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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks, figured since these are arriving today we might as well start a thread dedicated to addressing their captive husbandry and reproduction. I've done a little research (see below) to get us all started. Feedback, photos, etc. is welcome. However, please keep this thread germane to this species and its captive management.


To start, a fantastic overview of the biology and captive husbandry of this species:
A Practical Guide to the Developmental Biology of Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs -- Elinson et al. 179 (2): 163 -- The Biological Bulletin

Highlights from the above article:

Terraria for laboratory maintenance.

"Our terraria for maintaining Gastrotheca and Flectonotus consist of wooden frames, 60-80 cm in length by 40 cm in width and 40-50 cm in height, with side walls of plastic mesh. The floor and the roof are made of wood. The roof has a large door, that fits tightly, and measures about half the length of the terrarium. Terraria of glass and of plastic
are also used. In those cases, the cover is made of plastic or metal mesh to allow gas exchange.

The number of frogs per terrarium varies according to frog size. We keep about 8-10 adults of G. riobambae. 4-5 adults of the larger G. plumbea, or 12 F. pygmaeus per terrarium. Gastrotheca riobambae have been kept for up to five years, with reproduction occurring about once a year. Gastrotheca plumbea and F. pygmaeus have been kept for about two years, but their reproductive cycle and lifespan are not known. Inside terraria we place large plastic trays with earth to cover the floor completely. Stones and hollow pieces of brick provide frogs with hiding places, and branches serve as perches. One or two small containers with water (about S cm in depth) are provided with stones to give support to the frogs. Each terrarium contains one or two small pots planted with Tradescanlia. This plant grows easily and soon covers the terrarium. In addition, a bromeliad is planted, when available. Bromeliads with thorny leaves produce wounds in frogs and are not recommended. Terraria are placed near windows where there is ample sunlight and are kept moist by watering at least twice a week. Terraria are kept at 17-23°C. In native habitats of G. riobambae, the temperature fluctuates between SoC at
night to 23°C at midday. Favorite hiding places for both G. riobambae and G. plumbea are the cavities under stones and bricks and in axils of bromeliads. In addition, they hide in the crevices between plastic trays and the terrarium walls as well as under the vegetation. Flectonotus pygmaeus perches in axils of bromeliads and on the vegetation. Frogs bask in
the sun and may remain in the same place for several days. Frogs are in the water often, so water must be changed frequently.

We have not tried terraria of larger height. However, Zimmermann (1983) described taller terraria with several vegetation levels and high humidity for the maintenance
of tropical frogs. Those terraria have a frontal glass door and might be useful for maintaining large arboreal species of egg-brooding frogs.

Feeding.

Adult G. riobambae are fed two to three times a week. The easiest, most efficient food consists of sowbugs (Porcellio sp.) or meal-worm larvae (Tenebrio mollitor), mixed with small pieces of dry dog food. Food is placed in shallow plastic containers (I.S-2 cm in depth) and is always given in the same place. Meal worms remain in
feeding containers and in this way. frogs learn to eat dry food when capturing prey.
We have maintained G. riobambae successfully on only a sowbug diet; however, sowbugs becomc scarce in dry weather. To avoid food scarcity, feeding alternately with
sowbugs or meal-worms and dry dog food gives excellent results. Dog food provides the frogs with carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Outside the feeding containers,
frogs ingest dirt from the terrarium floor with their prey and may obtain needed trace elements; frogs raised without dirt become weak. This diet is also well accepted
by G. p/umbea. Flectonotus pygmaeus is fed once or twice a day on large Drosophila caught from the wild. Small sowbugs and meal-worm larvae were not tried, but could
probably be given successfully to these frogs. Newly metamorphosed G. riobambae readily accept small meal-worm larvae, and this type of food is a key to successfully raising these frogs when used in combination with other small prey items. We mix larvae with dry dog
food in very shallow plastic containers."
 

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On this side of the pond there used too be alot of CB offspring available a couple of years ago. Only to completely vanish from the hobby soon after...

But I guess they should be safe with a couple of die-hard frogbreeders like you are. At least I hope so. I think it really sucks that we let species disappear and want new imports a couple of years later... :(
 

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On this side of the pond there used too be alot of CB offspring available a couple of years ago. Only to completely vanish from the hobby soon after...

But I guess they should be safe with a couple of die-hard frogbreeders like you are. At least I hope so. I think it really sucks that we let species disappear and want new imports a couple of years later... :(
I hope they do well also, I was thrilled to get them.

These were all captive bred specimens, not WC.

Deb
 

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These were all captive bred specimens, not WC.
True, but the point I'm trying to make is; keep them around and don't lose interest like Europeans have. It's such a shame to see species disappear from the hobby but it happens all the time and just a year later we have them imported again. We feel like we're doing a good job breeding frogs which make imports unnecessary, but then again... we don't

Good luck with these! And feel free to write a breeding report some time :). I happen to know a very nice magazine that will publish good articles :)
 

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The sad thing is when I was working with them in the late 90's I couldn't give the offspring away. Sadly I had to get rid of a good chunk of my collection back in 2000 and these guys were part of the cut.

They were very hardy and bred readily in a 37 gallon tank with a large water area which they would use to deposit tads.
 

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Roman, can you provide more information on how you kept them? I'd be grateful.
37 gallon tank heavily planted 2/3 land 1/3 water(This was a shoreline tank influence by an article I read in the Vivarium magazine). Tank had a screen cover with seran wrap over 2/3 of it to restrict water evaporation. Temps would range from 65 to 80. Food was exclusively crickets supplemented with Repcal and Nekton Rep. Breeding was never observed and the first indication was tads found in the water area. Tads were raised in the same tanks as adults on fish food, algae and crickets that fell in the water. I don't recall how long it took for them to leave the water, but don't remember any tad mortality or cannibalism. These guys are close to an inch in length when they leave the water and will take 1/4 crickets and house flies within days of emerging. Very hardy frogs. Unfortunately they were coming in very cheaply at the time and were highly unappreciated.
 

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*subscribed* I've been thinking about getting a trio to put in a 60 gallon...

how big are these full grown? and where in ecuador are they found? forest floor? streambeds? rocky outcrops?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Roman. I'm going to have them at work in a large Exo, should be very cool. They are primarily terrestrial, correct?

Boababe, read the linked article, it mentions habitat.
 

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Thanks Roman. I'm going to have them at work in a large Exo, should be very cool. They are primarily terrestrial, correct?

Boababe, read the linked article, it mentions habitat.
They are undercanopy dwellers but by no means strictly terrestrial. Think more 3-20 feet of the forest floor. Don't expect much activity except at night or feeding time, but they should be visible especially in a well designed tank with branches that channel them towards the front of the enclosure.
 

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I set mine up to quarantine in a tall bin (opaque green, so it's darkened). For the short run, I criss-crossed a few pieces of large split bamboo to give them something to cling to if they wanted to perch. I watched one of the girls wedge into the corner of the bin and climb to the top.

I left them alone for a few hours and then offered about a dozen half-inch dusted crickets. Almost immediately two of the three raised up on tiptoe and chased down the crickets to feed.

Deb
 

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*cough* Boabab, I'm a dude *cough*
What does that to do with the price of tea in China? Are you saying guys can't be babes??? I wonder what Babe Ruth would have to say about..

Take the compliment from Ray and only worry if your in a dark room with him...

Ed
 

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What does that to do with the price of tea in China? Are you saying guys can't be babes??? I wonder what Babe Ruth would have to say about..

Take the compliment from Ray and only worry if your in a dark room with him...

Ed

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I'm not sure, i've never had Chinese tea....

Ray, thanks i guess??? haha
 
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