Dendroboard banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dendrobates leucomelas:

  • Difficulty: Novice. Often considered the best beginner's frog because of their relative tolerance of variablity in enclosure parameters, especially moisture/humidity.
  • Location & History – Venezuela, northern Brazil, Both Guyanas and the south east of Colombia (1)
  • Descriptions & Behavior: A mid-sized, bold, and social frog. Males have a loud bird like call. There are currently three morphs available in the hobby:

    Note: These morphs represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characterisitics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.

    Standard - this includes the "orange", "yellow", and "green foot" which are just bloodlines and variation within the morph, and in some cases line breeding has occurred to make these traits more predictable. Also part of this morph is the "Chocolate" selectively bred genetic form (aka "Albino", "Vanishing Jewels"). Originally from Venezuela.

    Fine Spot - a slightly smaller morph than the Standard, with the bands of orange broken up by a lot of fine spots, giving an over all netted pattern on the back. May be more difficult to breed than the standard morph. Likely originates from Estado Bolivar, Venezuela.

    Banded - from British Guyana - Size is significantly larger than standard, color ranging from yellow to orange like standard, and animals have more solid bands of color, rarely broken by spotting like standards (they look like juvenile standards pattern wise). They have proven much harder to breed, with only a few groups of froglets to date. Much more challenging than standards as their breeding triggers are still unknown.

  • General Care:

    Temperature range of 70-80º F during the day, with lows down to 65. Somewhat tolerant of lower humidity and moisture than other species, as many wild populations experience an extended dry period seasonally.

    Horizontal or vertical enclosures both work well, though as leucs do like to climb and the males often call from the top of the tank, taller tanks are preferred. An 18 x 18 x 24 ExoTerra should be considered a minimum size enclosure for a pair. Leucs can do well when kept in groups as long as enough room is allowed.

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:

    Males may begin calling as early as 5-6 months of age, but females generally take longer to attain sexual maturity. Call can be louder than others and maybe too loud for some areas of your home.

    Petri dishes under coco huts and large leaves are often utilized as laying sites. Females may engage in egg-eating, so housing as 1.1 pairs or 2.1 trios for breeding is typically more successful than other ratios.

    Clutches range in size from 5-10 eggs.

    Tadpoles may exhibit cannibalism and should be housed individually. (2) Tadpoles can be fed fish flakes, detritus (decaying leaves and dead FFs), and algae based foods.

  • Pictures:

    Adult 'Fine Spot':

    295785




    'Fine Spot' newly metamorphed:

    295786



    'Fine Spot' juveniles; spots will increase in number until adulthood:


295787


'British Guyana Banded', courtesy of Jeff Ravage:

295788



References:
(1) www.poison-frogs.com, dart poison frogs, vivaria, plants, together with lots of pictures, films and more. Orchids, bromelia's, mosses, descriptions of dendrobates leucomelas, azureus, pumilio, tinctorius, auratus and how to breed frogs but also fruit
(2) http://www.natures-web.org - Tor Linbo

Contributers:
Corey Wickliffe (kerokero)
Kyle Kopp (kyle1745)
Oz (rozdaboff)
Jeff Ravage (Ravage)
John Zillmer (Socratic Monologue)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Encyclia

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
@Gamble, you said you could share some photos/descriptions of other morphs? And @varanoid, some content?

  • Difficulty: Novice. Often considered the best beginner's frog because of their relative tolerance of variablity in enclosure parameters, especially moisture/humidity.
  • Location & History – Venezuela, northern Brazil, Both Guyanas and the south east of Colombia (1)
  • Descriptions & Behavior: A mid-sized, bold, and social frog. Males have a loud bird like call. There are currently three morphs available in the hobby:
I think 'location and history' might be best specified for each morph, and the other stuff should be fleshed out and made into an introductory 'hook', to direct novice keepers toward the species. I can do this last bit, but not right now and if someone beats me to it, that's fine. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: varanoid

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,518 Posts
@Gamble, you said you could share some photos/descriptions of other morphs?
Yeah. Sorry about that.
Haven’t really been on too much lately, been kinda busy. My apologies.

