Also the flower trail ends here and I did not wanted to dig further to find the scource of the "frog problem". I think it is best to leave it to the frech research group and not get in trouble ourselfs...


Btw the flowers are "Heliconia rostrata" for those who want to know...


We also found a random person on facebook who also found a frog in his flowers! We contacted him, but he did not wanted to part with the frog. Unfortunatly This guy does not respond to our messages annymore.




(now Johan's story continues)

So Johan started to build a tank suitable for this frog and took it of my hands. This was a picture of his tank in April and it was ready to house the frog :



And some pictures of the frog during the day (normaly sleeping) :




The frog at night, when they are active :





You would almost think it is a glassfrog at night.





I will continue the story in a next post, I'm running out of time now and need to go for diner now. I hope you enjoy the story so far. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Tijl


(pictures are taken by Tijl, Johan and Carl)
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Last edited by Tijl; 06-19-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Very cool, and very nice looking frog. I've wanted to dabble into reed frogs as their cousins Heterixalus alboguttatus and madagascariensis are very nice looking but I've been told that reed frogs are very loud frogs.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

What an awesome story! Good on you guys for getting him set up with a home.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tijl View Post
(now Johan's story continues)
Indeed I can take over from here.

In the meantime I've looked around for other A. dorsalis frogs to keep our lonely immigrant some company. I eventually found a store a few km away from where I live that had them in stock. Unfortunately they were imported from Togo, whereas the immigrant came from Ivory Coast (I managed to trace this back via the wholesaler). They were being kept in very poor conditions and were very cheap, so I bought 5 to at least provided these guys with a good home.

I kept them quarantined and did a health check on them as well. They were absolutely filled with worms, so they were treated for this using a topical treatment twice, with 10 days in between.

Here are some pictures of the store-bought frogs:






After the treatment they were introduced to the terrarium as well, which they found to their liking.




Pretty shortly after I discovered that some were starting to develop eggs inside, and the males were also starting to get into breeding season mode. This means their throat turns yellow and they start calling in the evening and at night. At this point theyíre not super loud (yet)



Thereís a lot more info to come, but Iíll continue tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain_Frog View Post
Very cool, and very nice looking frog. I've wanted to dabble into reed frogs as their cousins Heterixalus alboguttatus and madagascariensis are very nice looking but I've been told that reed frogs are very loud frogs.
Yes they are pretty loud frogs once they go into full breeding season calling.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Seems my pictures didn't come through, so here goes for another attempt.

Store-bought frogs:






In the terrarium:




Female eggs and male throat:

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Old 06-27-2019, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

So here is the next part of the story:
I noticed there were some things with the terrarium that didnít really work out well, so I changed the layout a bit to provide more cover whilst at the same time eliminating the bromeliads (I donít think they fit well with reed frogs). I also provided some more suitable egglaying plants in the form of Cryptocoryne becketii and Commelina sp. next to the Anubias hastifolia that were already there.

In the meantime the calling had intensified greatly, and females were becoming really gravid so it didnít take long before the first leaves were folded and filled with eggs. I managed to get pictures of both a male calling and a couple in amplexus in the process of leaf-folding.
Here are a few videos of the different call types the males use:
https://youtu.be/1xiEGrrbmIs
https://youtu.be/yKpKVvQKcm8
https://youtu.be/fvPUT3JlZ5I

And some pictures of calling males and gravid females






And here the result, folded leaves with eggs:






The original frog turned out to be a female, here very gravid with eggs (which have all been laid by now):


I also managed to shoot some videos of the mating and folding ritual, while the other male keeps calling. Interestingly, one of the males regularly acts as a satellite male, refraining from calling himself and just trying to intercept females on their way to the calling male. Generally the females try to kick him off until he secures a good hold. After that they seem to be ok with the result.
Here the satellite male has successfully secured an amplexus hold on a female whilst the other male keeps calling, completely oblivious as to whatís happening. You also get a pretty good idea of what continuous calling means for this species.
https://youtu.be/WDHMl-wUkeU

Whilst in amplexus the froggy couple jumps into the water and then crawls onto plants looking for suitable leaves to fold. Leaves that are too thick, hairy or lack an elongated shape are dismissed. Although they do lay eggs out in the open if they fail to find suitable leaves. The selecting seems to be done by the female frog.
And the folding process:
https://youtu.be/HiymzZmW8h8
https://youtu.be/RX6_IAdG6mM
https://youtu.be/pGDUM4e_oQ4

The tadpoles hatch relatively early inside the leaves, where they stay until water from rain or the pool they are in dissolves the glue that holds the leaf edges together. In total, they folded 26 leaves, which makes for 400-500 eggs in total, of which the first 60 or so tadpoles are already swimming around. I will leave the leaves that are in or above water in the terrarium (about 9 leaves) and take the rest out to raise them in a small aquarium that Iíve set up.




Thatís where the story currently ends, Iíll make sure to post occasional updates about the tadpoles and their progress.
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

First I would like to thank Johan for saving not just one, but 6 frogs! And thank him for sharing and documenting this species behaviour, calling, breeding, ... and whatever is more to come in his expercience with them.

I must admit I never heard much about Afrixalus in the past, but I hope everyone can appreciate or partly fall in love with this rather "unknown" species of frogs just as we did!


Also,

we must keep in mind that these particular frogs and many other frogs and amphibian's stories are quite sad these days. It is not always obvious problems like : diseases, fungus (Chytrid) or habitat loss that whipe out certain species or morphs. The reason of extinsion can be just a simple as the wanting of a particular flower for florists to sell in their store or as studpid as "qualified" "uhum...." reptile/animals store's imports that contribute to so many animal deaths. And I am sure none of these are aware of the problem, but we as a community often have the power and knowledge to change this. Give these animals the life they deserve, to find people or organizations who are able to help these frogs or help the wholeseller with his problem... That is why I think we needed to share this story.

As you can read in the first part of the topic, I still hope to find out what happend (or happens) next in France and the flower exporter from Togo. But as we experienced ourselves, this problem has not been solved to this day. Otherwise these frogs would not have been found in the same flowers again.


I hope you enjoyed the story so far, I guess Johan will take over this topic from here.


Greets, Tijl.
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Last edited by Tijl; 06-27-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

A little update on the tadpole progress.

They grow at an immense speed. By now the biggest tadpoles are 3-4 cm long and are showing the first signs of leg growth. They also have a tremendous appetite, going through my stock of fish food like it's nothing. Unfortunately they are also eating the plants in their pool, which are the plants that the adults use to lay eggs. I'll probably have to move them out of the pool (they can grow emersed) to safeguard them against many tiny tadpole mouths. I do like the markings the tadpoles have though, very tiger-like.



The adults are also filling up with eggs again. I've managed to dissuade the males from calling a bit by only spraying once a week. So should I decide to spray more somewhere during the next months, I'll probably end up with another 100+ tadpoles
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Next update: first froglet has been spotted!



Caught two so far and put them in a container to crawl out on land.

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Old 08-18-2019, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

Wow, this amazing guys! Thank you for sharing!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Afrixalus Dorsalis (a story about an illegal imigrant)

And the first actual miniature frog has now permanently crawled onto land

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