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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning, a coworker mentioned to me that a nearby pet store had poison dart frogs for sale. That's a true rarity around here, so I checked it out during lunch. What I saw were a couple of very large Surinam Cobalts, one was trying to hide under a piece of wood, and the other was searching for food. There was no one who knew anything about the frogs until the 'reptile guy' comes in at 2:00pm. They're wanting $150each for the frogs.

I called back and talked to the Reptile Guy and asked about them. He said that they were a pair and he could hear the male's hi-pitched call at night. Actually, IMO, they're both females, but I wanted to make sure from the learned folks on the board - has anyone ever heard a male Surinam Cobalt's call, especially at night?

I feel very sad for the frogs and I'm pretty sure that they're wild caught. They aren't near as beautiful as the ones I currently own -

thanks,
kristi
 

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I've only heard mine call once and it was because I was close to the tank it kinda just sounded like a azureus call to me just a bit lower tone
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It just occurred to me that if they're gonna be calling, it would be during the day, not at night. I asked Reptile Guy if he'd ever seen any breeding behavior, i.e., back stroking, male's cloaca expanding - nope. He said that if they were both girls, they wouldn't get along in the same tank. I told him that was true only if there was a male present. He also said that his reptile guy got them for him and told him that they were about a yr old - they looked 10yrs old, which makes me think that they're wild caught and have never been treated for parasites.

The pet store is in a part of town where people freak out over big dogs, not to mention anything labeled 'poison'. It's a sad situation - I wish there was a pdf rescue....
 

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It just occurred to me that if they're gonna be calling, it would be during the day, not at night. I asked Reptile Guy if he'd ever seen any breeding behavior, i.e., back stroking, male's cloaca expanding - nope. He said that if they were both girls, they wouldn't get along in the same tank. I told him that was true only if there was a male present. He also said that his reptile guy got them for him and told him that they were about a yr old - they looked 10yrs old, which makes me think that they're wild caught and have never been treated for parasites.

The pet store is in a part of town where people freak out over big dogs, not to mention anything labeled 'poison'. It's a sad situation - I wish there was a pdf rescue....
Thats really not true. I had a few female Tincs go at it without a male present
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Female Cobalts?

It is my observation that my two girls get along just fine, as long as there isn't a male present. I this situation, the pet store has a couple of Cobalts which have not shown any type of breeding behavior. The 'Reptile Guy' claims that the 'male' has a high pitched call that he hears at night, although he's never seen him call. I'm thinking that he has a wayward treefrog hanging around somewhere -

All of my frogs are tucked in at bedtime -
 

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Well, I don't know what's he is hearing, but it isn't Cobalts. My Cobalts have been known to call in the early evening, but its a low repetitive "grunting" that you have to be very close and very quiet to hear.

Also, I wouldn't trust a guy that can't identify a tinc call to know tinc behavior well enough to know whether they're getting along or not. Female tincs tend to not enjoy each others company, but there are no absolutes. Variables like cage space, visual barriers, age, male availability, individual personality, etc can change all that. Not all incomparable behavior ends in wrestling matches to the death, and often breeding behavior looks like wrestling/bullying.

Sounds like the reptile guy doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. I feel sorry for these frogs too, but if you buy them it encourages the store to get more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I don't know what's he is hearing, but it isn't Cobalts. My Cobalts have been known to call in the early evening, but its a low repetitive "grunting" that you have to be very close and very quiet to hear.

Also, I wouldn't trust a guy that can't identify a tinc call to know tinc behavior well enough to know whether they're getting along or not. Female tincs tend to not enjoy each others company, but there are no absolutes. Variables like cage space, visual barriers, age, male availability, individual personality, etc can change all that. Not all incomparable behavior ends in wrestling matches to the death, and often breeding behavior looks like wrestling/bullying.

Sounds like the reptile guy doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. I feel sorry for these frogs too, but if you buy them it encourages the store to get more.
Can't argue any of that, especially his perception of breeding tincs. No, I certainly wouldn't buy 'em, especially at $150 each, and no background info. I wish I couldv'e gotten some decent pix, but the glass was horrible. What bugs me, tho, is that SOMEONE from that area just might buy one of the girls like they would a pitbull, if you get my drift, and then the frog would die a long, slow death - no doubt about it. Personally, I'd rather shame him into giving them up, but I already have a couple female Cobalts and I don't have the room. Besides, if they're wild-caught, they probably haven't been treated for parasites, etc. Or possibly, I might be able to educate the idiot and show him what a nice vivarium looks like by pointing him to this board. It's a good thing I rarely, if ever, go into that pet store - I seriously think that most of the reptiles/amphibians there are fugitives...

