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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have a question regarding my group of D. auratus "panama special".

I have a group of 6 frogs housed in a 100x80x40 vivarium. The group dynamics have been stable for over a year with no obvious dominance behaviour and I know there are at least two confirmed males in the group. Now I originally had a confirmed couple in the group, which had several clutches in 2017, which were successfully raised to froglets. That same year the female caught a bacterial infection in the leg, which proved eventually fatal (the frog was easily stressed and the treatment proved too much).

Now I have not had a new clutch since 2017, despite regular calling from at least two males. Now I've cycled the frogs recently to try and get a response from a female (if there is one). There was a lot less calling during the dry season and now that misting, feeding and photoperiod has increased again there is a lot of calling going on (every day, often almost every hour). Now my question is: if the male frogs are clearly happy with their environment and very ready to breed, does it happen that female frogs don't want to? There is always the possibility that I got very unlucky and have 6 males, but at least two of the frogs are now so plump that I would think they are likely females.

Because I suspect this will be asked anyway, I'll go ahead and do this now already:

1. What species ? How long have you had the frog(s) and where did you acquire them ?

Dendrobates auratus "panama special", which is another name for one of the types of frogs that trace back to the Birkahn and Wassmann frogs. Have had 3 of them since May 2017, according to the seller they are from early and late 2016. The other three are from late 2017.
Three were bought from a vendor from the Netherlands at a fair in a group of four (one died), one is captive bred by me and the other two were bought in a different store in the Netherlands.

2. What are your Temperatures -Day and Night - Highs and lows ? Are the enclosure lights too hot ?

Daytime usually 20-27 during the day depending on season, nights 18-20 depending on season. Lights are LEDs with attached heatsinks that do not tough the glass and the enclosure is 80cm high, so little chance of overheating because of this.

3. What is the Humidity like ? - Percentage or guesstimate. What type of Water are you using ? Describe your tank/enclosure and it's lid or top.

Relative humidity is probably around 70%, with the usual up and down fluctuations caused by temperatures and misting. Water is mostly reverse osmosis mixed with some tap water for misting (conductivity is 10-30 microsiemens usually after RO, tap water is usually around 460 microsiemens). Misting is currently once a day for 20s

4. What kind of food are you providing, how much and are you dusting it ? What superfine powdered supplements are you using and are they fresh ?

Flightless and wingless D. melanogaster, flightless D. hydei, pea aphids, firebrats. The vivarium also has a stable and large population of several species of isopods (T. tomentosa, P. pruinosus and tropical brown of which I don't know the latin name) and springtails. In spring, autumn and summer they also get meadow plankton caught at a local pesticide-free grassland. They get fed around three times a week. Food is dusted always with repashy calcium plus, which is stored in the fridge and replaced within half a year.

5. Any other animals in the enclosure currently or recently ? Tankmates / other frogs ?

No

6. Any type of behaviour you would consider 'odd' ?

One of the frogs is more easily prone to have a slight rectal prolapse during pooping, but it always corrects itself within the hour and this individual has had this from when I bought it. Fecals have been done several times and no parasites have been found. I figured that it's probably just something specific to this one frog. All frogs are pretty bold and I see all six every day several times.

7. Have you handled or touched the frogs recently ? Any cleansers, paint, perfumes, bug sprays ect near the tank ?

No, I only clean the glass with tap water.

8. Can you take pictures of EVERYTHING ? The frogs, the enclosure ? Take numerous pics of everything

Will take some more later on, but here are at least a photograph of the whole viv and one of the frogs that happened to be looking at me while I was taking the shot.


 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you have any artificial lay sites (film cans, coco huts, PVC sections) in the viv? How is the tank vented?
Yes, there are 3 coco huts (the plastic ones) and 3 film canisters in the viv. Ventilation is only through the top with a 10cm wide strip that runs across the top. There is a fan inside the viv for when temperatures get too hot to provide air movement and cooling.

Here are a few more pics from the vivarium.




And here is the same photograph as above but with the positions of egglaying sites marked. Stars are where film canisters are placed, circles are coco huts.
 

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The tank is certainly large enough for the group, and to have wound up with a 6.0 wouldn't be impossible, but it would be a stretch. I might try removing a few frogs to see what happens. It could be a situation where you have two or more females, and they have become adept at locating and eating each other's clutches.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The tank is certainly large enough for the group, and to have wound up with a 6.0 wouldn't be impossible, but it would be a stretch. I might try removing a few frogs to see what happens. It could be a situation where you have two or more females, and they have become adept at locating and eating each other's clutches.
I tried the removing frogs a while back (that's how I confirmed the second male), but was forced to put them back together before I saw any clutch because I needed the space for Afrixalus offspring.

If they are eating each others clutches, would you still find part of the egg jelly or would they eat this as well?
 

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I tried the removing frogs a while back (that's how I confirmed the second male), but was forced to put them back together before I saw any clutch because I needed the space for Afrixalus offspring.

If they are eating each others clutches, would you still find part of the egg jelly or would they eat this as well?
I would expect to still see some jelly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update:

Today there was a calling battle going on in the afternoon. Spotted the two males who were going at each other and they were two frogs from which I didn't know the gender yet. One of them was also one of the fattest frogs which I was hoping was a female. So 4 out of 6 are now confirmed males. I might remove those 4 males in the next few days to hear if there is still calling in the main viv from the last two.

Starting to look like the all male group is becoming more plausible :p
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Next update:

After I confirmed that 5 out of 6 were males I assumed the last one was probably male as well so I went looking for a female. Bought a frog on the 4th of june that was a suspected female. The frog settled in very nicely and didn't seem too bothered with the change in environment.



Didn't get any eggs for a while but noticed clear mating behaviour day before yesterday (19th of august) and there were eggs yesterday after I spotted the frog with one of the males in a hut. Removed them out of fear of being eaten and checked them today again and they look like they are developing. After more than 1.5 years without eggs due to having all dudes it seems like things have kicked off again.

 
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