Vietnamese Mossy Frog

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Other common names: Mossy Frog

Scientific name: Theloderma corticale

The basics:
Mossy Frogs are found in northern Vietnam, in Tam Dao, Mao Son, Vinh Phu, Lang Son, and other areas. They like to live high in the mountains and limestone areas, and are usually found 700-1500 meters above sea level. They can also be found in flooded caves and deep holes or niches in the banks of streams. These are a semi-aquatic frog.

Appearance / health:
Mossy Frogs get their common name because of the way their skin looks. The color of their skin is covered in various shades of green, black, red, and even some purple. The most important part of their skin is the way it’s covered in warts and spines. All of this combined gives them the perfect camouflage - moss. These frogs can grow up to 3 inches when fully grown.

Behavior / temperament:
These frogs are nocturnal and will spend most of the day blending into their surroundings. They wake up at night to come out and feed and/or call females and breed. When frightened, these frogs will curl into a ball and will play dead. Like all amphibians it’s not good to handle them frequently. Always wash hands before and after handling to avoid spreading bacteria and/or diseases.

A group of 3 or 4 frogs can live in a 20 gallon tall aquarium. Similar sized tanks such as the all glass tanks with the front opening doors also sold in pet stores are a great choice for these frogs. Always have a secure, well ventilated lid.

Temperatures should be kept within the range of 70-80F during the day, with safe nighttime temperatures dropping to 55-65F. Water must be in the tank at all times, so the best set up for these frogs is a half land - half water tank. This can be achieved by having 3-4 inches of water for the whole bottom of the tank with numerous plants, vines, and branches coming up out of the water. Fake tree stumps, driftwood, and large leaf plants seem to be the best. Water depth should vary with the age of the frog. Juveniles and froglets should only have 1-2 inches of water, whereas adults should have 3-5 inches of water. A filter may be used but it’s not needed if the water in the tank can be changed out weekly and completely changed out once a month by hand. Keeping live water plants like Pothos, also helps with keeping up the water quality. The background of the tank can be left bare or can have a background of cork bark and other wood like materials since the frogs like sleeping on them. All water used inside of the tank should be dechlorinated.

Adults should be offered crickets, cockroaches, worms, and other soft bodied insects or worms. Juvenile and froglets should be offered the same food, just smaller in size to fit in their mouths. Tadpoles should be fed fish food, tadpole bites, dead fruit flies, and algae. A calcium and multivitamin is needed 1-2 times a week.

A cooling period may or may not be needed to stimulate breeding. They are also willing to lay eggs in the tank without the use of a rain chamber. To stimulate breeding the best thing to do is adjust the photoperiod to shorter days and longer nights, mist them a few times to simulate the rain, and start offering more food. Males will begin calling the females and if they are receptive, the females will allow the males to mount them in amplexus. Females lay up to 35 eggs singly right above the water on rock limbs or plants above the water. It takes 25 days or less for the tadpoles to break away from the egg, and up to 70 days to morph out of the water.


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