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breeding frogs for tadpoles?

fishkeeper

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Seems newts eat a large number of frog tads in the wild.

Is their any species that is easy enough to breed to possibly provide an occasional treat? Providing they are clean CB animals disease transmission should be minimal correct?
 

freves

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I am a huge proponent of offering as large of a variety as possible and ethically I see no problem with offering some common species as food. With that being said however it just seems that it would be a great deal of time and effort involved to breed frogs just for tadpole snacks. In addition it may be against certain state and local laws as well. Interesting idea though.
Chip
 

fishkeeper

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Chip/Kaysie:

I doubt any of our local species(except maybe lab bred Rana pipiens) would fit the bill. Ideally this frog would...

-Be relatively easy to keep and feed
-breed year round
-prolific
-should be interesting in and of itself since it would not be a true feeder

I've heard of people keeping breeding groups of axolotls to supply feeder larvae. Why not frogs? The most obvious matches would be Xenopus. But as carriers of chytrid you'd have to make darned sure you have clean stock. Hymenochirus are also quite prolific but the tadpoles produced are too small unless you want tadpole treats for baby newts. What about Polypedates leucomystax?
 

taherman

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In my experience wood frogs are actually not the easiest species to keep long term, after a few years they develop major health problems on a diet of standard feeder insects (lipid keratopathy, obesity). They also do not breed readily without being freshly collected from the wild (and retained eggs compound the health problems), and would only breed once per year for you. For native species, green frogs (Rana clamitans), or gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) are much more prolific and hardy captives which I've bred for several generations in the past few years.

Hyperolius argus is a species of African reed frog that we've started keeping at the zoo. They reproduce consistently and would provide a fairly steady stream of small tadpoles. Tyrone Hayes at UC Berkeley uses this species as a developmental bioassay, so it must breed just as well for him. Some of ours (wild caught) did test positive for chytrid though, so you'd definitely want to treat them thoroughly before you start using them for food. They are a very interesting frog as well, males are translucent green, females are dark red/orange with white polkadots. Babies look very similar to glass frogs.

-Tim
 

fishkeeper

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Very cool. How large are the clutches? That is an odd species for the bill since I've not heard of many hobbyists breeding them.

I don't plan on trying this myself anytime soon until I'm settled down with a critter room, but maybe for those breeding newts they'd be a great extra boost. For sure, many wild newts get plenty of tadpoles during the breeding season.
 

luvmycreatures

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I know that most people on the DAF list I'm on, have frogs that breed constantly. These guys are pretty small though. I would think breeding fish, worms or isopods would be less work for the turn out.
 

Slimy2

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American toads and Fowler's toads breed nearly all year round and lay hundreds of eggs in each strand. I think they would be easy to raise and breed too.

Just thought that might help.
 

fishkeeper

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DAF breed like crazy. But yes the tadpoles are a bit tiny for this purpose. Might be good for feeding larvae. I was thinking of fattening breeders and offering a natural food item.

Slimy2: I never heard of people breeding US toads in captivity before, except for the CB baby albino woodhouse toads.
 

dario

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Interesting thread...Bombina orientalis? As I can see, this specie breed two - three time a year and tadpoles are long 2 cm, good for a newt. I think tossicity in bombina tadpoles is lower than in adult toads.
 

John

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Bufo and Bombina tadpoles both contain toxins. If you must use frogs/tadpoles as food, you would be better to stick with Ranids - they are more or less poison-free.
 

Azhael

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Just a little thought. It´s true Bufo tadpoles have toxins, but they are a natural and favoured source of food for european newts. Seems like european newts have evolved to be resistant to those toxins, the same way the genus Natrix is resistant to all native amphibian toxins. Might be an issue for non-european species though....it would be interesting for an study.
 

fishkeeper

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I think almost all newts live with and perhaps consume at least bufo tadpoles at least one time or another. For example TJ has posted photos of Cynops in pools of Bufo japonica larvae. Not sure about Bombina though.
 

caleb

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It´s true Bufo tadpoles have toxins, but they are a natural and favoured source of food for european newts.

