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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Hi all,

I have a trio of "El Cope" Auratus that are around 2 years old, and I've had them since they were about 2 months OOW. When I first got them and for the first year or so, they were fairly bold. There would always be at least 2 out and about, and they climbed all over the enclosure. They weren't scared of me at all. But over the past 6 months or so, they've been getting increasingly more shy, seemingly out of nowhere, to the point where I rarely see any of them. One in particular I haven't seen in weeks. And no more climbing, they are either hiding or briefly out near my banana feeding station only to dart to the nearest hiding spot as soon as I even get close to the frog room.

I alternate dusting flies with repashy and rep-cal, temps are between ~67 and ~72, Humidity is in the 80s-90s, and I've changed nothing about their setup or care (besides putting another tank next door, but the frogs cant see each other) aside from slight changes in misting schedule. In fact, there's more vegetation and hiding places now that the tank is grown in including their favorite coco hut (see picture of tank below), so I doubt they feel exposed.

I have heard the male calling some over the past year or so (haven't seen any eggs yet), and flies disappear after a couple days, so there are signs that the the frogs are healthy -- I guess I just don't know for sure and I don't understand the change in behavior. All I've read on here is that they get BOLDER with age, not shyer. If they just grew up into shy frogs that's ok with me (I know Auratus can be a shy species), I am just concerned about health and particularly about them getting their supplements, as they never come out to eat right when I feed. Sometimes it's not til the next day when I notice the fly count on my feeding station decreasing, by which time much if not most of the supplements have been cleaned off.

Anyone experienced this or have any ideas as to what changed? The only thing I can think of is they've reached breeding age, which makes them more reclusive? But I haven't found much about that here or anywhere else. Would love your thoughts!

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I find my frogs get a little more 'exploratory' after I do a substantial pruning. I sure wouldn't say your viv looks overgrown -- it looks near perfect, and very attractive -- but if you were contemplating some pruning, watch the frogs for the days following to see how they react.

My frogs get shyer with lower temps, but if this has been going on for six months that probably isn't it.

It could possibly be two males that are just now getting sick of each other.
 

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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Discussion Starter #3
I find my frogs get a little more 'exploratory' after I do a substantial pruning. I sure wouldn't say your viv looks overgrown -- it looks near perfect, and very attractive -- but if you were contemplating some pruning, watch the frogs for the days following to see how they react.

My frogs get shyer with lower temps, but if this has been going on for six months that probably isn't it.

It could possibly be two males that are just now getting sick of each other.
Yeah, I do remember them getting curious after a substantial pruning awhile back. Maybe I will try that again, although, as you kindly pointed out, it is grown in quite nicely at the moment :)

Lower temps is interesting. I did used to have a space heater in the room that kept it a couple degrees warmer than the rest of the house, but it broke a few months ago. Maybe that pushed them over the shyness edge...

Would there be other signs that two males are sick of each other? To be quite honest, I still am having a hard time determining the sex of the two frogs who I haven't personally seen calling. I think my definite male is quite big for a male, and my suspected female is quite small for a female, making gender ID a tad difficult! o_O

Here's a few pics. The one on the right in the first picture is my definite male.

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The reason I mention the 'two males' hypothesis is that I inadvertently housed 2 male thumbnails together, and they behaved like you describe: progressive shyness, one calling, no eggs. I don't have experience with auratus specifically, so experienced keepers will hopefully chime in here.
 

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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Wow! Unbelievably beautiful! How long did it take you to grow such luxurious plants? It looks like you are looking at a real jungle.
Thanks! It's been setup for about a year and a half now. Definitely took awhile to grow in. For how much crap people give creeping fig, it's a beautiful carpeting plant if kept in check. And the marble pothos is going crazy now too, shooting leaves all over the ceiling!
 

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My azureus have done this very recently. I have definitely booped their snouts before and had little reaction. Now they (1.1) are seldom out and hide if they see aping around the terraria. I hope it’s simple like they have a grudge against me or something.
 

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I sure wouldn't say your viv looks overgrown -- it looks near perfect, and very attractive
Agreed. Really nice viv.

What’s weird is that you’ve had these guys for 2 years and are just now experiencing this shyness. Based on your experience and the viv itself, it seems unlikely that you’re missing something. My money is on some kind of sociosexual issue, which is a term I just made up, then looked up and learned it’s already been coined and doesn’t mean what I want it to mean.
 

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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Discussion Starter #10
My azureus have done this very recently. I have definitely booped their snouts before and had little reaction. Now they (1.1) are seldom out and hide if they see aping around the terraria. I hope it’s simple like they have a grudge against me or something.
That's interesting, especially because you have 1.1. Any recent changes in temperature/humidity? I don't see how they could possibly have a grudge, you feed them!

I'm gonna take Socratic's advice and trying raising the temps a little bit -- it was 67 in their enclosure today which is cooler than I thought during the day.
 

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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Agreed. Really nice viv.

What’s weird is that you’ve had these guys for 2 years and are just now experiencing this shyness. Based on your experience and the viv itself, it seems unlikely that you’re missing something. My money is on some kind of sociosexual issue, which is a term I just made up, then looked up and learned it’s already been coined and doesn’t mean what I want it to mean.
Sociosexual, I like it. I don't know what it means, but I like it. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to take out the calling male and see if the other two become less reclusive...but I have never touched them since putting them in and I don't really want to stress them out even more than they already might be. Mysterious auratus...
 

