If you are considering keeping African Dwarf Frogs (ADFs), I can highly recommend them as one of the most delightful additions to any aquarium that you will find! If you already keep ADFs and are curious about what is happening when your frogs fight, start hugging each other, or even how your little frog actually came to be, then read on! If you awaken one morning and find the surface of your ADF tank covered with eggs and are not sure what to do, this will also serve as a guide on how to raise them, from egg to tadpole to froglet to adult frog.
What follows is a combination of my own experience from keeping two males and two females, since they were 4 months of age, and that from other ADF lovers, also raising them from eggs to adult frogs. As our frogs developed and matured, they taught us many things about their spawning and rearing habits. This close study has enabled me to provide you with a comprehensive look at the breeding and rearing of the African Dwarf Frog!
When love is in the air, and you have a mature pair of African Dwarf Frogs (ADFs), the male becomes serious about procreation of his species! His attention turns to finding a female to mate with. The act of mating in frogs is called amplexus. During amplexus, the male will wrap his arms tightly around the females mid-section from behind her and spend the next few hours totally oblivious to the world around him.
If you have more than one sexually mature male, as mentioned in our article, Male African Dwarf Frog Aggression, the males will become aggressive towards one another and an all out froggy free-for-all will follow! Once the battles are over, the search for a willing female begins.
The female ADF will often play 'coy' before
amplexus commences as the male starts his Froggy-Went a-Courtin' routine.
Uh huh. If she's in the mood, the female will make herself available,
otherwise, she remains hidden in the upper parts of the tank behind the
heater or in the plants.
Making herself available doesn't mean it will be easy for him though. It usually means, 'catch me if you can'. The males have to prove themselves worthy, quick and strong to be able to do so. The act of grabbing the female has to be very fast and sometimes in his excitement he gets a little over anxious.
He is tenacious though and eventually figures out the right way and manages to catch her in his grip with his arms locked around her mid-section.
She doesn't always make it easy for him either, as sometimes she might just lay there playing dead and often her hind flippers will twitch or she'll roll on her side to try to shake him off. She might even fall over on her back and go off into her Happy Place for a while to see if he'll let go.
Once he has his grip holding her firmly, his head pillows in the lower valley of her back. If she is willing to mate, she will carry him around like this throughout the whole mating process, which can last for hours.
The size of the male, being the smaller of the two, allows the female to easily maneuver and carry him for lengthy periods of time.
If there are other males close by ready to mate, they may try to break up the couple in order to have an opportunity to grab the female for themselves!
Depending on how many frogs are in the tank, it is not uncommon to see more than one pair of frogs in amplexus when 'love is in the H2O'.
Amplexus usually lasts around 7 to 10 hours
during which time the male seems to go into a state similar to hibernation
as he does not often get a chance to grab a bubble for air, nor is he
interested in food. He has one purpose and he sticks
to it the whole time. This process can last over 24 hours but normally
will last 6 to 12 hours. During amplexus, the female often continues her
routine of hunting for a tasty treat while he just hangs on, waiting for
her to determine when to surface.
The female appears to be in complete control of all activity and will take off in a split second but he always manages to maintain his grip even when a third party is hanging on.
Sometimes it only takes a water change or a temperature change to trigger them to breed. A feeding of rich brine shrimp or juicy bloodworms might also help to set the mood!
When the female ADF is ready to release her eggs, she heads up to the surface, taking the male with her.
On nearing the surface, she slows down and goes into reverse, while flipping herself and the male over backwards.
Once upside down at the surface, she is ready to deposit an egg.
The egg is incased in a clear jelly substance,
which will stick to anything it contacts.
The male appears to squeeze her with his grip assisting her in expelling the eggs.
She usually deposits one egg at a time but can also release a small group of them.
While at the surface, the male makes his contribution by releasing a little clear slick of milt (shown in the circle). This quickly seems to disappear with the flow or any movement of the water. I am not certain if he does this with every egg deposited at the surface or if there is some other timing mechanism that he has built in for this but you can see two eggs within the slick in the following picture. I have also witnessed a murky slick on the surface where they have been, which was not there prior to the pair surfacing. It is approximately 2 inches in diameter and very quickly wafts away in trails on the water's surface, much like a sirrus cloud does. I never saw any sign of it below the water's surface. Some mornings after a full evening of froggy hugging, the surface of the water has a clear bubbly slick covering that appears to be from the males fertilizing all the eggs that are floating on the surface. This slick disappears throughout the next few hours even with no water movement.
