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Monday, August 7, 2023
DART FROG TADPOLES
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GIANT WAXY-MONKEY TREE FROGS
Giant Waxy-Monkey Tree Frogs, Phyllomedusa bicolor, are a pretty big deal here at Josh’s Frogs, in more ways than one. Of course,
they’re literally quite big—with some populations capable of growing up to six inches long (although our Peruvian line is a bit
smaller), they’re among the largest tree frogs in the world. But their sheer size is dwarfed by a greater significance. In our
hobby, these frogs are highly prized, very rare, and almost always wild-caught. That’s typical Josh’s Frogs territory, so it
seemed like a no-brainer for us to start a breeding program. Now, having finally succeeded after three years of hard effort, we
can definitively say that some brains were needed.
As far as we can tell, our hard-earned success at breeding this particular species is unprecedented. That isn’t to say that P.
bicolor has never been bred in captivity before. Our own breeding group was captive-bred, and we know of a handful of other
examples. The difference with our success comes down to a few key details: our frogs were housed entirely indoors—in the same
climate-controlled facility they’ve called home for the last three years—and subjected to conditions designed to mimic the
seasonal changes of their native environment.
A clutch of P. bicolor eggs. Clutches are folded into leaves overhanging water. When the tadpoles emerge, they fall in.
This process, known as ‘conditioning’ or ‘cycling’, turned out to be a key factor in the P. bicolor reproductive cycle. Though
some amphibians will breed readily in captivity without the need for conditioning, many species rely on certain environmental cues
to trigger breeding behavior, such as seasonal changes in temperature, humidity, rainfall, or food availability. Some cues are
harder than others to replicate in an indoor environment, but without the right ones at the right time, these species simply won’t
attempt to breed. The biggest challenge to successfully breeding P. bicolor was figuring out how to produce the right cues at the
EACH CAPTIVE-BRED FROG IS A CHANCE FOR A WILD FROG TO STAY WILD
After a whole lot of trial and error, it seems that we’ve finally dialed in the proper cycle, and it feels like we’ve cracked a
safe or unearthed a priceless treasure. To date we've found six egg clutches, and we expect to find more. Each clutch represents
hundreds of healthy young frogs, and each frog has the potential to be more than just a pet; it could be a chance for a wild frog
to stay wild. It could even inspire someone to advocate for wild frogs everywhere, whether they’re halfway across the world or
right in our backyards. In our opinion, that’s what conservation through captive breeding is all about: fostering a sustainable
future for frogs and hobbyists alike. 🐸
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2023 FROG WEEK COMES TO AN END WITH AARON'S PENNSYLVANIA-THEMED ENCLOSURE BUILD!
Love from Castomers
FEARNE THE WHITE'S TREE FROG, COURTESY OF HAPPY CUSTOMER GARRETT B.
"Fearne sleeping on a leaf in her and her sibling's 100 gallon planted tank."
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ALL SHARKS ARE TECHNICALLY FISH, WHICH MAKES THE WHALE SHARK (RHINCODON TYPUS) THE WORLD'S LARGEST SHARK AND THE WORLD'S LARGEST
"whale-shark-witting-reduced" is in the public domain. Courtesy: NOAA Fisheries
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Josh's Frogs 222 South Elm Street Owosso, MI 48867Show all