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That's interesting, especially because you have 1.1. Any recent changes in temperature/humidity? I don't see how they could possibly have a grudge, you feed them!
I’ve been slowly steadily decreasing their mist schedule. I saw her the other morning petting him and getting lead into his lair. So I’m continuing to incrementally decrease mist/day and make food a bit less bountiful at each feeding. Maybe.

I don’t want them laying eggs for no reason.
 

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What about your own schedule? Have you changed the amount of time you spend in one room or the other? Maybe the amount of time spent around the. Has changed?

I ask because I’ve have a few frogs change their shyness depending on their exposure to me.

When I lived in a small apartment and was around the vivarium frequently they were pretty bold.

I then moved and had the same vivarium up in my bedroom where the frogs were away from me most of the day while I was working or downstairs or in other rooms. They became extremely shy and hid any time I was in my bedroom.

Finally I placed them in a large peninsula tank in the living room where I have been spending tons of time (I work from home now), I play music, the tv is there, the cats sit and watch through the glass etc. They are the most bold I have ever seen. They explore every inch of the tank all day long and although there are tons of hiding places they seem to prefer to be out in the open where the action is. When the cats hop up the viewing shelf it’s like the frogs come to check them out as well. When I prune they are fully out, following my hands around the viv watching what I’m doing.

Same frogs, totally different behavior I believe caused by exposure to me. The change in each case happened at different speeds. The turn to shyness happened over a few months. The boldness after the move to the living room happened almost immediately.



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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Discussion Starter #14
What about your own schedule? Have you changed the amount of time you spend in one room or the other? Maybe the amount of time spent around the. Has changed?

I ask because I’ve have a few frogs change their shyness depending on their exposure to me.

When I lived in a small apartment and was around the vivarium frequently they were pretty bold.

I then moved and had the same vivarium up in my bedroom where the frogs were away from me most of the day while I was working or downstairs or in other rooms. They became extremely shy and hid any time I was in my bedroom.

Finally I placed them in a large peninsula tank in the living room where I have been spending tons of time (I work from home now), I play music, the tv is there, the cats sit and watch through the glass etc. They are the most bold I have ever seen. They explore every inch of the tank all day long and although there are tons of hiding places they seem to prefer to be out in the open where the action is. When the cats hop up the viewing shelf it’s like the frogs come to check them out as well. When I prune they are fully out, following my hands around the viv watching what I’m doing.

Same frogs, totally different behavior I believe caused by exposure to me. The change in each case happened at different speeds. The turn to shyness happened over a few months. The boldness after the move to the living room happened almost immediately.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Interesting observations. I have actually changed the amount of time I spend in the same room with them, as I now work 100% from home since COVID. And my office happens to be the frog room. But the opposite seems to be the case with me -- I now spend more time around them, not less, and they've gotten more shy. Interesting...
 

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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Discussion Starter #15
Update -- I raised the temperature in the frog room by a few degrees, and for the first time in months I've seen all 3 frogs over the past couple days. Even caught one of them climbing up some ghostwood. They still aren't "bold," per se, but I guess they were just chilly! Had no idea a few degrees could be the difference between ultra-shy frogs and relatively reclusive frogs! 🐸
 

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Update -- I raised the temperature in the frog room by a few degrees, and for the first time in months I've seen all 3 frogs over the past couple days. Even caught one of them climbing up some ghostwood. They still aren't "bold," per se, but I guess they were just chilly! Had no idea a few degrees could be the difference between ultra-shy frogs and relatively reclusive frogs! 🐸
Gosh, I think I have noticed the same thing but that makes keeping the temp in a good range that much tighter! I'm thinking 75 - 80 degrees in the day and 70 - 75 at night would be perfect. But no way I want my house at those temps!
 

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Update -- I raised the temperature in the frog room by a few degrees, and for the first time in months I've seen all 3 frogs over the past couple days. Even caught one of them climbing up some ghostwood. They still aren't "bold," per se, but I guess they were just chilly! Had no idea a few degrees could be the difference between ultra-shy frogs and relatively reclusive frogs! 🐸
That's good to hear! Having a dedicated frog room makes all of this a lot easier. :)
 
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D. auratus "El Cope", D. leucomelas
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Gosh, I think I have noticed the same thing but that makes keeping the temp in a good range that much tighter! I'm thinking 75 - 80 degrees in the day and 70 - 75 at night would be perfect. But no way I want my house at those temps!
Going from ~69 to ~72 made the difference from me. Makes me wonder if I kept going up to 75 if that would further increase their coming out party.

That's the good thing about a separate room...I just threw a cheap space heater with thermostat in, heats up the frog room, can keep the rest of the house as cool as I like.
 

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Going from ~69 to ~72 made the difference from me. Makes me wonder if I kept going up to 75 if that would further increase their coming out party.
I recently tried to learn if there was any good POTZ (preferred optimal temperature zone) data -- body temps, not just wild habitat temperatures that don't actually say anything about what the animals prefer -- available regarding Dendrobatids. I came up empty handed. I suspect it is closer to 80F than to 70F.
 

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I recently tried to learn if there was any good POTZ (preferred optimal temperature zone) data -- body temps, not just wild habitat temperatures that don't actually say anything about what the animals prefer -- available regarding Dendrobatids. I came up empty handed. I suspect it is closer to 80F than to 70F.
I suspect the same, even though it seems they are more tolerant (as far as their ability to survive) of "cold" temperatures than "hot" temperatures (>85F)
 
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