The action of surfacing with the male, depositing an egg, and the male's fertilizing it, happens very quickly. If you blink you can miss it as it really only lasts a few seconds. While still at the surface, as she deposits an egg she will often move her hind flippers very quickly, almost spinning them around in a circle, which is likely a method to spread the sperm over the water's surface to ensure that the eggs get fertilized.
Once an egg has been left on the surface, she dives back down into the tank and carries on normally, still in his firm grip until she is ready to deposit the next egg.
The female can deposit well over 100 eggs during amplexus, each one usually means a trip to the surface as shown. Females will continue to carry on normally throughout the whole process, stopping to hunt and eat along the way. She needs to keep up her strength to make the many trips up to the surface and to carry on for upwards of 6 to 27 hours. Once her eggs have been depleted, she is a little thinner but she can fill up with eggs again to begin the process anew almost overnight.
After an evening of froggy love known as Amplexus, you might find upwards of one hundred or more eggs floating on the surface of the water and scattered throughout the tank.
The eggs are formed inside the female
in a long string membrane. Sometimes, she might not be able to release
only 1 at the surface leaving them in a sticky group, trailing behind
her. Sometimes she is able to release them as a group at the surface but
more often than not, they catch and stick on something in the tank and
are released that way.
If you have surface plants, the eggs will
stick to them as the water moves them.
I have one female who will release eggs
of normal size but she will also release little clusters of various shaped
eggs, all of which are white. This means that they have not been fertilized.
Once released from the surface tension
of the water, the eggs will sink wherever the water flow takes them. They
are covered in a jelly-like substance with the ability to stick to whatever
they land upon. They will remain there until after they hatch and go through
a larval stage. Water movement allows them to often find their way under
plant leaves and in crevices, as natural hiding places.
Occasionally after mating, the female may continue to discharge eggs in a string trailing behind her. This is not anything to be concerned about as they will eventually be released naturally. If they are not discovered and eaten, they too will become fuzzy and need to be removed but the frogs usually find them fairly quickly, which does not give them time to grow fungus.
If you decide to go into 'frog ranching', move the eggs into a different tank to hatch. You should use a cup to scoop them up with at the surface to gather as many as possible. A turkey baster can also be used but with the eggs being as sticky as they are, sometimes it is difficult to get them out. ~deb had an egg stuck in her turkey baster, which she kept full of water, until the tad hatched free and could join its siblings in the grow-out tank. If you do not remove the eggs from the tank, they will become a tasty caviar treat for your tank inhabitants.
After a full night of amplexus and egg laying, I would suggest that you don't feed the tank that day.
If you wake one morning and find the surface of the water covered in eggs or tadpoles and decide to raise some frogs, you need to move them into a separate tank. They will become a tasty snack for their parents or other tank inhabitants if left in the home tank for very long.
Within 24 to 48 hours, the fertilized
eggs seem to dissolve and a change occurs as the it begins its' first
stage of development. At this point, the it looks like a small larva inside
a little round, clear jelly case.
A major transformation takes place within the next 24 hours as the head, eyes, body and tail develop and become more recognizable, and the jelly casing resembles a bubble.
The casing surrounding them provides nutrition as well as protection from such items as detritus moving through the water, which will stick to the outside of the casing.
By the end of the second day, they will be out of the jelly casing and free swimming but will not move very fast or very far. They stick themselves to the sides of the tank, bury themselves in the substrate or hide in plants. At this stage, they look like tiny grains of rice and although you might occasionally find them at the water's surface, they have gills and 'breathe' in the water and not air, like older tadpoles do. It is a good idea to use some green water or a mix of green water and tank water in your set up to provide the infusoria that they require to feed on at this time. You could add a live plant or some floating leaves to help provde the microscopic foods that they will feed on. It is now time to set up a baby brine shrimp (bbs) hatchery to provide them with some live food that they will be needing in a couple more days.
By the 3rd or 4th day, they will have developed a little tail and filled out a bit in the body. You will still find them at the surface, hiding under plant leaves or on the side of the tank. They are officially tadpoles at this stage and if you didn't get all the eggs when you moved them, this is the stage at which you will find the majority of the rest of them in the home tank. They are still feeding on infusoria in the water but will require more solid foods in the next day or two.
If you have managed to get your tadpoles past the first week, then you are in for a treat to see the changes that Mother Nature puts them through during metamorphosis!
