Tomato frog, Dyscophus antongilii
Tomato frogs are docile, vibrant coloured and easy to take care of
- Tomato frogs are vibrant coloured, terrestrial frogs
- Easy to care for making them beginner-friendly
- Docile pets that don’t need a huge amount of space
Do Tomato frogs make good pets?
Tomato frogs, aptly named for their round, vibrant bright red or orange bodies are found exclusively in Madagascar, where their native habitat is the swamp forests and freshwater pools in the Eastern rainforest belt. Tomato frogs aren’t the most active pets, rather they are ambush predators, preferring to spend their time burrowed in the substrate waiting for prey items to crawl by.
Tomato frogs are mostly nocturnal, although they are still not overly active at these times, their striking colours make them interesting pets to have around.
At Swell Reptiles, all of our Tomato frogs are captive bred in the UK, meaning you can rest assured that your new frog came from a reliable source with minimal negative impact on their native environment.
Which enclosure should I choose for my Tomato frog?
Despite not being the most active, Tomato frogs will still move around their enclosure a little, generally moving between a few choice spots, so they should still be provided with enough horizontal space to do this. We recommend a minimum enclosure size of 60 x 45 x 30cm (24 x 18 x 12”), for adult Tomato frogs, for example, the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 60x45x30cm.
Do Tomato frogs need to be heated?
Tomato frogs do best with a warm end temperature of around 26°C (78°F) and a cool end temperature closer to 20°C (68°F). This thermogradient should be achieved using an overhead heating system, attached to a compatible thermostat.
For example, a basking lamp and dimming thermostat or ceramic heat emitter and pulse thermostat. Unless your home drops below around 15°C (59°F) overnight, no nighttime heating is required, but if it is, it must be a non-light emitting heat source.
Due to their lower temperature requirements than a lot of exotic pet species, you will generally only need a low wattage heating element to achieve the required temperatures for a Tomato frog, although this will depend on how warm or cold your home is.
Do Tomato frogs need UVB?
Despite inhabiting the forest floor, Tomato frogs would still be regularly exposed to sunlight in nature, and as such should be kept with a low-level UVB, providing them with a UVI between 1-2.
The best way to achieve this is using an Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 Kit positioned between 25-40cm (10-15”) from the basking area. If your light fixture will need to be higher than this, however, then the Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% is a better option.
How do I decorate a Tomato frog terrarium?
Due to their large bodies and burrowing nature, Tomato frogs can be quite destructive to their decor, they, therefore, do best with slightly more minimal enclosures, but covered areas are still essential to provide safe spaces and escapes from the heat and UVB.
Cover can be provided for a Tomato frog using traditional hiding caves or cork bark flats and half rounds. You can also provide cover using artificial plants or live plants, but if opting for live plants, only choose hardy examples to be planted in the substrate layer.
Another vital piece of functional decor in a Tomato frog enclosure would be a shallow water dish, which should be large enough for your Tomato frog to soak in for hydration. It is also important to remember to only provide your Tomato frog with dechlorinated water, as chlorine and chloramines in tap water can harm their sensitive skin.
What do Tomato frogs eat?
Tomato frogs are insectivorous, and feed primarily on insect larvae in nature, so should be fed on a varied diet of live food such as crickets, locusts, cockroaches and so on. All live food should be supplemented according to a feeding schedule to ensure all of the required nutrients are provided.
We recommend using a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such as Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3 and finally, a vitamin a reptile supplement on every 12th feed, which is particularly important for most amphibians.
Can I handle my Tomato frog?
Amphibians are characterised by a semi-permeable skin membrane across which they absorb water and other substances, this means that handling them can cause irritation to their skin due to the many substances often found on human skin, such as salts or oils that will be absorbed over the epidermis, so handling should be avoided wherever possible.
There are instances where handling your Tomato frog cannot be avoided, for example when rehousing your Tomato frogs. In these instances, handling should be done with clean, damp hands, or clean gloves, and should be done as quickly as possible to minimise stress and possible skin irritation.
How do I buy a Tomato frog?
If you like the look of our UK captive bred Tomato frogs, please pop down to our superstore and see us in person. We will ask to see a few images of your set-up to temperature and with adequate lighting and will ask a few quick questions to ensure you are ready to adopt. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.
For more detailed information regarding Tomato frog husbandry, why not take a look through our dedicated Tomato frog care sheet.
|Common name||Tomato frog|
|Scientific name||Dyscophus antongilii|
|Adult size||5-8cm (2-3”)|
|Natural habitat||Forest floor and swamp habitats|
|Housing||60 x 45 x 30cm (24 x 18 x 12”)|
|Ideal temperature||26°C (78°F) (warm end); 20°C (68°F) (cool end)|
|Average lifespan||10-15 years|
|Ease of handling||Handling should be avoided|