The false tomato frog, Dyscophus guineti, is one of the three subspecies of the tomato frog. This species is the most prolific of the three, and can be found in the wild in Madagascar and in captivity worldwide. Named for their chubby, red appearance and their affinity for tomatoes, tomato frogs come in a range of red and orange hues. The false tomato frog is also known as the Guinets frog and the Sambava frog.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Habitat with mesh lid
- Branches and leaves
- Heat pad
- Spray bottle
- Water dish
- UVB lighting
Set up a terrarium for the frog using a container similar to a 10-gallon tank. Multiple frogs can live in an environment this size. The terrarium must have a lid that locks and it must permit airflow, which is why a mesh lid is ideal.
Lay 1/2 to 1 inch of substrate on the floor of the habitat. False tomato frogs like to burrow in the moist soil of their natural environment. In a cage, chemical-free potting soil can be used as flooring, along with cocoa fibres or tree bark.
Arrange the sticks, leaves and the water bowl in the tank. The environment needs to stay moist, between 70 and 80 per cent humidity, for the frog to stay healthy. To keep this level, the cage should be misted with a spray bottle twice daily.
Set up a heating pad under the tank to make sure that the environment stays in the low 80-degree Fahrenheit range. A heating pad is the best way to keep the temperature warm without putting the frog's health at risk. A heat lamp can generate such intense, localised heat that it can dry out a frog's skin.
Arrange a UVB light to be used for eight hours per day on the tank. The UVB exposure helps the frog absorb and process minerals, and enhances its skin tone. Excessive light exposure can dry out a frog's skin, so the light fixture should be on a timer to prevent an overdose.
Feed the frog a variety of foods. False tomato frogs will eat insects including crickets, meal worms and small cockroaches. These insects can be given a dusting of minerals and vitamins to improve their nutritional value. A frog should be given a variety of foods, including vegetables like cabbage or broccoli.
Tips and warnings
- A frog's skin is very sensitive, so ensure that any materials used in the tank are free of chemicals. When cleaning the terrarium, use nontoxic cleaners and rinse away the residues of cleaning agents.
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