Other common names: Madagascar Tomato Frog; Crapaud rouge de Madagascar; False Tomato Frog (Dyscophus guineti)
Scientific name: Dyscophus antongili
Resembling its namesake fruit in size, shape, and color, the Tomato Frog is threatened in the wild but captive bred in large numbers. It is calm in temperament and immensely popular among frog keepers and zoo visitors alike.
The Tomato Frog is limited in range to northeastern Madagascar, where it inhabits moist forests, swamps, and vegetated land near farms and homes.
Appearance / health:
The Tomato Frog is rotund, with an average length of 6-11 cm (2.4 – 4.5 inches). Females are vivid orange-red in color, while males are a subdued yellowish-tan.
Well-cared-for pets may live to 15+ years of age. Nutritional deficiencies and digestive tract blockages that result from feeding large insects, and bacterial infections resulting from poor terrarium hygiene, are the most commonly-encountered health problems.
Behavior / temperament:
Tomato Frogs are relatively inactive, but become bold in captivity, often remaining in view for much of the time. If handling is necessary, wet latex gloves should be used, as their sticky skin secretions cause an allergic reaction in some people. Amphibian skin secretions may also cause irritations when transferred to wounds, eyes, or the mouth.
A 10 gallon tank makes a good home for single adult. Sphagnum moss and top soil may be used as the substrate, as they burrow when seeking shelter. Tomato Frogs fare best when kept at 66-75 F, and fare poorly at sustained temperatures in excess of 80 F. They do not require Ultra-Violet B light, but anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, may be of some benefit.
The terrarium should be misted regularly and supplied with a water bowl, which should be changed daily. Chlorine and chloramine must be removed from water via liquid preparations available at pet stores.
A highly-varied diet is essential. Provide your pet with small roaches, sow bugs, crickets, earthworms, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies, silkworms, and other commercially available insects. Tomato Frogs are best fed small insects, the size of a ¼ to ½ inch cricket. Mealworms should be avoided.
Most meals should be coated with powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3; a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement may be used 2x weekly.
Breeding may be stimulated by a commercial rain chamber, or increased misting. Males may be distinguished by their much smaller size and duller coloration. Gravid females produce 500-15,000+ eggs, which typically hatch within 2 days. The filter-feeding tadpoles may be reared on finely-crushed fish food flakes and commercial tadpole pellets. Metamorphosis is achieved in 40-60 days.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
red color, unique frog
beginners, specific temperatures, clean water daily, fragile frogs
endangered species, small appetites, burrow
Bright and Red Friend
Like my previous amphibians, this frog was just a unique and quirky addition. My son loved colors and it helped him with learning colors and developmental difficulties. The red color and the movement and size of the frog was just an intriguing characteristic that caught his attention and in turn a simple amphibian brought out something else in a human.
Is this frog the most active, no. Is it quirky, yes. Is it colorful, yes indeed. Add these together and you have a frog that can bring a smile with its color, ease of care and color enhancements.
Perhaps it is sentiment that makes this a memory, but the frog indeed was a treasure..
From cheinselman Oct 2 2013 6:57AM
These are small little fat round frogs. They are from Madagascar and I have heard their name comes from the fact the little round reddish creatures resemble a tomato. They are cute as can be, not especially hard to care for.
They prefer a terrarium type set up. If done in a 20 gallon aquarium you can keep 3-4-5 of them in a little group. They like plants, vines, places to hide and dig. They like to burrow. I kept them in a mix of sterilized potting soil and a little coconut fiber. This should be several inches deep. They need a warm zone I used a heating mat under the aquarium with a towel over it and monitored it. it should not get over 85-86F, Their home should be maintained at 75-80 days and 65-75 at night. I used a UVB light for them, They are primarily nocturnal, but most sources I checked advised a period of sunlight. Their home should be set up with a pool, a plastic lid pushed into the soil works, be sure your frogs can keep their nose above water and can easily get in and out of the water (may need a few small stones or flat glass marbles). This water has got to be kept very very clean. they absorb water through their belly. VERY important their enclosure be kept clean, you will be changing the entire substrata every 2-3 weeks. I put moss around their pool, that must be rinsed daily and gives them a humid zone. They like a humidity of 75-80%.
They eat crickets, meal worms, wax worms, fruit flies., even pinky mice. They wait for prey to come by, they rarely chase food. All insects should be gut loaded for several days before feeding. Never leave uneaten insects in the enclosure, crickets especially will bite your frogs, Also size feed to the size of your frogs.
You cannot handle them. They ooze a sticky white substance from their cheeks which can cause allergic reactions. They also stress. easily.
A healthy male will be a brownish red and can reach apx 3 inches around, females are slightly larger and usually a brighter red. Bright color and eyes show a healthy frog. They tend to get dull if stressed or ill. A good vet is always good to have when having exotic pets.
You cannot handle them. They ooze a sticky milky white fluid from their cheeks, like a mucous. It can cause an allergic reaction in humans though not toxic. Also handling can damage their fragile skin and stress them.
But kept very clean, careful monitoring of temp and humidity, you can watch your frog do its thing. They are interesting to watch as they go about their business of being a frog. And they are cute as can be. With proper care they can live 20 years. PLEASE before you buy an exotic (or any pet) do your research and be certain that in 4-10-20 years from now you will still have the desire and ability to care for this little being..
From dianelynn Jul 9 2013 9:07PM
Tomato Frog-Fears of Frailness
While the Tomato Frog is a very unique frog, I had a lot of difficulty enjoying them due to the amount of work it takes to care for them. The Tomato Frog is NOT hardy, and are incredibly fragile. They require specific temperatures, food, and habitat. They are quite inactive, but they look really cool. If you are willing to put in the time to care for the fragile frogs, then they can be enjoyable to see and listen to. I would not recommend them for beginners or children..
From AmberleyStephen Feb 2 2014 10:32AM