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Discussion Starter #1
I have put a lot of thought in what care articles I want to make for the year. I still plan on an updated gray tree frog and American toad article as well as a few others, but I see a serious need to create a nutrition article on what you use as supplements and maybe I'll explain some good feeders in the article.

I feel this is very important to me and very important for keepers of the northeastern amphibians and I hope to help make everyone's animals much healthier with this article. I don't have a degree in Herpetology (yet) but I do have some great sources and a lot of experience to offer. You do not have to accept my article as 100% absolute truth. It's just from my perspective and I hope to encourage someone with this article and it saves their animals life.

I'm not an expert in all frogs I am heavily focused on the ones I want to research so this will only be applicable to specific species.

My main group I'm going to provide care for in the article are:

American Toads
Fowler's Toads
Southern Toads
Spadefoot Toads
Gray Tree Frogs
Cope's Gray Tree Frogs
Squirrel Tree Frogs
Green Tree Frogs
Barking Tree Frogs

This can apply to other tree frogs and some toads, but mostly the animals we are able to own legally. So the Pine Barrens Tree Frogs should not be considered pets.

I will give some updates on this and I'm asking for people who keep these animals or people who are curious about this article for your input below. I am still going to write it even if someone tells me not to but what would you like to see out of this article?

Thanks

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For grey tree frogs, it’s a little under half ants and a third beetles. A good chunk of the remainder is spiders and moths. This varies by season and proximity to people. Greys will learn to hang out near light sources and that will skew stomach contents away from ants and toward light attracted insects.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For grey tree frogs, it’s a little under half ants and a third beetles. A good chunk of the remainder is spiders and moths. This varies by season and proximity to people. Greys will learn to hang out near light sources and that will skew stomach contents away from ants and toward light attracted insects.
How do you know it's almost half of their diet to eat ants? I'm just curious. I know American Toads love ants and consume a lot of them I'm just surprised about grays.

The majority of their diet is definitely flying insects. In captivity it's probably not as good to feed ants and beetles like darkling beetles would be okay but not over consumption because of chitin spiders could harm the frog. These might be wild parts of the diet but there are other insects as well. I'm sure crickets and grasshoppers, caterpillars, bees, flies and many others are also consumed. I'm just talking in this article about the captive feeders for grays and others.

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If the nutrient profiles of gut samples were investigated it would be progressive.
 

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Realized that chart is not readable. Link here: chart on page 19. https://people.wku.edu/jarrett.johnson/reprints/Mahan&Johnson2007.pdf
Just some thoughts concerning personal observations:
Greys are drawn to flying insects more but seem to have a lower success rate when attempting. Greys are very movement based and grasshoppers do not supply a movement that is likely to result in a feeding response. My greys never attempted to catch anything bright colored ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Realized that chart is not readable. Link here: chart on page 19. https://people.wku.edu/jarrett.johnson/reprints/Mahan&Johnson2007.pdf
Just some thoughts concerning personal observations:
Greys are drawn to flying insects more but seem to have a lower success rate when attempting. Greys are very movement based and grasshoppers do not supply a movement that is likely to result in a feeding response. My greys never attempted to catch anything bright colored ever.
That is very odd because that's the complete opposite with my frogs. I have fed them hornworms and my gray tree frogs have caught black soldier flies right out of the air they also have caught moths that have flown right into their mouths. I have seen them actually to be very very precise with catching prey they seem to time their jump at least the ones I have. I think they would eat colorful prey and grasshoppers it must just depend on the Frog that's something that I want to determine but I know they do eat hornworms.

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That is very odd because that's the complete opposite with my frogs. I have fed them hornworms and my gray tree frogs have caught black soldier flies right out of the air they also have caught moths that have flown right into their mouths. I have seen them actually to be very very precise with catching prey they seem to time their jump at least the ones I have. I think they would eat colorful prey and grasshoppers it must just depend on the Frog that's something that I want to determine but I know they do eat hornworms.

