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setup for American bullfrog

This is a discussion on setup for American bullfrog within the Ranidae: True Frogs forums, part of the Anura: Frogs & Toads category; I am working with a local nature center to (possibly) improve their setup for a single bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana ...

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Old 18th August 2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default setup for American bullfrog

I am working with a local nature center to (possibly) improve their setup for a single bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). Despite the fact that these frogs are incredibly common, I can't find much info on captive care. Here are my questions:

1. Does it make any difference to the health and wellbeing of the animal if it is kept semiaquatic vs. terrestrial? This one is currently kept on coco-fiber substrate with a water dish; would it be just as healthy (or better?) to keep it in a semi-aquatic setup? I feel that an aquatic setup would be more interesting to viewers, but I want to make sure it would also be the best thing for the animal.

2. Any other do's/don'ts/suggestions for making a suitable setup? We would like the frog to be as visible as possible to people looking into the tank, but without causing stress to the animal. And without spending much money!

3. Are Rana catesbeiana always skiddish and hyperactive, or is this one just unusually "jumpy"? Do they ever become tame?



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Old 19th August 2007   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Jenn,

Its a lot easier to keep them terrestrially and they do just fine. For a display I would probably look to set them up semi-aquatically for the public (so they actually see the correct habitat). In that kind of set-up (If the enclosure would allow it) set it up so the public is looking at half the land and half the water. This helps keep the frog from looking right at the public.. If you can arrange some clumps of grass (or other live or fake plants) to start several inches back and overhang the water the frog will feel more secure and less likely to be skittish and jumpy (if its not caught and held all the time (like when you change the water bowl)) bullfrogs rapidly develop feeding reactions that allow them to be hand fed (and may cause them to jump at the hand that feeds them). Make sure the frog has at least one hide area it can retreat to as this will prevent the full leap into the side of the tank which can result in a broken neck or jaw in the frog...

There are two sized enclosures for this type of frog, large with multiple hide areas so it feels safe and unlkely to kill itself in an escape attempt or small enough that the frog can't get a full jump and damage itself.

This is a species that depending on temperatures may bask.

Are you including any discussion on how this is species is a carrier for chytrid?

Ed



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Old 19th August 2007   #3 (permalink)
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I’ve kept Rana catesbeianain a semi-aquatic enclosure (60% water/ 40% land). I found it would use the water area at night but would spend most of the day hidden on land. Well, I say hidden but there’s only so much hiding a giant frog can do.

Mine was very easily spooked but fortunately it’s instincts were always to leap into the water when disturbed. If you make the water area easily accessible the flight response will be hopefully in the direction of the water and not the glass.



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Old 19th August 2007   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for the info. I think I'm on the right track with the setup, and our frog has a normal disposition (hyper as it is!). I think I see why these are not very often kept as pets.

Ed, are these frogs carriers of chytrid when transported from place to place and released? Do they have the same "bad rep" as Xenopus in this regard? I should look into this. The frog we have is a "local" (from a wetland along the Rio Grande), but I have no idea whether the species is truly native, or was introduced. And I don't know what the chytrid status is around here.



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Old 20th August 2007   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Jenn,

Check out

Hanselmann R, Rodríguez A, Lampo M, Fajardo-Ramos L, Aguirre AA, Kilpatrick AM, et al. Presence of an emerging pathogen of amphibians in introduced bullfrogs Rana catesbeiana in Venezuela. Biol Conserv. 2004;120:115–9.


Daszak P, Strieby A, Cunningham AA, Longcore JE, Brown CC, Porter D. Experimental evidence that the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) is a potential carrier of chytridiomycosis: an emerging fungal disease of amphibians. Herpetol J. 2004;14:201–7.

It is thought that they are introduced into New Mexico see http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=003...OR-enlargePage

Ed



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Old 22nd October 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: setup for American bullfrog

All I know is that they love crayfish surfacing on lilypads @ nite!



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Old 22nd October 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: setup for American bullfrog

Gavin, this would be digging up an old thread. I'm sure Jen will let you know that. Interesting that jennewt used to have questions too...



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Old 23rd October 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: setup for American bullfrog

It would be better in a semi-aquatic setup.You can add floating plants in the tank and also other plants but for people to see the frog don't add to much and depending on the size tank you can add more and the size of the bul frogs tank should be 20 long mininum.



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