Dyscophus guineti– False Tomato Frog
Natural History Information
Range and Habitat
- Madagascan rainforests, forest floor.
- Expected adult lifespan 6-8 yrs.
- Life Cycle Natural History Relevant Information
- D. guineti: Brown or pale orange in color as juveniles; develop brilliant red color by a few months of age. Females are more vibrant than males, and typically larger, 4+”; Males are usually 2-3″.
- Temperature, Humidity, Light Cycles
- Require a warm and humid enclosure; a temperature gradient of between 72-85F and humidity between 70-80% is ideal.
- These terrestrial frogs do not require vertical space to climb, but appreciate deep substrate to dig, including soil, moss, and coconut fiber.
- Social Housing/Colony Management
- D. guineti: Difficult to breed in captivity, although this was accomplished through environmental manipulation at Baltimore Zoo in the 1990s. Female lay several hundred eggs, developing into tadpoles, which morph into froglets after ~6wks.
- Other General Housing Requirements or Management information
- Life Cycle Relevant Information
- Diet under human care
- D. guineti: The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo feeds adult frogs 5 gut-loaded bugs every other day. Bug type varies, including crickets, small mealworms, small dubia roaches, etc.
- Can be prone to cloacal prolapse.
- Behavioral Relevant Information
- Environmental Enrichment
- Behavioral Enrichment
- Other Enrichment Resources
- Behaviors Trained
- Reinforcers used & schedule of reinforcement
- Threats and Conservation Status
- D. guineti: ICUN Least Concern. However, very threatened by habitat loss
- D. guineti is more often kept in captivity than others in the genus, including
- D. antongili is endangered in the wild.
- Interesting Natural History Information
- Did you know…
- Bright red coloration warns predators that they are not safe to eat. If a predator persists, the frog will puff air into its body to look as large as possible. If undetered, they may secrete sticky mucus which irritates the predator’s mouth and eyes, although this behavior hasn’t been observed at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.
- D. guineti: Difficult to breed in captivity without endocrine treatments, although this was accomplished through environmental manipulation at Baltimore Zoo in the 1990s (via this article).
Handling & Presentation Tips
- Porous skin requires very delicate handling, and no public touching. Wear nitrile or latex gloves wet down with treated (dechlorinated) water, which makes handling these frogs a slippery situation!
- Amphibians must be handled with care and not too frequently. Always use gloves when handling, either vinyl or latex gloves rinsed thoroughly with aged or RO water to prevent chemicals found the the powder used in latex gloves from getting absorbed through the frog’s skin.
Public Contact and Interaction Guidelines
- Look for specialty/exotic rescues such as:
- The Bunny Hutch, an exotic animal rescue run by zoo keepers.
- Relatively common in the pet trade/ herp hobbyists.
- Check out sample animal policies, handling sheets, and fact sheets on our Example Policies & Guidelines page
- View past issues of Program Animal SAG Newsletters