Tomato Frog Caresheet
Common Name: Tomato Frog, False Tomato Frog
Scientific Name: Dyscophus (genus); antongilii and guineti (species).
Size: 4" females; males are smaller
Lifespan: 6-8 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.
Tomato frogs belong to the genus Dyscophus.
Most females are a bright reddish-orange, males are duller. It's sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the true tomato frog (D. antongilii) and the false tomato frog (D. guineti). Yet it doesn't really matter since they have the same needs and require the same care.
In the wild, tomato frogs live near marshes, ponds, and slow-moving waterways in the moist rainforests.
One or two adults can be housed in a 10 gallon glass enclosure or Exo Terra's 18" x 18" x 12" works well too. However, is you have multiple animals, a larger cage is always better to allow more space between the frogs.
You'll want a bedding like Zoo Med eco earth or Zilla jungle mix so your pet can burrow down into.
Also include half logs, plants (live or plastic), and other hiding spots.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
These frogs do well in a range between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, all amphibians need a temperature gradient to thermoregulate and control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide a warm 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 frog can move back and forth between the different temperatures depending on its needs.
The warm side can be between 75-80. The rest of the enclosure can be normal room temperature (around 72). 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 a under tank heat pad like. Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pads are reliable brands.
In the wild, this mostly nocturnal species lives on the forest floor and does not get a lot of UVB rays. You can add an optional UVB lighting on your enclosure if you choose. Whether you use this light or not, be sure to supplement their diet with D3 (more on this in the feeding section).
Always provide a shallow water dish with fresh water. Change the water at least once a day. Like all amphibians, these guys are quite sensitive to toxins in their environments. So not use strong smelling cleaning products, scented candles, or incense in the room with your frog. Smoking near your frog can also be toxic. As they absorb chemicals through there skin (even airborne ones), you can end up inadvertently killing your frog.
Try for humidity around 70-80%. Misting the enclosure at least once or twice 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 like the Exo Terra monsoon is a nice option. Exo Terra bowls or Flukers rock dish are nice naturalistic non-porous water bowls. Frogs drink by sitting in their water bowls and absorbing it through their skin.
Do NOT used distilled water for the water bowl. Distilled water has no salts or minerals in it and as such messes with the frogs ability to regulate the water in it's cells. A process called, osmotic regulation. Death can result from this as well.
A varied diet is best. Live prey animals like crickets, phoenix worms, horned worms, mealworms, waxworms, silkworms, earthworms, and dubia roaches should make up the majority of the diet.
For young frogs, dust their food with calcium several times a week. For adults, supplement their insect diet at least once a week with a calcium and vitamins supplement such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Repti calcium with D3.
If stressed, the tomato frog can release a white toxic secretion through its skin. It's not fatal to humans but may cause an allergic reaction in some. For the most part, they do not like to be touched. Each will have their own personality but in general, avoid excessive handling.
Tomato frogs are a pretty forgiving (in terms of ease of care) and can make good first time amphibian pets. Have fun and enjoy watching your beautiful pet.