As far as female tinc aggression goes, I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the vicinity of the girls to the guys of another morph. Is it possible that the girls can hear a courting couple and get 'set off' by it?

jest wondering...

kristi
 

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ya~ you can hear the tinc calls,
my i can hear my Colbalt call at around night time ( my lights are still on for the tank).

But it took me a while to figure out it was them calling.
Is a very faint buzz, it sound like your cellphone vibrating underneath the blanket.

but they dont call much when the lights are off~.

Cheers
Jason
 

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My opinion..and you probably won`t like it, forget you even saw these frogs. They will either die in the store or someone will buy them and infect their entire collection.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My opinion..and you probably won`t like it, forget you even saw these frogs. They will either die in the store or someone will buy them and infect their entire collection.

John
I have the same feelings - I feel very bad for the frogs, but I won't risk my babies over them. I doubt that anybody will buy them at $150 ea., especially if they've done their research, and frogs are not the type of thing they research in that particular neighborhood. It's a shady store in a not-so-good area, IMO. The Reptile Guy was very proud to know that he had a couple of Dendrobates Tinctorius (aka Poison Dart Frogs), but he didn't know the morph, and he thought that they were a sexed pair. I don't know if he believed me or not when I told him that they were both females.

I wish I had decent pix of them - it sure made me appreciate the beauty and quality of captive bred frogs. Although I know that they're Cobalts, they aren't very pretty at all - they looked more like frankenfrogs.....

Considering their current conditions, I can only hope they pass on quickly, and I'm not trying to be mean or inhumane.

kristi
 

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Kristi, a few years ago I rescued a Yellow Galact from a pet store, and you can`t even legally sell them here in CT. There`s a thread around here somewhere.
Well, I couldn`t stand seeing this thing sitting there in this bone dry tank with crickets that clearly too large for it to eat, so I set up a nice temp. tank and took him/her home.
After 2 or 3 days I found him seized under a coco-hut.
Just wasn`t meant to be.
I also went back to pet store and told the owner if I see Darts in there again I`ll be turning
his ass in.
You did the right thing, as much as it hurts.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The only thing is that I really didn't do ANYTHING, except make the call. All I know is what I saw, and it wasn't pretty.

BTW, they also listed a green & black frog in the same tank, but I didn't see it. There was barely any cover, so I asked if it had been sold. It had, but they didn't know what kind he was. I told them that it sounded like an auratus, and they confirmed it with Reptile Guy. They sold it for $70.

Where's the pdf police when ya need 'em...? :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE:
I returned to the l pet shop a couple of days ago to check up on a couple of WC adult female Cobalts that I had seen a month earlier. When someone asked me if they could help me, I said, yeah, you can remove that dead frog from the tank. The owner opened the door, poked the sprawled out skinny frog a few times, and then picked her pitiful little body up and threw it away. It was apparent that the more dominant female had stressed the lesser female to death. They had been told by their reptile dealer that they had a sexed pair - I had told them previously that they had two adult WC females. The owner insisted that the remaining frog was a male, but I told her no, she had a very gravid female left, and I'd give her $50 - they wanted $150. Fortunately (for me), she turned me down. Honestly, I didn't even WANT another female Cobalt, but I felt so bad for the frog. And the people are totally ignorant in pdf management.

One down, one to go :(
 

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I have a pet store like that by my house... leopard geckos in ten gallon tanks with blue aquarium gravel and a bowl full of lettuce, foot long savannah monitors in 20 L, snakes covered with dead skin from their last shed etc. I just dont go there any more. I tried to talk to the owner cus hes actually a really good saltwater guy, he just doesnt know about herps. He listend politely and then explaine dthat he did not have the resources to make any of the changes i suggested. the online market and swap boards on forums had basically crippled his business. Its too bad for the people that shop there, the animals housed there, and for the owner. He did make some changes and I even donated some vitamins/calcium, old tanks etc. so he could fix up the cages a little bit. Its still not ideal but all the animals food , heat, and space requirements are being met for the most part, and he doesnt order iguanas or monitors anymore.