Their bodies start the changes that will continue until they become full grown frogs. Their shape becomes more rounded and their eyes become very large and are located on the front of the body right over their mouth. Their vision at this stage is great, allowing them to find the microscopic foods that will fit into their mouths. Their tails are about twice as long as their bodies and they motor around by whipping the end of it back and forth, and using the length to steer with.
The tadpoles take on more of a box-like shape around the 7 day mark with iridescent markings around their eyes and expanding to their corners.
At this point in their development, I kept finding little ones still in the home tank, so keep your eye out for them. Also, once you have them in a separate container and are doing water changes be very careful when you throw out the old water. They are great at playing dead as a defense mechanism at this stage and you might think one's a gonner and throw it out. As ~deb warned me once, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!" I kept an eye on any that I was not sure about for a whole day before discarding it. I used a turkey baster to move them around when really young and then a new, never-seen-soap and see-through plastic deli container to catch them in their water after that.
The tadpoles retain their box-like shape for the next few weeks and are little eating machines. They need to have a frequent supply of food as that is all they will do for the next while; eat and grow. I found that feeding every 3 hours from around 7 or 8 in the morning until around 9 in the evening worked well to keep them well fed and to keep my water conditions in balance. Feed only when the previous foods are pretty well depleted and clean up anything that has fallen to the bottom because they are basically mid to top range feeders at this stage and uneaten food will simply go foul on the bottom. Keep the tadpole tank bottom bare so that you can see the fallout and suction it up regularly.
Their mouth forms a protruding suction tube that moves out and back in so fast that it is almost impossible to see unless you watch from above really closely. I managed to only get one pic of it out all my hundreds.
In 2000, S. M. Deban, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah, and W. M. Olson of Dalhousie University in Halifax filmed the feeding process of these tadpoless and made scientific news around the world. You can see pictures and diagrams as well as the slow motion movie of a tadpole dining.
As they grow they seem to gain in size almost daily. The iridescence spreads down their tails and also colors the spots where their limbs will soon appear.
At about two weeks of age, they are about the size of the lead in a normal size pencil.
Around the four week mark, changes in the tadpole start happening rapidly as metamorphosis gains speed. The ADFs are breathing amospheric air from the water's surface. Nubs or leg buds form on the back end of the body beside the base of the tail.
Little flippers start forming on the ends as the legs develop.
A tadpole will be approximately 1/8" at this stage but there are some that grow faster than others. The larger tadpoles could be the result that some being better hunters than others, as well as, the availability, type, and amount of foods being fed and the water quality. Suffice it to say, Mother Nature is hard at work here again but so are you!
Of course, we have to have the inevitable "Poo Picture" as their systems are working full time, growing and digesting all that food. That's not a leg!
Between 4 to 5 weeks of age, you can see changes almost daily as they develop their muscles and flippers and start looking more like a frog. You can even see their circulatory system through their semi-transparent limbs.
Their tails start changing at this point as well. The edges begin to get ragged-looking as it starts to disappear. The tail will continue to be absorbed into the body for the next two weeks. By this time, they are all surfacing for air bubbles and doing those death defying dives to the bottom too. They will find food everywhere including the bottom, so it is imperative to keep the bottom clean and the water in good condition. I changed out approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the water every other day. Once a week I captured all the tads with a turkey baster when they were small and with a clear plastic deli cup when they were a little larger. I set them in a bowl of fresh treated, same temperature water so I could do a full 100% water change and clean up of the home tank. If you have a sponge filter system going, you still need to keep the bottom clean with regular partial water changes, the amount depending upon the type of foods being fed.
Depending on the size of your set up, you may find it necessary to start moving them out into other containers or tanks to allow for more water per tadpole. I would suggest that you allow at least 1/2 gallon of water per froglet to avoid the crowding effect, in which it is thought that tadpoles emit a chemical into the water, which stunts or kills the growth of other tadpoles. Continue to be sure to keep an eye on water temperature and chemistry closely in any of containers or tanks that you spread them out into.
Amazingly, they can start shedding at 5 weeks! I was worried about one that had what I thought was a little fuzz on it but it turned out to have been the start of its' first shed. A few hours later, I found the perfect little outline of a tadpole's legs and flippers laying on the bottom. They do not appear to eat these sheds just yet and they don't all shed right at 5 weeks either. Sometimes the first shed isn't easy for them either and it only comes off in tatters.
At 5 weeks, they take on the shape of the froglet as their legs, flippers and bodies are well formed. Their tails quickly disappear in the matter of a few days between the 5th and 6th week, as the tail is absorbed into the body.
