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SMOOTH-SIDED TOAD Caresheet
Common Name: Smooth-Sided Toad, Smooth Toad, Spotted Toad
Scientific Name: Rhaebo guttatus (old: Bufo guttatus)
Origin: Tropical and subtropical regions of Northern South America: Amazonian rainforests of Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and down through Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil
Size: Males 4-6"; females up to 9"
Lifespan: 10 years
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.
This is one of the few toad species to have smooth skin.
In the wild, the smooth-sided toad is terrestrial, living in amongnst the leaf litter on the rainforest floor. They are found near freshwater marshes, streams, rivers, and other humid wetland habitat.
A single adult can be housed in a 20 gallon long glass enclosure or an Exo Terra 24"x 18" x 18". If you have a pair, at least a 36" x 18" x 18". Larger is always better because this species likes space to move around in.
Be sure to use a secure screen cover to allow ventilation. Also have hiding spots in the enclosure as well as a few basking areas. You can also include plants (fake or real).
Some good bedding choices are Zoo Med Eco earth, Zoo Med Reptisoil, Zilla Jungle Mix, or ground coconut fiber.
Toads are land animals but still need to soak, so always have a bowl of de-chlorinated water available. Use tap or spring water that has been treated with drops of dechlorinator (or alternately, let it sit out for 24 hours). Do not use distilled water which can harm your pet from lack of minerals. Smooth-sided toads are not good swimmers so make sure they can easily exit the shallow dish.
They often defecate in their bowl so change it daily to prevent the absorption of toxins. Also clean any other waste droppings daily, and do a complete enclosure cleaning no less than once a month.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
These toads need a temperature gradient to thermoregulate and control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide a hot and a cool side to your enclosure. All the heat elements should be on one side and the other will be the cool side. This way your toad can move back and forth between the different temperatures depending on its needs.
The warm side can be between 80-85. The rest of the enclosure can be near normal room temperature (around 73-75). Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure.
If necessary, the easiest way to increase the heat is with an under tank heat pad. Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pads are reliable brands.
Use of a UVB bulb for ultraviolet rays is not necessary for some species of toads but the smooth-sided will benefit if you provide it.
Try for humidity around 60%. Misting the bedding at least once a day will usually provide enough moisture, but a nice humidity gauge can help you in this area. Hand misters are usually sufficient but if you don't care to remember to mist, an automatic mister or rain system like the Exo Terra monsoon is a nice option.
Good air circulation is important, so again, be sure to have a screen top to your enclosure.
The smooth-sided toad has a big appetite and will usually eat whatever fits in its mouth.
Recommended diet includes live prey animals like larger crickets, earthworms, mealworms, phoenix worms, horned worms, waxworms, silkworms, dubia roaches, and even crayfish. The occasional mouse is okay too but be careful not to over feed your toad. Younger animals can be fed every day, but with adults every other day is fine.
Dust their food with calcium a few times a week and also a vitamin supplement such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Repti calcium with D3.
Remember, don't over feed your toad. They can develop health problems if they become too obese.
Like all amphibians, these guys are quite sensitive to toxins in their environments. So do not use strong smelling cleaning products, scented candles, or incense in the room with your toad. Smoking near your pet can also be toxic as they absorb chemicals through their skin (even airborne ones). This can end up inadvertently killing your toad.
Also DO NOT used distilled water for the water bowl. Distilled water has no salts or minerals in it as such it messes with the toad's ability to regulate the water in it's cells. A process called, osmotic regulation. Death can result from this as well.
The smooth-sided toad is very hardy species that can be active both day and night.
Like many toads, this one has poison glands which act as a defense mechanism. Handle your animal with care because this toxin can be harmful to cats, dogs, and humans if ingested.
However, smooth-sided toads make a good pet if cared for properly. They can become quite tame. And they won't release their poison if treated well.
If the need should ever arise where you no longer can care for your toad, do not release it into the wild. Instead, find a reptile and amphibian rescue service willing to take it in.
Like any pet, bringing a toad into your home requires commitment and responsibility. Take good care of your animal, and have fun watching it in the habitat you created.