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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted to start a new thread rather than hijack a good thread. I would appreciate it if a mod could remove the posts that were a bit astray I contributed and insert them here. I would be very grateful, and I am sorry I didn't mean to derail the conversation or hijack.

Moving on to the real questions I have... If they are spotty in existence why should we be collecting them? I am in appreciation for the hesitancy to collect more frogs on behalf of the importers/exporters. I think there are a good many people that are skilled working with these rarities, and given good husbandry, time, and patience, we(as a hobby) will be able to succeed in a much more consistent way in breeding and simply providing. Maybe they are the next "Bumble Bee Toad"...

I am highly curious about these frogs, and would welcome any and all comments regarding these beautiful frogs.

(My son calls them "Dart Toads")

All my thanks!

JBear
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Would it be a fair assumption that these frogs NEED space?

Has anybody ever set up 2 LARGE vivs side by side, one being strictly vegetation and hides, etc.(standard viv most of us use), and one being a streamside viv with a heavy emphasis on water quality, spacial needs, and landscaping? The frogs transfered seasonally(when females become gravid)?

The point in two seperate vivs is the elimination of having to deal with keeping the water clean in the pool and the return. The other viv(streamside) would be set up with the complete goal of providing good water quality...

JBear
 

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Would it be a fair assumption that these frogs NEED space?

Has anybody ever set up 2 LARGE vivs side by side, one being strictly vegetation and hides, etc.(standard viv most of us use), and one being a streamside viv with a heavy emphasis on water quality, spacial needs, and landscaping? The frogs transfered seasonally(when females become gravid)?

The point in two seperate vivs is the elimination of having to deal with keeping the water clean in the pool and the return. The other viv(streamside) would be set up with the complete goal of providing good water quality...

JBear
Yes, several people have done this, having their usual tank and then a rain chamber. That is actually pretty commonly done with seasonal breeding amphibians.
 

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its also advised to keep males and females in separate enclosures since in many cases the females will actually travel considerable distances away from males when not breeding.

as far as, should we collect them... that pretty much a mute point, since only one species is currently collected and only from suriname. all others are protected and havent been exported for close to 8 years.

james
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, several people have done this, having their usual tank and then a rain chamber. That is actually pretty commonly done with seasonal breeding amphibians.
I am very familiar with the benefits of a "rain chamber", I guess my question is, was it successful? Why so/not? I appreciate the info regarding the use of the rain chamber with Atelopus!

JBear
 

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Would it be a fair assumption that these frogs NEED space?

Has anybody ever set up 2 LARGE vivs side by side, one being strictly vegetation and hides, etc.(standard viv most of us use), and one being a streamside viv with a heavy emphasis on water quality, spacial needs, and landscaping? The frogs transfered seasonally(when females become gravid)?

The point in two seperate vivs is the elimination of having to deal with keeping the water clean in the pool and the return. The other viv(streamside) would be set up with the complete goal of providing good water quality...

JBear
They don't utilize the stream during non-breeding seasons and aren't territorial (other than complaining when another frog walks on thier sleeping perch) out side of the breeding season so I'm not sure why there is a jump to requiring a large enclosure (particularly when it isn't necessary in other Atelopus). Basically from what we can tell, the issue with successful reproduction has a lot to do with
1) how the toads were handled during collection
2) how they were handled before export
3) how they were handled post import but before they get to the hobbyist.

Even much larger Atelopus like zeteki do not require a large enclosure to breed (zeteki have been repeatedly bred in 20 gallon long enclosures as well as larger enclosures).

In prior imports, toads that died within a relatively short period of time after import were found on necropsy to lack fat reserves. This appears to be one of the big issues with success with Atelopus in captivity particularly when compared with the success with A. zeteki and A. varius by institutions (since those toads were collected, kept clean, fed etc (in fact. A. zeteki deposited fertile eggs in one of the plastic bags during the flight back into the US.

Ed
 

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Moving on to the real questions I have... If they are spotty in existence why should we be collecting them?
I don't think there is currently any evidence that they are truly spotty in existence or rare. (I'm surprised to see the spotty distribution as a conservation argument given that other species that have spotty distributions are collected without a second thought (O. pumilio, D. tinctorius, D. auratus (for example)). The problem is that the males and females are distributed away from the streams during the non-breeding season with a much further range for the females. During the breeding season, the males and females (if mature and having appropriate fat reserves) migrate to the streams to breed but they don't all show up at once. Instead there is a transient population where the males that lose enough weight are displaced from the stream and the females only stay long enough to deposit eggs. This results in the males being distributed along the breeding sites in the streams with the occasional female showing up showing a highly skewed sex ratio and only a small portion of the population being represented at any one time.