I haven’t gotten a chance to attempt the care sheet yet.

Here’s some photos for the Leuc sheet though.
If none of these are good enough, let me know and I’ll try to get some other shots. (None of these have been edited, so feel free).








- Nick Gamble -
Cleveland Frog Co.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah. Sorry about that.
Haven’t really been on too much lately, been kinda busy. My apologies.

I haven’t gotten a chance to attempt the care sheet yet.
No, no, that wasn't my point at all -- no one is obligated. I'm just starting the ball rolling on this one so we can all give input. :)

For the record, these are all bluefoots? I'm not too familiar with these, if you have a morph description we can put into that section.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Encyclia

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,157 Posts
Late to the party again. Again, what I am now advocating for may be a little grand for the scope of this project, but I think to the extent that any of the morphs are mentioned, I think they should have a history section, or at least a hypothesized history. Where are yellow orange, and greenfoot suspected to be from? I don't have and answer. I have always kept standard luecs I believe originated in venezuela line wise. They exibited varying degrees of orange and yellow. But if there is a theory on what region leans a particular way on the color spectrum, I would be curious. Of course disclaim the natural variability within their range.

I like how you have identified selectively bred traits. I hope this is extended to other care sheets. Namely "black foot terribilis". I would however like to see selectively bred traits more explicitly identified. In todays market I think that selectively bred extremes are what stand out, right or wrong.

I'll say that these care sheets are an opportunity to educate, but also inform our audience of where we stand with regards to certain ethical issues. As I mentioned in the original thread, I think that this can be pretty boiler plate across care sheets. Like each one has a section against cross breeding species/locales/morphs. Another inclusion perhaps against selectively breeding for certain traits.

For this species in general, I think that you should explicitly mention they can handle temperature extremes. No suggest it. Not encourage it. But mention that they are extremely resilient temperature wise. They handle temp extremes better than many of the plants they share the tank with in my experience. My collection were exposed to temperatures of the mid and even into the upper nineties for weeks at a time, and as low as the low/mid fifties for weeks at a time as well. Not advised. Not encouraged. But I think it's worth noting they are extremely temperature tolerant in both directions.

"Standard"/nominal morph picks should be always first. My preference would be to see the picks in the same section of the description of the morphs/locales if possible. But to the extent pics follow morph descriptions lead with the nominal/standard and subsequent picks should be the order in which the morphs/locales are outlined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I like how you have identified selectively bred traits. I hope this is extended to other care sheets. Namely "black foot terribilis".
They’re an actual locality type as far as I know, there was one National Geographic article that claimed Ivan Lozano had selectively bred them for the hobbyist market which has never been confirmed or corroborated, and at least anecdotally refuted twice.

I guess the best thing to do is just ask him. I’ll shoot him a message today, but he can take a while to respond.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,518 Posts
No, no, that wasn't my point at all -- no one is obligated. I'm just starting the ball rolling on this one so we can all give input. :)

For the record, these are all bluefoots? I'm not too familiar with these, if you have a morph description we can put into that section.
Yessir. All pics of Bluefoots.


- Nick Gamble -
Cleveland Frog Co.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,157 Posts
They’re an actual locality type as far as I know, there was one National Geographic article that claimed Ivan Lozano had selectively bred them for the hobbyist market which has never been confirmed or corroborated, and at least anecdotally refuted twice.

I guess the best thing to do is just ask him. I’ll shoot him a message today, but he can take a while to respond.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I shot him a message around the time the article came out. It may have been twice that I reached out. He did not get back to me. Hope you have better luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I shot him a message around the time the article came out. It may have been twice that I reached out. He did not get back to me. Hope you have better luck.
A friend of mine and I have had some exchanges with him regarding importation etc. -- hopefully be able to clear it up once and for all. There were mutterings about the Blackfoot locality before they actually became available, but like so many things in this hobby, it's hard to get solid information.