Between the 7th & 8th week, they are officially froglets! Their tails are gone leaving only little stubs at their vent (anal) area. They will fit on a quarter and give you change but are fully formed froglets now. You will be able to recognize some of the patterns developing with their spots, individual markings and facial features. They are also ready to eat more varieties of foods like frozen daphnia and they might even take very small pieces of bloodworms. When you change or add new types of foods to their diet, do so the day you plan to do a major water change. I tried feeding frozen daphnia at various times in their development only to find they weren't interested and all the foods ended up on the bottom, which leads to the need to do a major clean up. Finding out they won't eat the new food right after a water change means having to do another one right away to keep the water clean.
Now that metamorphosis is complete, they are officially froglets - perfectly formed miniature frogs!
They will continue to grow larger and fill out fully. The growth spurt that you have just seen them go through in the first two months begins to slow down somewhat now as they begin to mature. Their instinct for survival is strong and they have managed to hone their ability to hide as you will find out when you do your regular snout count. You will always be looking for one who has managed to tuck itself away quite nicely from you.
At 3-4 months, it is time to think in terms of moving them out into the big wide world. Depending upon how many you were able to raise, you might sell or trade them at the local fish stores, give some to friends or perhaps get yourself a much bigger tank and keep some or all of them.
Now, normal tank maintenance can begin, and since feedings are being cut back, you can add substrate to the tank and start decorating. Think adult-sized frog when setting the tank up though. Substrate should be large enough that it will not be sucked into a large adult-sized mouth, where it could get stuck or swallowed. Since ADFs hunt and scrabble about the bottom, you do not want to use substrate with sharp edges that might cut or round marbles that could move around and injure or trap a little flipper. Sand can be used because it is small enough that if it gets sucked in and ingested with a meal, it is small enough that it would pass through them. However, it is unknown what harm, if any, the sand might be doing to the intestinal system if ingested on a regular basis.
When choosing decorations, please check carefully for any holes that a frog might get stuck or trapped in. The instinct in frogs, when they need air, is to go straight up and they do not have the ability to back up very well. You can stuff any holes solidly with aquarium sponge to keep them safe. Be sure that there are no areas that they can tuck themselves into or get stuck between the sponge and decoration. Better yet, select decorations that have large enough holes in the top area for a safe exit. Also, be aware of any sharp edges or points on decorations as ADFs can injure themselves as they make that fast dive to the bottom from the water's surface.
If you plan on creating a community tank with ADFs, you will need to plan out the feeding needs for them. Since ADFs are bottom feeders, choose tankmates that won't be in competition for the food. Any fish or other type of frog that can fit an ADF into its' mouth will make lunch of your little frog! As a good example of compatible tank mates, many have found that a school of Harlequin Rasboras are really great with frogs because they use the top half of the tank and rarely feed from the bottom. Cory cats or plecos will compete for food on the bottom and are faster feeders than the frogs. Otocinclus (oto cats) and shrimp are other good tankmates as they help keep algae at bay and perform clean up duties very well. Snails are not recommended either as many species of them procreate quickly and become another food source. Their shells might cause a blockage in the digestive tract of an ADF.
Now, more water is required per frog and it is recommended that you allow a minimum of 2.5 gallons per frog in order for your ADF to use those flippers, swim freely and thrive as it grows on to adulthood.
The fish stores usually get them at this stage but some breeders do not feed them as well has been described here so they may be very skinny little creatures when you bring them home.
As newly developed froglets, the faces are still somewhat flat but in the next few months, the snout will become a little more pronounced and the face markings or "masks" will become more defined, along with the back markings and spots. Their head appears somewhat larger than the body in ratio similar to a puppy with big feet and ears that they will grow into as they fill out over the next few months.
During metamorphosis, the head shape has changed so their eyes are now positioned more to the top and side of the head rather than centered on the front of the face. Their range of vision therefore has also changed and they are no longer able to see straight ahead of them as they did when they hunted for food in the water during the tadpole stage.Their close up vision in front of them is practically non-exisitent but from about 3" above it is keen as they are able to see movement and act on it in a nanosecond if they think it to be something edible. When it comes to seeing directly in front of them though, they could all use glasses!
Often, if I am checking on something
in a tank with a magnifying glass, a frog will react as if it sees me
through the glass. They come up to that area staring
right at me through the magnifying glass and follow along with any movement
that I make. Of course this is in hopes of food delivery no doubt, or
they might just be curious depending upon the nature of the frog. They
seem to recognize the movement and reactions of other frogs finding food
in their general hunting vicinity and you will often see one doing a close
check on the mouth of another frog if they think it has food to steal.