There have been a number of prior cases of egg deposition by this and other species but outside of A. zeteki and A. varius there has been poor success but a lot of that can be traced back to how the toads were handled before and during import and post import. Atelopus tadpoles have little tolerance for issues with water quality and do not graze in the same manner as other tadpoles. They are adapted to feeding on diatoms and other aufwuchs found on stones in the streams and when housed in a tank, do not feed on the sides, bottom or off the surface like many other tadpoles will. What they found with zeteki and varius that they could rear tadpoles by making a paste of a high quality fish food, and smearing that onto round stones which were then placed into the tank. Acceptance of this method ranges from between 20-80% of a clutch and can vary widely between clutches from the same parents.

In A. spumarius hoogmoedi, females often have such poor fat reserves when they arrive in country they can die when attempting to get them to deposit eggs but if they are not bred, then they can retain the eggs (which are not reabsorbed) and which can form adhesions to the surrounding tissues resulting in the death of the female. (see picture at bottom of this occuring with a female A. zeteki). The other problem is that the females can spontaneously prolapse the eggs. Often there are problems with breeding since the females want to lay the eggs in a dark space under stones and a lack of these spots can result in egg retention in the females with the above noted consequences.

There is also some bad information floating around about these toads which has complicated thier care and reproduction.. specifically that these toads will deposit thier clutch into small bodies of water like soda bottles (which ignores the fact that thier clutches run into the hundreds of tadpoles and require highly oxygenated water...). This resulted in some people ignoring thier needs and attempting to breed them like many dendrobatid frogs.


Some comments,

Ed
 

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Moving on to the real questions I have... If they are spotty in existence why should we be collecting them?

JBear
Hi JBear, One thing Ed didn't mention, (assuming we are talking about spumarius/hoogmoedi) this is a lowland species, and not imminently threatened by chytrid extinction as the highland species are/were. As far as I know, A. hoogmoedi are -locally- abundant. JVK

PS I don't understand "the next Bumblebee Toad" statement? JVK
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think there is currently any evidence that they are truly spotty in existence or rare. (I'm surprised to see the spotty distribution as a conservation argument given that other species that have spotty distributions are collected without a second thought (O. pumilio, D. tinctorius, D. auratus (for example)). The problem is that the males and females are distributed away from the streams during the non-breeding season with a much further range for the females. During the breeding season, the males and females (if mature and having appropriate fat reserves) migrate to the streams to breed but they don't all show up at once. Instead there is a transient population where the males that lose enough weight are displaced from the stream and the females only stay long enough to deposit eggs. This results in the males being distributed along the breeding sites in the streams with the occasional female showing up showing a highly skewed sex ratio and only a small portion of the population being represented at any one time.

There have been a number of prior cases of egg deposition by this and other species but outside of A. zeteki and A. varius there has been poor success but a lot of that can be traced back to how the toads were handled before and during import and post import. Atelopus tadpoles have little tolerance for issues with water quality and do not graze in the same manner as other tadpoles. They are adapted to feeding on diatoms and other aufwuchs found on stones in the streams and when housed in a tank, do not feed on the sides, bottom or off the surface like many other tadpoles will. What they found with zeteki and varius that they could rear tadpoles by making a paste of a high quality fish food, and smearing that onto round stones which were then placed into the tank. Acceptance of this method ranges from between 20-80% of a clutch and can vary widely between clutches from the same parents.

In A. spumarius hoogmoedi, females often have such poor fat reserves when they arrive in country they can die when attempting to get them to deposit eggs but if they are not bred, then they can retain the eggs (which are not reabsorbed) and which can form adhesions to the surrounding tissues resulting in the death of the female. (see picture at bottom of this occuring with a female A. zeteki). The other problem is that the females can spontaneously prolapse the eggs. Often there are problems with breeding since the females want to lay the eggs in a dark space under stones and a lack of these spots can result in egg retention in the females with the above noted consequences.

There is also some bad information floating around about these toads which has complicated thier care and reproduction.. specifically that these toads will deposit thier clutch into small bodies of water like soda bottles (which ignores the fact that thier clutches run into the hundreds of tadpoles and require highly oxygenated water...). This resulted in some people ignoring thier needs and attempting to breed them like many dendrobatid frogs.


Some comments,

Ed
Thank you so much, that was VERY helpful! Amazing Pic as well!

If fat reserves are a significant threat to these frogs, what are the best food options to counteract this? I understand it has more to do with the handling of the frogs during collection, exportation, and importation, but at least we could try to add food items that will contribute toward that goal? Any thoughts or insight? Thanks for all the help!

JVK-

When I first read about Bumble Bee Toads, they were considered a challenge in regards to breeding, but as more people worked with them, it has been an easier task, that's what I meant...

