Other common names: Waxy Monkey Leaf Frog; Painted Bellied Leaf Frog; Chacoan Tree Frog
Scientific name: Phyllomedusa sauvagi
About as calm as a frog can be, the Waxy Monkey Treefrog’s unusual appearance and hand-over-hand manner of walking endears it to amphibian fans both new and experienced. Although differing from most other frogsin care requirements, it can make a hearty pet for folks with a bit of experience.
This highly arboreal frog is found in the Gran Chaco region of eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and northern Argentina, a seasonally flooded, otherwise arid habitat of thorn scrub and brushy grasslands.
Appearance / health:
The Waxy Monkey Treefrog has a noticeably large head, and reaches 8-10 cm (3-4 in) in length. Fatty ridges top the eyes, the snout appears to “protrude” from the face and, uniquely for a frog, the first toe is opposable. The smooth skin is lime or dark green in color, and marked with bright white spots. Protective lipids impart a waxy feel to the skin (they often perch in full sunlight).
Well-cared-for pets may live to 10+ years of age. Metabolic bone disease invariably develops if a calcium-poor diet is provided, and possibly if UVB is not available.
Behavior / temperament:
Waxy Monkey Treefrogs are nocturnal, and unlike other frogs rarely awaken to feed by day. They are among the calmest of all amphibians, seemingly completely at ease with human company.
While they will readily walk (hopping is not in their locomotive repertoire!) onto the hand for a meal, these abiding creatures should be handled only when necessary, and then with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus and waxy covering is not removed. Amphibian skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to their owner’s wounds, eyes, or the mouth.
High-style aquariums that allow climbing space are ideal. A 20-30 gallon tank makes a good home for 2 adults. Sphagnum or carpet moss may be used as the substrate. Smooth branches and stout live plants in pots (i.e. Snake Plants, Cast Iron Plants) will be well-used.
These hardy survivors fare best when kept at a temperature gradient of 85-92 F, with a dip to 70-75 F at night. Anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, are beneficial. Humidity should be kept at 30-40%. They need only a simple 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 roaches, sow bugs, crickets, locusts, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies, silkworms, earthworms, hornworms, and other commercially available insects. Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin mineral supplement may be used 2-3x weekly.
Captive reproduction is, so far, not common. A commercial rain chamber, used following a 2 month-long dry, cool period (70-75 F) is useful in stimulating breeding behavior. Gravid females produce 100-700+ eggs, which are deposited on leaves overhanging water bowls or pools. Sturdy live plants should be used, as the leaf is rolled over the eggs after deposition. The tadpoles may be reared on a diet of fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, algae tablets, and par-boiled kale.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
fungal infections, uric acid, unusually warm environment, beginning herp owner
"I wasn't quite sure how to react when I came home to find probably the creepiest frog I'd ever seen making his home in my brother's room. His name was Bartimaeus, named after a fictional demon from a series of novels my entire family has read. It was a fitting name, considering the only thing he ever did was stare creepily at stuff. He would stay in the same place all day, staring straight ahead like one of those gargoyles on old churches and only moving when the sun went down and the lights were turned off, to be found in a new position by morning.<br>At first, he terrified me. His eyes seemed dead to me, and his constant stillness unnerved me. It was only after a few weeks of him being in our house did I grow more comfortable. The 'dead' quality to his eyes was actually him sleeping and his stillness fascinated me, like those guards outside of Buckingham Palace. He is now the first thing I show my friends when they visit.."
From bluemaple Oct 16 2014 9:02PM
"Waxy monkey frogs are an incredibly cute and entertaining frog, with many unique aspects. <br><br>To be clear, I am referring to /Phyllomedusa sauvagii/, one of the smaller species of waxy tree frogs. <br><br>The care requirements for this frog are not simple, but far from unattainable. Not being large frogs, their space requirements are modest (albeit certainly greater than your average aquarium), and they eat readily and with enthusiasm; I'd worry more about overweight frogs than picky eaters. <br><br>Their environmental requirements are about average for herpetofauna, but I would not recommend them to a first time herp owner; they do have stringent heat and humidity requirements, as well as nutritional requirements for supplementation. <br><br>One of the unique aspects is the fact that these are one of fairly few species of arid frogs, meaning that they thrive in a warm environment, and love to bask in the sun--which is great if you like your frogs to be visible! Their waxy appearance is actually due to a secretion they spread over themselves to prevent water loss in their unusually warm environment. Additionally, they climb with their fingers, rather than using sticky pads to jump from branch to branch, hence..."monkey" frog!<br><br>As frogs go, they have a jolly temperament, and while (like all frogs) they should not be handled excessively, they are quite happy to walk around on your hand a bit. <br><br>Lest I sing the praises of these frogs too loudly, there is one very common health issue; these frogs produce uric acid, a highly concentrated form of nitrogenous waste, and if given too much calcium in their diets, they are prone to develop calcified stones which cause "uric blocks"--large lumps of uric acid that the frog cannot excrete. This process is irreversible, so it is important to watch your frog's diet carefully.<br><br>Overall, while I would not recommend waxy monkey frogs to a beginning herp owner, I find them to be a fantastic and fun frog for the experienced!."
From ekccritters Nov 15 2015 10:40AM