Are they? Frog tadpole (especially Rana temporaria) predation by European newts is well documented, but I don't know of any reports of them taking Bufo tadpoles.

This paper:
http://www.jstor.org/pss/3682503

found that smooth newts would spit out toad tadpoles if they caught them.
 

Azhael

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I think i recall reading an article about T.marmoratus predation over Bufo bufo tadpoles, i´ll try to find it.
It´s not cientifically relevant, but it´s my own experience, that when i was little and spent hours beholding L.helveticus in my village i often saw them eating tadpoles of Bufo bufo and R.temporaria. Plus when i caught them (i was young and stupid and ignorant) i fed them tadpoles and they disappeared incredibly fast.
If i´m mistaken i´m sorry.
 

Mark

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This article suggests that resistance to bufonid tadpole toxins is related to evolutionary exposure. I don’t know if that follows for all bufo species or even relates to newts, but it would make sense.

I do know that given the opportunity my P.waltl will wolf down Bufo bufo tadpoles with no ill effects.
 

dario

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I do know that given the opportunity my P.waltl will wolf down Bufo bufo tadpoles with no ill effects.

I tried too and no problems...but one or twice poor common toads...;)
In my own experience, toadlets too (a few days after missing tail) are probably not very toxic, I can see Water Frogs feeding on them without any apparent problems.
 

taherman

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Hyperolius argus lays multiple clutches of around 30 eggs. Amphibiaweb says 200 eggs total/frog. With a group of around 20 you could have a steady supply I bet. Almost every time you rain on them you get eggs. Tadpoles grow fairly slowly, and get up to around 1.5" before they morph.

The problem with Bufo spp is the eggs are all or nothing, so you'll have several thousand tadpoles, and they only stay in the water a few weeks. It will probably be a year before you'd have another batch from the female. Plus you'll need a lot more food to keep a group of adults going. I would also be concerned about toxins affecting species which don't naturally eat your Bufo of choice.

-Tim
 

fishkeeper

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Based on some reading around I think Polypedates leucomystax may be the best candidate. Adults are just the right size(big enough to feed easily, not so big it is a chore), and readily breed in a rain chamber. Tadpoles get to good size. They are CB fairly often also. And cool frogs for a tall enclosure
 

pesco

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Tadpoles of R.temporaria are great as a feeder to netws as well as fish (I kept quite a lot Cichlidae, mainly Malawi and S.American species), and youngsters are perfect for some sneakes. I must say that without supply of live young frogs I wouldn't be able to grow so many young Natrix natrix.

Its possible to breed some Rana species all year round. As an experiment I spawned Rana temporaria few times during a year, in August, October and January. It was intended as an experiment and it was succesfull, but I don't think its worth doing so unless you keep species specialized in eating amphibians. I kept group of R. tmporara in a covered vivarium in a cellar with lighting on timer, and every day or so I was shortening a day (part of a day with lights on) length. In few weeks they were moved to an old fridge. The fridge had removed light swith and installed timer instead. After 5-8 weeks they went to water to hibernate. In the area I was growing up R.temporaria hibernate in streems, its mountain area, so the current is strong and water is saturated with gases including oxygen, so combining with slower metabolism enables frogs to just lay down without the need of active breathing - oxygen intake throuthe skin covers the demand. To symulate that I put a pretty strong powerhead. It was generating strong current in a vivarium and by mixing a bit of air with the flow it kept conditions pretty much the same as in a wild stream. To cut short hibernation period daytime was extended gradually, then the frogs were moved to a vivarium and soon they started to spawn.


Tadpoles of european toads were only eaten by Cichlids if they were really hungry and I noticed that newts didn't go crazy for them either. Toxins they contain are not very strong, but still I wouldn't make them main food source. I guess that newts (and their tadpoles) are eating toads tadpoles in the wild, but I dont remember reading any paper about this. Fact that they are eating toad tadpoles in captivity might be a result of fewer food sources available in our tanks - they eat whatever we give them to not starve :D
 
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