JBear
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ed, you had mentioned the keepers of Atelopus had taken "algae" rocks from streams and used that as a food source. I did the same thing for my Tinc tads and was roundly criticized(not by you or any other namable person-It was quite a while ago...), why, if this is an accepted method for feeding tads institutionally, was I made to believe I all but killed them? In fact, they did quite well while I had them, metamorphed on time, and all but 1 was perfectly healthy(the 1 had SLS). Is this method of feeding advisable to your standards, or was it a desperate plight to save a rare species? All my thanks!

JBear
 

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Ed, you had mentioned the keepers of Atelopus had taken "algae" rocks from streams and used that as a food source. I did the same thing for my Tinc tads and was roundly criticized(not by you or any other namable person-It was quite a while ago...), why, if this is an accepted method for feeding tads institutionally, was I made to believe I all but killed them? In fact, they did quite well while I had them, metamorphed on time, and all but 1 was perfectly healthy(the 1 had SLS). Is this method of feeding advisable to your standards, or was it a desperate plight to save a rare species? All my thanks!
It was to some extent a desperate plight since they had planned to scale up the growth of diatoms when they got back but the toads took that idea out of thier hands...

It was also before there was any real idea on the scope of the threats of novel pathogens and parasites was understood..
In some cases, the case can still be made for it, as the last act to try and salvage an animal but with the understanding that those animals will never be repatriated. This is a little different than the case of a D. tinctorius tadpole since the dietary needs of those animals are fairly well established and can be met with any decent grade fish food... as opposed to the risk of introducing novel pathogens/parasites...

Ed
 

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Thank you so much, that was VERY helpful! Amazing Pic as well!

If fat reserves are a significant threat to these frogs, what are the best food options to counteract this? I understand it has more to do with the handling of the frogs during collection, exportation, and importation, but at least we could try to add food items that will contribute toward that goal? Any thoughts or insight? Thanks for all the help!
Actually the the foods sources we already have are more than sufficient. In fact the risk is in giving them too much food. When an animal (or person) has significant loss of fat reserves (and potentially muscle mass), the risk is in actually feeding them at all. This is because you put the animal at risk for refeeding syndrome which causes the animal to crash and die... The reason is because at a certain point, the animal begins to draw on the reserves inside the cells to maintain metabolic processes. When the animal is fed the risk is that the transportation of the sugars and fats into the cells depletes the ion levels in the circulating volume below critical leves resulting in death.

As a result, the animals really should be fed small meals (in reptiles and amphibians no more than 1/2 of the calories needed to sustain the standard metabolic rate) every day. Offering more than that is a significant risk. With the animals in the imports, the decision has to be made to try and get eggs and hope the female(s) do not die or feed them small meals until they are established and risk that resulting in the eggs forming adhesions (which kills the female) or prolapses the eggs and dies..

I suspect that once the first captive bred ones are reared, they should be as easy to breed as zeteki or varius.

When I first read about Bumble Bee Toads, they were considered a challenge in regards to breeding, but as more people worked with them, it has been an easier task, that's what I meant...

JBear
Other than the small size of the metamorphs, Seth Doty worked out how to breed them years ago (in the imports before, during and after 2004) (and before that Alex Sens bred them (back in the mid 1990s).... and it followed a fairly simple formula. Many of the reproductions this year were from animals that were partially or fully cycled in the wild, so future reproductions of those animals will tell more of a tale.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually the the foods sources we already have are more than sufficient. In fact the risk is in giving them too much food. When an animal (or person) has significant loss of fat reserves (and potentially muscle mass), the risk is in actually feeding them at all. This is because you put the animal at risk for refeeding syndrome which causes the animal to crash and die... The reason is because at a certain point, the animal begins to draw on the reserves inside the cells to maintain metabolic processes. When the animal is fed the risk is that the transportation of the sugars and fats into the cells depletes the ion levels in the circulating volume below critical leves resulting in death.

As a result, the animals really should be fed small meals (in reptiles and amphibians no more than 1/2 of the calories needed to sustain the standard metabolic rate) every day. Offering more than that is a significant risk. With the animals in the imports, the decision has to be made to try and get eggs and hope the female(s) do not die or feed them small meals until they are established and risk that resulting in the eggs forming adhesions (which kills the female) or prolapses the eggs and dies..

I suspect that once the first captive bred ones are reared, they should be as easy to breed as zeteki or varius.

You are the best. I hope to one day be as helpful as you are. I appreciate all you have "learned me".