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That's the difference between science and personal anecdotes. You may have outliers, but that doesn't make them the normal. Plus, watching captive frogs instead of wild/in situ to determine optimum diet preference is not an ideal way to go about it, imho. That paper linked with the chart really has all the information you'd need; and I suspect with a far larger sample size than any of us could ever hope to achieve. Not to rain on your parade, I'm all for science, but it needs to be done properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
That's the difference between science and personal anecdotes. You may have outliers, but that doesn't make them the normal. Plus, watching captive frogs instead of wild/in situ to determine optimum diet preference is not an ideal way to go about it, imho. That paper linked with the chart really has all the information you'd need; and I suspect with a far larger sample size than any of us could ever hope to achieve. Not to rain on your parade, I'm all for science, but it needs to be done properly.
This is about captive diet for these frogs though. Unless people want to have an ant colony and raise spiders it's not going to help. Plus the diet isn't the only thing I'm going to go over. They don't need to worry about supplements in the wild either but I have to talk about that too. I'm going to have to talk about staple feeders for captivity so this chart really didn't change what I knew or was going to offer about these frogs. The one thing I'm surprised about is how many ants they ate.

I also want to say this was done with one test in Missouri. Before it's the only one that's 100% proven and accepted by everyone it would be nice to see what others tests have found. Maybe these frogs have different diets if something is more or less available in other states. It would change over the course of the seasons too they just seemed to eat beetles and ants in the breeding season but the diet could be very different late summer. It could be different very early spring. In captivity we don't have quite as many options to feed them.

I didn't disagree with what was said in the chart. It had moths on there which was a big part of the diet.

Me suggesting that my frogs can catch flying insects efficient doesn't make them an outlier and the hornworms are a caterpillar so I'm not stretching the truth. As for the grasshoppers I've never tried because I'm waiting to breed them I don't just want to offer wild specimen. They are all a part of a varied diet so there would be nothing wrong with using them or crickets.

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't want it to come across that I'm being defensive or aggressive I don't mean to come across that way. So nobody think I'm targeting them to be arguing. This is all good stuff and I agree that the study is helpful. I'm not discrediting it. It's on the early summer diets of these animals which is good to know!

Thank you guys for sharing it I really appreciate it. I researched these types of articles on toads and other things involving grays. Please if you have more content that you feel is necessary to my care sheet or you want to offer up please share it on here I do not want to discourage anybody from sharing any type of content. There could be something out there somebody shares that could change whether we recommend one feeder or we recommend advising people not to use specific feeder and it also gives people more perspective of what they do in the wild which is a good idea. Thank you guys for responding to my post. Please feel free to continue I just wanted to make a post taking some of the tension away from the conversation.

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My only point is that if you're serious about making a legitimately good care sheet it should be based primarily on the best science out there, not just your personal observations with a handful of specimens. You can feel free to compare and contrast your personal observations with a more rigorous study's results, but you should be up front about that. I say this as someone who professionally has to write care manuals for animals. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My only point is that if you're serious about making a legitimately good care sheet it should be based primarily on the best science out there, not just your personal observations with a handful of specimens. You can feel free to compare and contrast your personal observations with a more rigorous study's results, but you should be up front about that. I say this as someone who professionally has to write care manuals for animals. ;)
I see that you are a zookeeper. That's awesome. I will be looking at other articles before I write the care sheet and I'll share the sources. I am not making a care sheet for frogs in the wild and I can make it known diets at certain points of the season like this but I want to make sure everyone knows I'm talking about keeping frogs in captivity not feeding wild frogs. I also think the best care articles come from those who keep them and I want to include personal experiences with my captive frogs but it won't be the entire article. I hope this helps you understand what I'm trying to accomplish with this article.

If you have more studies you have made or found please share them also. I would be happy to read them.

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Discussion Starter #17
First round of supplements from research. I'll explain later. Gutload and one supplement so far.


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