I guess that's why so many people give up or just don't bother. It's shocking how many hobbyists I've spoken to who have zero idea of the origin of their frogs.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
New version with -- I hope -- all the inputs included. Lemme know what I screwed up. ;)

In the 'contributors' I've listed real names for those of you who I know have provided those names publicly here on DB. If you want your real name added or removed, just say so.

Dendrobates leucomelas:

  • Difficulty:

    Novice. Often considered the one of the best beginner's frogs because of their relative tolerance of variablity in enclosure parameters, both moisture/humidity and temperature.

  • Introduction:

    Dendrobates leucomelas — common name “leucomelas” or “leucs” — are relatively bold, vividly colored frogs that are distinctively tolerant of first-time keepers’ deviations from optimal care. An ideal first dart frog, leucs are one of the few species for which moisture and temperature excursions are not immediately problematic, as they are subject to seasonal climate variations in the wild. They are a good choice for keepers who want to see their frogs often, as leucs are not only actively exploring climbers and bold in the presence of people, but their yellow coloration is more visible in a planted vivarium than that of perhaps any other dart species. They also tend to be more tolerant of group living than other novice-appropriate species.

    Leucomelas are widely available as captive bred specimens. Though often found in chain pet marts, leucs are easily acquired from small hobbyist breeders, which should be considered the first source for dart frogs Leucomelas in the hobby are descended from (probably) legally imported stock, and a number of natural morphs (and a couple that were selectively bred) are established in the hobby.

    Given a roomy vivarium with good airflow, a simple but well-considered vivarium design with a multitude of hardscape elements, a range of plant choices, and layers of leaf litter that the frogs can explore, leucs thrive easily under the watch of an attentive keeper and are a fantastic dart frog species with which to begin the hobby. As they are quite visually and behaviorally different from other species, leucs are equally desired by more experienced keepers as well.
  • Natural history:

    Dendrobates leucomelas occupies a very wide range of lowland habitats in Venezuela, Guiana, Colombia and extreme northern Brazil. They inhabit moist forests and dry gallery forests within savanna regions, and aestivate during extremely dry periods, the only Dendrobatid known to do so. Reproductive competition between females is documented in the wild (4, 5).
  • Housing and captive care:

    A vivarium 18” x 18” x 24” (about 30 gallons volume) is a satisfactory minimum size for a pair of leucomelas, though larger enclosures offer more habitat choice to the frogs, encouraging the frogs to explore more, and are necessary for keeping larger groups of frogs. As with every species of dart frog, only one morph of one species should be kept in a vivarium to avoid crossbreeding and behavioral issues due to temperament differences. Also as with all species of dart frogs, they do not benefit from the presence of any other vertebrate cohabitants, contrary to online misinformation promulgated by inexperienced keepers and unscrupulous breeders. Entering ‘mixing’ into the search bar here on Dendroboard will give many more reasons why responsible keeping entails species-specific enclosures.

    Ideally, leucomelas are kept within a temperature range of 70-80º F during the day, with nightly lows down to 65º. Using an infrared temperature gun of any brand and style is the best way to monitor temps in a vivarium. Reported tolerance of extremes ranges into the 50s F and beyond the normally accepted high safe temperature of 85º. Some keepers have reported tolerances into the 90s, though this is not encouraged. Extended time at low temperatures will cause the frogs to hide constantly and fail to feed; extended time at high temperatures, especially without careful attention to providing both sufficient moisture and generous ventilation, will certainly be fatal.

    Like all dart frog species, situating the vivarium in a room that maintains these safe temperatures is strongly recommended over attempting to provide supplemental heat to the vivarium. Dart frogs are not basking animals, nor do they naturally seek out belly heat, and raising vivarium temperatures affects the moisture levels and cycles of a vivarium in ways that can be very difficult to predict and compensate for.

