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Tomato Frogs are native to northwestern Madagascar, where they are found in rainforest areas or in vegetated areas near water. Dyscophus antongili is now on the Endangered Species List because its habitat is being deforested. This Endangered listing protects Tomato Frogs by making it illegal to capture or sell them, so most Tomato Frogs available as pets are captive bred.
Adult Tomato Frogs (sometimes called Halloween Frogs because of their vivid orange color) are among the most beautiful frogs available as pets. Males grow up to 2½" in length, and females range between 3 - 4". Their colors range from reddish-orange to bright or dark red, with yellowish bellies. Many Tomato Frogs (males and females) have black spots over their throat areas. Males and juveniles are generally a duller orange or brownish-orange, though the juveniles will brighten as they grow.
Tomato Frogs require a soft substrate they can burrow into. Do not house them on gravel, or they may turn brown and then die. A mixture of playground sand and potting soil (with no embedded chemicals) works very well. Half an inch of chopped oak or maple leaves, sphagnum moss, river sand, small cypress chips, orchid bark, or Spanish moss are also acceptable substrates. Make sure they have plenty of live plants in their tank, to simulate their native environment. Since they occasionally enjoy climbing, set a piece of cork bark or bogwood in one corner, and a shallow water pan in the other corner.
Tomato Frogs like it warm, but they aren't obsessive about it. Keep their tank between 65 - 80ºF. Mist their tank daily to keep their humidity level high. Lighting should be subdued rather than shining directly on them, as they are primarily nocturnal. They hunt insects by burying themselves into the ground, and waiting for nearby movement. Occasionally they may mistake a human hand for a careless insect--so handle them with care.
Tomato Frogs should be fed a variety of insects like crickets, butterworms, grasshoppers, and superworms. Larger Tomato Frogs may take pinkie mice.
Tomato Frogs sometimes secrete a white mucous from their skins. This is sticky, and may be a defense against predators. Certainly it is irritating to human eyes (I know this from personal experience; I happened to rub my eye after casually handling a Tomato Frog, and my eye felt like it was on fire for hours!!), so always wash your hands after handling any frog.
Tomato Frogs usually breed during the season of heavy rainfall, and prefer to breed in stagnant or very slow moving bodies of water. The eggs, which they deposit in the water, usually hatch within two days.
Tomato Frogs are a hardy breed which do well with proper care. They make a bright, colorful addition to any large terrarium.