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FAQs About Amphibian Behavior

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/Caecilians, Amphibian Identification, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction, Turtles

Dendrobatid at Moody's...

Fire Belly Newts; beh.      ‏            11/10/14
Hi! I just recently got two baby Japanese Fire Bellied Newts. They're very young and are completely terrestrial still. I just wanted to ask if it is normal for them to not be very active at all at a young age. They sleep together in a little hole just about all day.
<Well, assuming you do have a Cynops species, then yes, they should be aquatic much of the time, around two-thirds of the time in the water, a third on land. Something like that. Some even spend almost all their time
in the water, doing little more than resting among floating plants, basking under the light (though remember, they can dry out, so a heat lamp isn't needed, and there should be plenty of humidity in the vivarium). So, think
about why they might not be going into the water. Firstly, they're shy. If there are bigger creatures in the water, even something that seems harmless to you, they'll stay on land. Secondly, they don't very warm or very cold
water. Room temperature is usually ideal, but if there's direct sunlight on the water it might be heating up a lot during the day. Thirdly, they don't like poor quality water. Check the filter works. You probably don't want to
use anything with a motor, but an air-powered sponge filter is perfect, and should also help keep the water moving and oxygenated. Finally, they become inactive if they aren't getting enough to eat. Live food (typically small insects and insect larvae) are usually essential for the settling-in phase when you want them to put on weight, while frozen alternatives are usually accepted once they're happy and associate you with dinner.
Cheers, Neale.>

Fire belly Newts acting weird -11/18/07 For a long time, I've had two fire bellies (Japanese). They have a knack for stopping everything they are doing and they will just sit for a really long time, until I just shake the aquarium to make sure they are alive. I am worried it might be from a sickness or something and I wanted to verify that nothing was wrong. <For the love of all that is holy why are you shaking the vivarium? Newts, like virtually all other amphibians, mostly do nothing for about 23.5 hours out of every 24. They have a low metabolism and when not actively foraging for food or engaging in breeding/social behaviour, they sit still. It's what they do. If you want an active pet, get a dog and take long walks across the rolling hills. Shaking the vivarium is only going to make the newts more stressed and less likely to move about when they see you. By sitting still they hope that horrible animal that hurts them and disrupts their world (i.e., you) won't notice them and will GO AWAY!!! So please, sit down, read a book about amphibians, and respect their biology. Once they've learned you're a source of food and not a threat, they're more likely to move about when you're in the same room watching them. Cheers, Neale.>

Tadpole Development 08/11/07 I purchased Uncle Milton's Planet Frog and ordered 2 tadpoles. One of them now has its back and front legs, but the other is not growing. Is there something wrong or is it just a really slow grower? <In nature tadpoles normally develop over a few weeks depending on the temperature and available food supply. When all things are equal some normally develop faster than others. If the pond dries out too quickly then ay least some will survive and go on to reproduce. If there are predators waiting then the first ones out will be eaten and allow the late bloomers to make it out safe and sound. make sure the little guy is getting enough algae to eat just to make sure.-Chuck>

Firebelly Toad Changing Color   3/21/07 Hello! I am writing to you because I have a firebelly toad in my kindergarten classroom. I have two frogs in the tank, one of which was adopted from our local petstore because he was born with only three legs. Normally his color is green, but today we noticed that his coloring is much darker than usual and the frog is not as active as usual. Could it just be an off day or could something be wrong?? Thanks!! < They do shed their external skin so this just could simply be a case of a toad getting ready to shed. Just in case do a water change and clean the filter to see if he perks up.-Chuck>

Fat Fire Bellied Toads   3/4/07 I have one female who has become large in the stomach region.  Tank has river rock and lots of live plants.  She is active and likes to stay in the shallow end of the water.  Just recently, another female has begun to get large but spends most of her time in the deep end.  Their diet consists of small crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and chopped up earthworms.    Humidity is between 80 - 100 and water temperature ranges between 70 - 75 degrees.  There is a total of 9 fire-bellies in a 56 gallon tank. Can you tell me what is wrong with them?  Some people have said they are with eggs and others say bloat but have no idea how to tell which is which.  Like I said, both are very active and act completely normal.  Any help will be very much appreciated since I have been researching this for quite a while and haven't found any answers.  Thank you! Nicole < Keep track of where the food goes. If these two in particular are actively eating prey then I am going to assume that they are healthy and may indeed be pregnant. If they are not eating at all and still getting fat then it may be an internal infection.-Chuck>

