Scientific name: Rana sphenocephala
Southern leopard frogs range throughout the eastern United States, from New Jersey east as far as Nebraska and Oklahoma and south into the eastern third of Texas. Southern leopard frogs are found near freshwater habitats in their range and are nocturnal. They hide during the day in vegetation at the edge of the water and when threatened, they jump into the water and swim away.
This species is similar to the Pickerel frog (Rana palustris) and the Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens).
Appearance / health:
The southern leopard frog grows to a length of 2 to 3.5 inches (about 5 to 9 cm). Its color varies from tan to several shades of brown to green. The dorsum (back) is usually covered with irregular dark brown spots between distinct light colored areas. Large dark spots on its legs may create the effect of bands. Other distinguishing characteristics include a light line along its upper jaw, light spot on its tympanum (ear), and long hind legs and toes. It is slender, with a narrow, pointed head. Males are smaller than females, but with enlarged forearms and thumbs and paired vocal sacs that look like balloons when inflated.
Leopard frogs are semi-aquatic and need a land area as well as a enough water to submerge their bodies.
A ten gallon tank is good for one individual. The tank can be kept at room temperature - 68-75 F (20-24 C). Southern leopard frogs have a lifespan of 3 years.
Leopard frogs should be fed a variety of invertebrates such as crickets, wax worms, fly larvae, and earthworms.
terrarium.Leopard frogs, frequent tank cleanings
longfibre sphagnum moss, soilless potting mix, wellplanted haulingout area, leopard frog tadpoles
Leopard frogs might be far better as outdoor, backyard pets than terrarium pets. It is not advisable to buy them and release them into your own yard, but creating a wildlife pond in your yard and acquiring your local species of leopard frog tadpoles for the pond can be a better option than trying to keep adult leopard frogs in a terrarium.
Leopard frogs are medium in size but do require a lot of room. They are somewhat panicky and jump a long way to escape perceived threats, and so can very easily injure themselves in small confines. I would recommend no less than a 30-gallon long aquarium, mostly well-planted water 6-12 inches deep, with small, well-planted hauling-out areas. You can easily create a planted hauling-out area by using a terracotta flower pot that is just over the height of the water depth, filled with long-fibre sphagnum moss and soil-less potting mix, and planting it with moss and bog plants. They will also use driftwood as a land perch. Floating and strand plants such as Anacharis and hornwort are also good choices.
Water should be kept extremely clean, with 25% dechlorinated, chemical-free water changes weekly. An external filter is also recommended, as they can be quite messy. The temperature range for these frogs is 65-80F, any higher is dangerous to them and any lower and they may become very inactive.
Food should be gut-loaded crickets and other insects, earthworms, and even small goldfish weekly.
Handling these frogs is not recommended. If it must be done, it is best to capture them with a wet aquarium net. Hands-on handling should only be done with freshly washed, wet hands.
Again, these frogs fare better as outdoor, wild "pets" than terrarium animals..
From bnaqqimanco Jun 27 2013 11:06PM
Does not do well in a cage
I have owned several leopard frogs over the years, but they do not make good pets. They are not difficult to feed, and will eat meal worms, red worms, crickets, and other bugs. They require frequent tank cleanings, and changing of their water. These frogs are not very active in their cages, but are very active frogs in the wild. I have tried several different tank setups with these frogs but they just do not do well in cages. I always ended up letting the frog go near a pond. It is best to leave these frogs to the experts..
From chrhen2007 Nov 30 2013 11:37AM