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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm curious if anyone has thought of any way to quantify this. It all seems very relative. Different people have different ideas of what is bold. Tanks, temperature, individuality, age, humidity, and many other things also affect boldness. I see two parts to this.

1. Out and about: Some species like to hang out in the open, on foliage, or otherwise in places where they can be easily seen. Others prefer to spend more time hiding, or in places that may be difficult to see them. If the tank is set up poorly it might just so happen that a frogs favorite spot is somewhere where it can't be seen...but it is in truth not concerned about being spotted by you. This would actually lead to frogs being seen as less bold over time as they would be exploring the tank when first introduced and then once they found those favorite spots would be camping out in the back all the time.

2. Flight response: Some species will run upon being approached, some will not.

These two do not necessarily go hand in hand.

It is somewhat interesting to see people rate even different morphs of the same species by boldness, or to say "slightly more bold". I haven't kept enough frogs to notice such differences yet. A lot of people mention time spent in the tank but aside from juvenile frogs growing up I have only noticed slight changes in boldness when adding frogs into permanent tanks.

Group dynamic has been the most impressive. I had a lonely male cristobal pumilio that I was lucky to see out a few minutes a day when he wasn't buried in the leaflitter go from that to being visible most of the day upon the addition of a female.

Anywhoo, lets see what people's thoughts are.
 
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This is a really interesting post. I've had the same thoughts while trying to choose my first darts. I wanted El Cope auratus which I found described as one of the bolder forms of auratus but most auratus are considered "shy" from what I've read. How bod is "bolder"? I wish there was there were better descriptions on this.
 

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It really is so hard to quantify because of the various factors you mentioned. I tend to think the most important variable is how the tank is set up, along with group dynamics like you mentioned. Of course there will even be variation between a type of frog; for example, my male mancreek pumilio is very bold and calls his head off whether I'm cleaning the tank or not, while the female jumps away as soon as I open the lid unless she sees me dump food down.
The two distinct factors of "boldness" are good points, particularly the first about naturally being out and about. I feel many frogs get a bad reputation of being shy when in reality they may be totally comfortable, just in a hard to see place. This can be improved with better tank set ups so that the frogs find a comfortable spot that is more viewable, and leaf litter plays a big part in this. A nice relatively open space with layers of leaf litter makes it easy for frogs to feel secure in the open because they always have a hiding spot a hop away if needed. When people crowd their tanks with so many plants right away and don't use floor space well, it's hard to have easily viewable frog spots. I have found that simpler is usually better and even supposedly shy frogs like some auratus become quite bold overtime. (On that note, I have found auratus to be a great species and almost all I've had have been as bold as leucomelas or azureus...)
Anyway, I don't think you can really get an accurate quantification of boldness like a number on a scale of 1 to 10, because there are just so many factors. However, we know there are certain frogs that are known to be almost always very bold (how often do you hear of shy terribilis?), some that have mixed opinions, and others are commonly reported as shy. So if boldness is a very critical part of a decision for you, stick to what frogs people consistently have good results seeing. Otherwise, be prepared for less sightings potentially, but I still think most frogs over time can be very rewarding if you have a good tank setup and most importantly, patience.
Bryan
 

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I am actually working on something for this, too much to explain right now though.

Tank setup can be an issue but if a frog really is bolder than another that should show on average over opposing anecdotes.
 

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I am actually working on something for this, too much to explain right now though.

Tank setup can be an issue but if a frog really is bolder than another that should show on average over opposing anecdotes.
I'll be interested to see this. I'm sure you could set up some kind of standardish thing, like identical tanks side by side and monitor with a camera how much time the frogs is visible or something. My point is that overall, individual environments will certainly play a role so people won't be able to accurately rely on such a scale all of the time. Another thing is that it can be tough to compare the boldness of one frog to another. My leucomelas and azureus are very bold, and I would rank them as 8-10 on such a scale hypothetically, but I've also never kept terribilis so it could be that what I think is "bold" may be like a 5 compared to others. Just can't say.

In any case, I do think that there are valid trends in some frogs being bolder and will be interested to see what you are working on. I think it could help with new people trying to get a ballpark idea on how one frog may compare to another they are considering.
Bryan
 

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An article was published last year entitled "Not everything is black and white: color and behavioral variation reveal a continuum between cryptic and aposematic strategies in a polymorphic poison frog" by Willink et al which studied Oophaga Granulifera across a certain geographical region in wild populations. They had a rather simple framework for determining what might be labeled as "boldness" based on behavior in the field. I would look into that article to see if you can get any tips. Off hand, I think some of the qualifications were calling, foraging, response to a simulated predator and a few others. I believe there were eight total. All were quantified through timing or number of occurrences.

I would think that it would be similar in captive frog populations, you would just need a large enough sample size that would create an appropriate distribution. I'm not sure how many you would need, but you'd have to get a large number of people on board and somehow make sure their terrariums were within a certain range of appropriateness.

I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A popular test is FID(flight initiation distance) in the field.

Good thoughts guys!

I would add that as far as viewability goes out and about is probably more important than skittishness-depending on how long frogs stay hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The two distinct factors of "boldness" are good points, particularly the first about naturally being out and about. I feel many frogs get a bad reputation of being shy when in reality they may be totally comfortable, just in a hard to see place. This can be improved with better tank set ups so that the frogs find a comfortable spot that is more viewable, and leaf litter plays a big part in this. A nice relatively open space with layers of leaf litter makes it easy for frogs to feel secure in the open because they always have a hiding spot a hop away if needed. When people crowd their tanks with so many plants right away and don't use floor space well, it's hard to have easily viewable frog spots. I have found that simpler is usually better and even supposedly shy frogs like some auratus become quite bold overtime. (On that note, I have found auratus to be a great species and almost all I've had have been as bold as leucomelas or azureus...)
Exactly! Keeping a terrestrial frog in a tank designed for an arboreal species may be dissapointing. The frogs would spend the majority of the time in the shadows under the plants. In reality of you hacked back the plants and/or provided a second open area with flat ground the frogs would be more viewable.
 
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