    Daily heavy misting with an automated misting system (such as MistKing) or manually with a pump-type handheld sprayer in amounts sufficient to rinse plant leaves of debris and waste material, and to soak into the substrate to provide water for terrestrial plants, is sufficient to provide moisture for the frogs. Some keepers mist once each morning, while vivariums with generous ventilation, or those in dry (desert) climates may be prudently misted a few times each day. Since frogs retreat to moist spots at night, evening and nighttime misting is unnecessary, and many vivarium plants benefit from a break from excess water overnight.

    Providing sufficient ventilation for the plant leaf surfaces, leaf litter, and hardscape to dry over the course of the day ensures that a balance of fresh air and general water availability is maintained. As water evaporates from the vivarium, the frogs can choose to retreat to moist hiding areas to conserve moisture, or sit out in ventilated spots to transpire moisture to cool themselves. Monitoring relative humidity with a meter is unnecessary.

    Leucs are fairly tolerant of lower humidity and moisture than other species, as many wild populations experience an extended dry period seasonally. They do not need or benefit from standing or flowing water in the vivarium, and would much prefer that all vivarium space is dedicated to walkable and climbable surfaces.

    Photos of an ideal leucomelas vivarium, all courtesy of @tinc2344:

    300073


    300074


    From the designer/keeper of this vivarium (@tinc2344):​
    "I tried to keep in mind their behavior while doing the hardscape and planning of the tank. As they would use and explore every inch of the tank I wanted to try and offer them multiple ways around the tank using the "empty" space that came with the volume of the tank. The "split tree" was in an attempt of a pathway throughout the tank that used the empty space while not having a fully centered look to it as I wanted to have a pleasing view also from both viewing panes.
    "The plants were chosen mainly to provide them the most space to explore without making the tank feel cramped. I tried to use large leafed plants with decent stems so when they climb on it, the plant can support the frog (minus the Alacosia, that's for me I love the leaf shape). I do know with that some of these plants will get very large, so I will be pruning a lot and also pinning to train them against the background (mainly the rhaphidophora). I mainly picked Leucs for this tank due to the size of it, and they can be kept in groups, as this is a display in the living area I felt that having 4 Luecs will provide more opportunity to view them than if I went with a species that do best in pairs like Tincs." (3)
  • Morphs and locales available in the hobby

    Standard
    - this includes the "orange", "yellow", and "green foot" which are natural variations within the morph, and in some cases line breeding has occurred to make these traits more predictable. Also part of this morph is the 'Chocolate' selectively bred genetic form (aka "Albino", "Vanishing Jewels"). Imported many times in the 1990s; some distinct lines still exist, but most 'Standard' leucs in the hobby are from diverse backgrounds. Originally from Venezuela.

    'Standard' leucomelas, photos courtesy of @bssknox

    300071


    300072



    Banded - from British Guyana - Size is significantly larger than standard, color ranging from yellow to orange like standard, and animals have more solid bands of color, rarely broken by spotting like standards (they look like juvenile standards pattern wise). They have proven much harder to breed, with only a few groups of froglets to date. Much more challenging than standards as their breeding triggers are still unknown. Are said to have entered the hobby in 2005.

    'British Guyana Banded' leucomelas, courtesy of Jeff Ravage:

    295788



    Fine Spot - a slightly smaller morph than the Standard, with the bands of orange broken up by a lot of fine spots, giving an over all netted pattern on the back. Some keepers report that it is more difficult to trigger breeding than the standard morph. Likely originates from Estado Bolivar, Venezuela.

    Adult 'Fine Spot' leucomelas, photo courtesy of John Zillmer:


    295785


    'Fine Spot' newly metamorphed:

    295786



    'Fine Spot' juveniles; spots will increase in number until adulthood:


  • 295787









































    'Bluefoot' or ‘Cerro Autana’ leucomelas:

    A locale specific morph from the Cerro Autana region of Venezuela, near the Colombian border. Bluefoot leucomelas hail from a very small region at the base of Autana Mountain (1).