Food fights are quite normal but can be somewhat fierce to witness with a frog on each end of a juicy worm, much like a serious game of Crack the Whip! This is another reason to refrain from having sharp edged decorations in the tank because they could get hurled into this during one of these fights.
By 8 weeks, they are eating more substantial
foods like frozen bloodworms, and feeding should be cut back to twice
a day for juveniles under 1/2" SVL (snout to vent/butt length). Small
live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, larger brine shrimp, or whole Frog
& Tadpole Bites are some suggestions however brine shrimp aren't recommended
as a steady diet as they're very rich. Avoid using freeze dried foods
as they tend to compact in the digestive system and can possibly lead
to consitpation and bloating. When feeding worms, compare the size of
the worms to the froglet, and you likely will need to chop them into small
pieces. A whole large worm can choke a little frog. Being pipids, (tongueless)
and having no teeth, they suck in their food. Some worms are longer than
a frog can handle at that stage. Once the frog has swallowed an end of
a lengthy worm, it can be very difficult for the frog to regurgitate it.
Chopping the worms into smaller pieces
makes it easier for them to swallow. This little one appears to be guarding
a stash of worms that he has found but in reality ADFs are not territorial
regarding hunting grounds and tend to roam all over the tank, wherever
their nose tells them there might be food.
The gullet (skin under their chins) is very deceptive and often looks concave at first glance but can expand like a balloon when eating. This allows them to suck in water with their foods and maneuver it to the right angle to swallow. Since they have no tongues or teeth to use when eating, you will often see a frog working a worm in and out of its' mouth by using its' front flippers to help reposition the food for swallowing. It happens so quickly most times that you rarely see the gullet expanded on a frog.
This can be problematic if they take in something too large to swallow or spit out like a small pebble that could get wedged under the jaw bone.
Since they are now bottom feeders, their
sense of smell has developed to allow them to find tasty bits and morsels.
Even with a bare bottom tank, the little ones will hunt in the natural
method of "point and lunge", while sucking in their food. If
there is substrate in the tank, they will rummage through the rocks or
stones digging away with their arms and snouts to find it and even if
it is a bare bottom tank, they hunt nose down with the back arched before
they make a lunge for the morsel.
Sometimes this is the view you get of that pose!
It may take a little while after placing food in the tank for them to start hunting as they learn very quickly that the food comes from the surface and will often swim up to meet it. Or, they will often sit or stand on the bottom staring upwards for a long time, perhaps in hope that food might just drop into their mouths. More often than not, the males are the ones that seem to do this as females are often the better hunters and get to the hunt sooner.
As they become froglets and their hind
flippers develop, they will grow 3 little black nails or claws on the
inside rays of the hind flippers. The purpose of these is unknown other
than they do use them to help peel off the thin layer of skin, once they
have begun shedding on a regular basis. They do not use these as weapons
during any skirmishes with other frogs and often in the adult stages,
they will lose one or more of these in their scrambles through substrate
hunting foods or in their haste to hide. I have never seen them grow back,
and the loss of them does not interfere with their ability to use the
flippers when shedding. I have seen numerous cases of inflammation at
the end of the toe ray from a recent loss of a claw but within 2 days
time, it has healed up on its own and becomes white, rounded and scarred
at the tip or the ray may just end up shortened on the flipper.
ADFs develop white patches at all their joints, most noticeably at the knee area at an early stage.
Since ADFs begin shedding at 5-6 weeks, now they are shedding regularly and eating it too! As gross as this may sound, it is actually quite nutritious for them. Sometimes if they draw too much attention to themselves during shedding in the tank, they are likely to have help from a tankmate in getting rid of it.
There has been many a good battle between
tankmates over such a tasty treat and since it is somewhat elastic, the
skin does not tear easily and they can whip each other around during these
battles similar to a food fight over a juicy worm.
We do not really know how often a frog will shed. Being nocturnal creatures and as fast as some of them are able to peel off a shed, we may not always witness it but I would venture to estimate they normally shed weekly.
Around the 4-5 month mark, their muscles begin to develop more definition as their body continues to fill out. In particular, the males' arms will begin to thicken up and become stronger as they mature sexually. This allows them to maintain a firm grip on the female during the hours involved in amplexus. You can see the difference in the froglet and the adult male arms that we so often refer to as "Pop-eye arms".