Other than the small size of the metamorphs, Seth Doty worked out how to breed them years ago (in the imports before, during and after 2004) (and before that Alex Sens bred them (back in the mid 1990s).... and it followed a fairly simple formula. Many of the reproductions this year were from animals that were partially or fully cycled in the wild, so future reproductions of those animals will tell more of a tale.

Ed
I was quite largely devoted to Sals and Newts for a long time, and only read what would now be considered out of date material. I am refferencing "Barron's: Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs". In that book, if I am not mistaken, the author has yet to solve the breeding riddle of Bumble Bee Toads. That was what I meant.

JBear
 

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I was quite largely devoted to Sals and Newts for a long time, and only read what would now be considered out of date material. I am refferencing "Barron's: Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs". In that book, if I am not mistaken, the author has yet to solve the breeding riddle of Bumble Bee Toads. That was what I meant.

JBear

Salamanders and caecilians are high on my list of favorite amphibians, unfortunately I had to down size. Someday, I'll be getting back into them.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Salamanders and caecilians are high on my list of favorite amphibians, unfortunately I had to down size. Someday, I'll be getting back into them.

Ed
Here is an old list I had put together of some of the species I have worked with regarding salamanders and newts:

Newts and Salamders

1a. Ambystoma t. mavortium (Barred Tiger Salamander) Pics
1b. A. tigrinum (Eastern Tiger Sal(Nominate form))
2. A. opacum (Marbled Sal) Pics
3. A. texanum (Smallmouth Sal) Pics
4. A. laterale (Blue Spotted Sal) Pics
5. A. maculatum (Spotted Sal) Pics
6. A. mexicanum (Axolotl)
7. Triturus marmoratus (Marbled Newt) Pics
8. Lissotriton boscai (Spanish newt-Not the ribbed newt(P. waltl)) Pics
9. L. helveticus (Palmate Newt) Pics
10. L. vulgaris (Common Newt/ European Common Newt/ European Garden Newt) Pics
11. Ichthyosaura alpestris (Alpine Newt(Nominate)) Pics
12. I. a. apaunus (Alpine Newt ssp. that is smaller and far more brilliantly colored while in breeding mode) Pics
13. I a. inexpectatus (Alpine Newt ssp. that is considered the largest of the ssp of this species. Similar to apaunus mostly)
14. Notophthalmus V. viridescens (Eastern Newt/ Red-Spotted Newt) Pics
15. Desmognathus fuscus (Northern Dusky Sal) Pics
16. D. ochrophaeus (Mountain Dusky Sal) Pics
17. D. monticola (Seal Sal) Pics
18. Plethodon cinereus (Red-Backed Sal) Pics
19. P. richmondi (Northern Ravine Sal)
20. P. glutinosus (Slimy Sal)
21. Eurycea bislineata (Northern Two-Lined Sal)
22. Pseudotriton ruber (Northern Red Sal)
23. Gyrinophilus porphryticus (Spring Sal)
24. Cynops orientalis (Oriental Fire-Bellied Newt/ Pet Shop Newt...)
25. Pluerodeles waltl (Spanish Ribbed Newt)
26. Tylototriton shanjing (Mandarin Newt/ Emperor Newt)Pics
27. Pachytriton labiatus (Paddle-Tailed Newt)
28. Paramesotriton hongkongensis (Warty Newt/ Giant Warty Newt/ Giant Fire-Bellied Newt) Pics

JBear
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ed is totally right... I drove this one off topic....

Are Atelopus climbers when not by the streamside? I have always heard anecdotal comments of them being strewn across the mossy boulders in the splash zone of a stream, but no one talks about the habitat they occupy the majority of the year.

All my thanks!

JBear
 

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Ed is totally right... I drove this one off topic....

Are Atelopus climbers when not by the streamside? I have always heard anecdotal comments of them being strewn across the mossy boulders in the splash zone of a stream, but no one talks about the habitat they occupy the majority of the year.

All my thanks!

JBear
I sent the pm.

They are known to climb up into shrubs (to more than a meter to sleep out on leaves or into axils). The A. zeteki I worked with in one enclosure would climb more than 24 inches to squeeze into the axils of a bromeliad to sleep.
If another Atelopus disturbs the perch to climb past they can make a warning call.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I sent the pm.

They are known to climb up into shrubs (to more than a meter to sleep out on leaves or into axils). The A. zeteki I worked with in one enclosure would climb more than 24 inches to squeeze into the axils of a bromeliad to sleep.
If another Atelopus disturbs the perch to climb past they can make a warning call.

Ed
What are they eating primarily and supplementally at the streamside? What are they eating primarily and supplementally in the forested habitat? This info could greatly influence our ability to fascilitate seasonal variation, and(potentially) build needed fatty reserves to sustain a breeding project, IMHO.

Thanks as always!

JBear
 
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