Frog Legs for Dinner?  Hymenochirus beh., sys. 2/22/07 Thanks again, Pufferpunk.   <No problem> I'll return Jet this weekend so he can mix with his own kind.  Now I have a question about the frogs, Slim and Chance. They used to be so cute every evening, swimming and playing and crashing into things.  But lately they've become reclusive and sluggish.  I really don't think I feed them too much but they aren't as eager for their food anymore, which is those delicious Frog and Tadpole Bites.  I've given them frozen bloodworms a time or two, but not many at a time.  I shook them (gently) out of their hidey holes tonight so I could photograph them to show you how normal they look.  Do you think the light is too much for them? It's just your standard 150W bulb.   <Not if you plan on boiling them for dinner.  Sounds like an awful lot of light for that tank.  I would think a 60wt bulb would be enough to warm up a 5g tank.  What's the temp in there?> At one time I had some floating plants in there, and that diffused the light some.  But I took all the live plants out and replaced them with fake because the live ones were rotting and stinking up the water.  What do you think?  Am I just being a worrier (a general tendency of mine)? <Probably too hot for even the plants.  Check the temp--should be around 76-80.  ~PP>

White's tree frogs. Noisy?  - 11/11/06 Do you know how load they croak ,would love to own one but will have to share bedroom with Viv <My friend Steve is visiting and kept Litoria species... says they don't make much in the way of croaking noise... just a bit sometimes at night... They're not real vocal at all> So the fact they croak might be a problem Many thanks Celia <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Newt has Evolved Into A Salamander  9/18/06 I have a water dog or mud puppy or what was sold to me as a water dinosaur. It was normal looking with the gills and the claws etc until we placed a plant rock thing in the  aquarium. He has changed colors is Green with black spots lost the gills and looks more like a lizard. He still swims around the tanks and eats good but he rests at the top of the plant with his head just sticking out at the edge of water. What has happened to him and his gills? < Your tiger salamander has grown out of his juvenile aquatic larval stage and is ready for his land dwelling stage. Time to set up a terrarium. Do a google search on tiger salamanders for a proper set up.-Chuck>

Newt Growing Spots  - 04/05/2006 Hi! I can't seem to figure out what's wrong with my newt, if anything.  He has a yellow-orange underside normally, but lately there are black-brown speckles on his belly.  He is acting normal and eating well, but if he's sick, I want to be able to fix the problem so he doesn't die.  Please let me know what this could be.  Thanks! Lauren < If everything else looks normal then I think the spots are part of the normal coloration. Look for reddish sores or wounds that seem to get bigger. These are bacterial infections that require treatment.-Chuck> Why is my African frog losing its skin? <Mmm, they do shed their skin quite a bit... if yours is eating, otherwise well, I would not be concerned. Do take care if you intend to add other life with it, and beware of adding chemicals to its water. Bob Fenner>

FAT AND LAZY TOAD Hey it's me again! I'm sure you heard about Jeff, my scuba diving firebelly toad. Well, he hasn't been as active as all my other toads are, and I'm just concerned. I dust the crickets I feed them with Herpcare cricket dust so he is definitely getting the proper amount of energy. He just sits under the log hut I have in my tank most of the day. How do I get him to be more active? < Assuming he is healthy, then I would do a big water change and maybe rearrange the landscaping a little bit. If he is just fat and content from eating, then I would feed smaller crickets so he has to work harder to get the same amount of food. In the wild they probably have to work a lot harder to get the same amount of nutrition.-Chuck> 

Scuba Diving Frog Hi its me again and in the reply you sent me you didn't say anything about Jeff , "scuba diving", but that's ok because it would be kinda hard to find stuff about that. Anyway thanks for the advice about the tree frogs I'm not sure I'm gonna get them now because I would have no place to put them. < It is normal for fire belly toads to dive under water for periods of time. The area he hangs out may be near a heater, the outlet of a filter or where some



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