At 2 months of age, they are barely 1/2" SVL (snout to vent length). When measuring the length of frogs we don't consider the legs and flippers, just the body length, from snout to vent or nose to butt. By 6 months of age, they are around 3/4" SVL and by one year, they are about 1" or a little more. Females are larger in girth and longer in body than the male allowing them to carry the male throughout the lengthy process of amplexus. By 18 months, they have become full grown frogs with some reaching 1.25" to 1.50".
You will notice on occasion that once they mature, that the sides down the length of their backs will sometimes change shape and become larger or higher rather than the flatter or more normally rounded shape. I have noticed this to occur in both males and females on just one side or sometimes on both sides. It is unknown what causes this to happen but it does not seem to cause any problem for them and remains a mystery for now. In my years of observing ADFs, I have not found any specific issue responsible for this, such as weather changes, food intake, mating time or water changes. The following pictures show the differences in the sides of their back, which can occur gradually, or at least not fast enough to be able to witness the change. This is the same frog at different times. The normal back shape is having both sides appear like the right side of the frog in the bottom picture.
This is what they do best to be close
to the air supply without having to move very far. If disturbed, they
should flee, otherwise if the frog is floating continually, it could be
a sign of a problem with your ADF, so check your water parameters and
post a query at the Emergency
Room on the Flippers
'n' Fins' message board. Most times though, they are just relaxing
and taking life easy.
A unique thing that ADFs do is to go into a trance-like state that ~deb has dubbed "going off to the their happy place". You might see your frog freeze, while standing upright, and then as if in slow motion, fall over backwards and lay there with all 4 limbs out stiff staring blankly off into space! Or you might just happen to look in the tank and see your frog lying there on its back! It can freak you out thinking that you have just seen them die and you will be tempted to poke them but please don't! Just let them be for a few minutes and they will come back from wherever their little minds have been wandering. I have noticed that this happens a lot at meal time, it's as if they get so excited that they just can't handle it and over they go! Within about 2-5 minutes, they will flip themselves over and carry on as if nothing ever happened!
Normally, these glands show a little whitish or cream coloring. I have noted over the years that when Mother Nature determines that it is mating time, that these glands often increase in size and will sometimes even show a little red spot in the middle of them. Some males become more agitated and active at this time. One of my male's glands lost its' light coloring early on but they still swell, more so than any other frog that I have seen or heard of. His glands have become very pronounced over the years but this is not the norm for a male ADF.
Some frogs have never been known to sing but then again, it could just be that their voice is out of our hearing range or so soft that it cannot be heard over the ambient sounds around you. My adults start singing around 8 pm and carry on through the night into the early morning hours or until they became involved in other things like amplexus. Normally, you won't hear them through the day but I occasionally hear a couple of my juveniles call out now and again through the daylight hours. Listen to the sounds of some ADF calls... here!
You will see your ADF release a bubble on their way to the surface for fresh air...
ADFs can get themselves into some of the most hilarious poses, such as hanging on by a toenail. When they have the time, they are able to find good hiding places as I noted earlier but when they are startled, or feel threatened after surfacing for air, they are quite comical when they hit bottom and start scrabbling around trying to find a place to hide. Obviously, they are not rocket scientists as this draws attention to them very quickly! When they finally have their nose buried somewhere they feel more secure and think that they are well hidden, usually with their little hiney and back legs are stuck straight up in the air!
They will often start levitating in the water after a surface trip for air until they release a little equalizer bubble to allow them to move around the bottom. It never fails to make me giggle seeing them do this.
Frogs are nocturnal creatures, preferring to rest through the daytime, and unless you are a night owl, you will miss a lot of their actions through the wee hours of the night. I highly recommend feeding early in the evening as they become quite active after a good dinner and will regale you with many hours of entertainment with their antics.
At about 6-8 months, ADFs get serious about a little froggy hugging as you have read in the amplexus section. Around 2 years of age, the females loose interest in tripping the light fantastic although the males will still occasionally make a half hearted effort. When they get to this point, you have come full circle in their lives and given good water conditions, a healthy diet and little or no stress, an ADF can live upwards of 4-5 years and even longer. Just think of all the giggles, laughs and tads that they can all produce for you in all that time!
A first experience with African Dwarf Frog breeding from England's very own, Russ!
More to follow soon!
Special thanks go out to Dr. Barb, ~deb, Sarah and Russ for sharing their experience and great photos! As we continue to learn, we will be adding more information, so be sure to check back occasionally for any updates.
Author: Todley, Dr. Barb &