How to Care* for Your Tomato Frog
(photo credit Frog Pets)
Tomato Frogs (Dyscophus guineti) are small (2”-4”; females are larger than males), nocturnal, terrestrial amphibians native to the rainforests of Madagascar. They are generally bright red, as their common name implies; males may be more of an orange or yellow color. They can be housed individually or in groups. As is the case with most amphibians, they should be handled sparingly, and good hand sanitation should be maintained both before and after handling. Tomato Frogs are considered to be a beginner level pet.
Tomato Frogs should be housed in a 10-gallon aquarium (10”x20”x12”), which would be the minimal size for a 1-2 frogs (larger is better) with larger enclosures recommended for larger groups. Although these frogs are terrestrial, it’s essential that the enclosure has a lid to keep other animals or curious children out. Tomato Frogs like to burrow and also may spend some time soaking in water. They do best at room temperature (around 65-70F); temperatures should not exceed the low 80’sF. Humidity should be roughly 60% or more. Use a substrate of mulch or coco fiber (or a combination) to a 2-3” depth to give them room to burrow. Set an appropriate sized shallow water bowl into the substrate to allow them to soak. Plants can be added, though the frog may uproot them as it moves around the enclosure. Tomato Frogs are somewhat reclusive and will appreciate multiple hiding areas in the enclosure to help them feel more secure. As mentioned above, water should be changed daily or every other day. The water should be appropriately dechlorinated and kept clean from feces or other items that can foul it. Water conditioner products designed for turtle enclosures will work well for treating tap water. Distilled water should not be used. The enclosure should be misted every other day or so to maintain humidity.
Heating and Lighting
Tomato Frogs are considered by some keepers not to require any particular lighting besides ambient light (as long as the appropriate supplements are included in their diets). Others recommend a full spectrum UV light. If plants are in the enclosure, lighting appropriate for their growth does need to be provided. Care should be taken to avoid lights that give off significant heat in order to avoid overheating the enclosure. Most of the year, Tomato Frogs can be maintained at room temperature without additional heat. In climates where additional heat is necessary, it’s best achieved with an under tank heater (UTH). A UTH will require a thermostat or a rheostat to regulate the temperature. If the ambient temperature exceeds, the low 80’s (which should only occur occasionally), an ice pack or other frozen item can be used to cool the environment.
Food and Supplementation
Tomato Frogs are hardy eaters. They primarily eat a variety of bugs and worms, including but not limited to mealworms, crickets, silkworms, hornworms, Dubia and other roaches. Adult Tomato Frogs should be fed 2-3 times a week. Feeders should be small to medium size; Dubia roaches of up to 1/2” are appropriate for them. Most captiveTomato Frogs are fed a staple diet of Dubia roaches, earthworms or crickets. They also may eat NutriGrubs (black soldier fly larvae, also known as phoenix worms). Care should be taken to feed appropriate sized prey and not to leave prey in the enclosure for long periods of time.
Tomato Frogs require calcium to build strong bones, vitamin D3 to metabolize the calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. They are generally provided with the vitamins and minerals they need through powdered supplements, which are commercially available. Dust their prey every other feeding with calcium, vitamin D3, and other vitamins.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to Tomato Frogs, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.