    'Bluefoot' leucs are slower to mature, taking up to three years. (1) They are irregular breeders and lay smaller clutches of eggs (2-3). (1,2)

    'Bluefoot' photos, all courtesy of Nick Gamble:

    300075


    300076


    300077


    300078



    Other "morphs":

    Some, such as “Bandit” and “Sunbee” are selectively bred and are not true morph names but rather corporate trademark terms used for marketing. Such misleading commercialization is frowned on by most serious dart frog keepers.​

  • Breeding & tadpole Care:

    Males of some morphs may begin calling as early as 5-6 months of age, but females generally take longer to attain sexual maturity. Call can be louder than others and maybe too loud for some areas of your home.

    Petri dishes under coco huts and large leaves are often utilized as laying sites. Females may engage in egg-eating, so housing as 1.1 pairs or 2.1 trios for breeding is typically more successful than other ratios.

    Clutches range in size from 2-10 eggs, depending on morph. Tadpoles may exhibit cannibalism and should be housed individually. Tadpoles can be fed fish flakes, detritus (decaying leaves and dead FFs), and algae based foods.​
  • Summary:

    Dendrobates leucomelas
    is a perfect first dart frog for new keepers, as they are bold, colorful, and somewhat forgiving of novice keepers' learning curve. This may be the only dart frog species that could be recommended for hobbyists whose homes reach temperatures that would otherwise preclude dart frog keeping (above 85F). Chances of success with the species will be much enhanced with roomy vivariums with ample ventilation, relatively stable parameters and extensive climbing opportunities.

    References:

    (1) Vivariums:dendrobate leucomelas 2 | tropical-hobbies
    (2) Blue Footed Leucs- My perspective
    (3) DD150 gallon (3'x3'x27") Leuc build
    (4) AmphibiaWeb - Dendrobates leucomelas
    (5) Dendrobates leucomelas | Poison Dart Frogs | Dendrobates.org

    Contributors:

    @bssknox
    @tinc2344
    Nick Gamble (@Gamble)
    Jeff Ravage (@Ravage)
    Michael LaCross (@varanoid)
    John Zillmer (@Socratic Monologue)



 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
I know I'm not a contributor for this specific caresheet BUT... can the intro have one minor change? (Coloured and underlined to highlight the change)

Novice. Often considered ONE OF the best beginner's frog because of their relative tolerance of variablity in enclosure parameters, both moisture/humidity and temperature.


Rationale: they aren't universally considered the best beginner frog but are one of the best
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, everyone is totally welcome to contribute. :) I guess that contributor's list came out differently than I intended -- I'll try to reword it.

Changed the wording in the leuc sheet. I'll bet a survey would put the leuc at #1 best beginner frog (especially if the survey noted all the good beginner aspects that should be considered), but I'll leave the confirmation of that for empirical science. ;)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I LOVE it! Seriously, this is excellent stuff!
Thanks.:)

I didn't really address the 'history in the hobby' details that you'd suggested. That can (and should) be added, but more research will be necessary; I sure don't know that stuff off the top of my head. I guess I just wanted to get something updated posted on the public forum, which I'll do soon once everyone here has a chance to suggest additions. We can always edit later, once these are posted, too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: varanoid

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I added just a little natural history info, and a couple details on hobby history, and posted this.

If anyone has anything to add to it at any time, just let me know. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
So there was a fair bit of back and forth on standardized format -- is what I see above more or less locked? In which case I can re-work the terribilis sheet to fit this format...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So there was a fair bit of back and forth on standardized format -- is what I see above more or less locked? In which case I can re-work the terribilis sheet to fit this format...
I don't know that we came up with any consensus, and I didn't want to push the issue (though you or anyone else are welcome to :)). In this sheet, I ended up taking elements from yours and from @Chris S . If we end up coming to some agreement, I'm happy to rearrange this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I don't know that we came up with any consensus, and I didn't want to push the issue (though you or anyone else are welcome to :)). In this sheet, I ended up taking elements from yours and from @Chris S . If we end up coming to some agreement, I'm happy to rearrange this one.
Okay, so first thing I'll do is add the photos I said I would 2 weeks ago. :ROFLMAO:

I'll then look at fitting it into a more standardized version and leave it lying around until everyone decides.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top