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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I am facing the possibility of acquiring some of these Purple Harlequin toads, at significant expense. I want to do right by them! My intent is to keep them properly and with luck, breed them successfully. The ones I will be dealing with are genuine captive bred, thus the expense.

I have done some research online, but my sources have come up with scant information. I was hoping someone here might be able to help me confirm some care information, and provide any info they know of about this species. (Such as helpful hints for breeding or experience raising them)

Species appears to be sexually di-morphic, with females being 2X-3X as large as males (especially girth) and with much longer legs.

Minimum 18X18X24 bioactive and planted enclosure for 1-2 toads
Humidity: 70-100% with ventilation, with a water source available for soaking
Temperature - 70 to 78 deg F (or 21 to 25.5 Deg Celsius for us Canadians)
Diet: Pinhead crickets, fruit flies, bean beetles and other appropriate size feeders like this, dusted with a complete and proper Calcium/Vitamin supplement like Repashy Calcium +

What difficulties are involved with their breeding? I have read in my research that while they have been bred successfully, usually the metamorphs seem to die within days to weeks, even in lab conditions under full observation. Thoughts?

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your responses!

Dendrobates tinctorus "Patricia"
142 Posts
I had a conversation online with the guy who breeds them (I want to obtain a group myself, but not until I can set up everything correctly), and apparently to morph successfully the tads need a river style tank with very clean, moving water that is also high in both oxygen and dissolved minerals, as they breed in streams. I suggest you reach out to him if you want to attempt breeding yourself, since up until last year no one had managed to successfully rear them in captivity, probably because they're raised so differently than darts and other small tropical frogs.

It sounds like you ran across the same research papers I did; early attempts resulted in significant cases of SLS and almost total neonate mortality after a few months. Since there are other papers out there indicating that in some species of frogs, inadequate mineral content in the water during development was linked to increased SLS, the requirement for inclusion of mineral-rich water tracks since the failed lab attempts were conducted using rearing techniques more in line with tree frog or dart practices.

I did also find some papers as well as anecdotal accounts that females must be allowed to lay with some regularity (frequency not specified in the sources I saw), or they become egg bound and eventually perish. Since they lay huge strings with over a hundred eggs at a time, it may be worth considering allowing them to lay without rearing all the eggs unless you have a lot of room for grow outs.

The breeder did say he was working with one of the research groups, and they plan to publish new information in the near future based on his success with the communal river setups.

Anyway, I wish you luck with the endeavor. Hopefully by this fall I'll be in a position to attempt them as well. They're absolutely stunning little creatures that deserve captive bred representation in the hobby.

Regardless, I would definitely say try to talk to the breeder if you can. He knows better than anyone how to produce and care for them.
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