I guess my point is that it never hurts to try and talk to pet stores owners when you see stuff like that. The animals are their stock and they dont wanna see them die since they arent worth anything dead. Youll always get bad apples, and prolly close to 95% of animals collected from the wild for the pet trade dont ever even make it into a home. Its part of what drove me away from the aquarium hobby to pdf's.

This strikes me as a much more responsible hobby, were the people participating take real ownership for what theyre doing and there is an active captive breeding community. The pet industry=lots of dead animals. Thats the sad truth about it, but i think the pdf community is a much better model than many other parts of the industry.

None of the local pet shops by me will carry dart frogs, even the "specialty reptile stores" because they have had sooo many die on them.

Now that the cobalt in that store is dead maybe they wont order any more pdf's. If they dont know about the frogs its entirely possible that the store overpaid and thats why they were $150. It sounds like a lousy situation for everyone involved, especially the frogs :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are so right about this hobby. Pdf hobbyists are absolutely passionate about the frogs and their habitat. The problem is that poison dart frogs are not meant to be kept and sold in a pet store environment. There is simply too much research and preparation involved to sell a beautiful poison dart frog to someone who just walks in off the street.

I imagine that the remaining frog will be there a while, or until she dies.

Very sad :(
 

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Agreed,
thats some deep stuff btw.. Was nice of you to help them out.

I have a pet store like that by my house... leopard geckos in ten gallon tanks with blue aquarium gravel and a bowl full of lettuce, foot long savannah monitors in 20 L, snakes covered with dead skin from their last shed etc. I just dont go there any more. I tried to talk to the owner cus hes actually a really good saltwater guy, he just doesnt know about herps. He listend politely and then explaine dthat he did not have the resources to make any of the changes i suggested. the online market and swap boards on forums had basically crippled his business. Its too bad for the people that shop there, the animals housed there, and for the owner. He did make some changes and I even donated some vitamins/calcium, old tanks etc. so he could fix up the cages a little bit. Its still not ideal but all the animals food , heat, and space requirements are being met for the most part, and he doesnt order iguanas or monitors anymore.

I guess my point is that it never hurts to try and talk to pet stores owners when you see stuff like that. The animals are their stock and they dont wanna see them die since they arent worth anything dead. Youll always get bad apples, and prolly close to 95% of animals collected from the wild for the pet trade dont ever even make it into a home. Its part of what drove me away from the aquarium hobby to pdf's.

This strikes me as a much more responsible hobby, were the people participating take real ownership for what theyre doing and there is an active captive breeding community. The pet industry=lots of dead animals. Thats the sad truth about it, but i think the pdf community is a much better model than many other parts of the industry.

None of the local pet shops by me will carry dart frogs, even the "specialty reptile stores" because they have had sooo many die on them.

Now that the cobalt in that store is dead maybe they wont order any more pdf's. If they dont know about the frogs its entirely possible that the store overpaid and thats why they were $150. It sounds like a lousy situation for everyone involved, especially the frogs :(
 

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Ignoring the part of this convo about the pet shop, my male Surinam Cobalt has started calling in the evenings. This happens just after the tank lights go out but the room lights are still on so it's like dusk for them I guess.

His call is a low vibrating sound that goes in for about 1 and a half seconds. He calls about 5 times a minute for 5-10 minutes and you can see he neck inflating each time.

Every time I hav seen him call he is sitting near the top of the tank an the female is next to him - I haven't seen any back rubbing or other behaviours though or any spawn laid.

I have had these guys since Feb but only heard calling for the last 2 weeks. They are aprox 12-18 months old. Is it abnormal for the males call to be audible then?
 

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I have had these guys since Feb but only heard calling for the last 2 weeks. They are aprox 12-18 months old. Is it abnormal for the males call to be audible then?
Nope. That's about right. Keep an eye out for eggs.
 

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Nope. That's about right. Keep an eye out for eggs.
Ah ok, thats good to know :)

Are there any specific threads or tips i should look for on encouraging them / caring for them to lay eggs?

Im a complete newbie in this regard.
 
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