Marbled Reed Frog (Hyperolius marmorata)Picture courtesy of Michael Jefferies
The marbled reed frog comes in various shadings and markings.They are African in origin and are found widely through the African Savanna and is abundant in number. This particular species is thought to be adaptable to many different habitats and for this reason it appears to be increasing in number. Great news! Although they can often have a marbled appearance, it is also common for this frog to be spotted and even striped.
Males have a round bulge in the centre of their throats. On the frogs' undersides they are whitish yellow. They have red thighs, palms and soles.
It is most often found around ponds and lakes in the damp and humid vegetation. In captivity they live in an arboreal vivarium setup and can live happily there in large groups. It breeds in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, ranging from very small to very large ponds, usually using permanent, but often also in temporary, waterbodies. The eggs are deposited directly into the water.
If you are keeping one as a pet in a vivarium, the bottom of the vivarium should be supplied with a large area of water with tall aquatic plants. The section that is dedicated to the land area could have peat covered with moss. On this land section, live plants should be placed such as Scindapsus.
As the frogs do enjoy a climb around, make sure that you arrange a small network of branches. Keep the vivarium humid through the use of a mist spray. Daytime temperatures should be maintained at between 22 - 28 degrees centigrade, with a slight drop in temperature at night to no less than 18 degrees centigrade.
These frogs, whilst being a good pet, should not be handled too often. They, like a lot of other frogs, have sensitive skin and therefore can easily absorb pathogens and toxins from our hands if we handle them excessively.
This frog's favourite meal is crickets during all the stages of its life. However, you can offer them fruit flies as well. Make sure that you frequently coat the food with a good calcium and D3 supplement to keep the frog healthy ; this is especially important with young reed frogs in order to help them grow properly and avoid ill-health.
These little frogs are very sensitive to unclean surroundings,so please take care of them and keep vivarium setups clean and hygenic to ensure the good health of your frog.
They are also agile so catch them only when necessary and hold them securely in your enclosed hands.
It is important that these frogs are quarantined before introducing them into an existing collection.
A similar breed of frog is the Clown Reed Frog, Afrixalus dorsalis.
During the day the marbled reed frog will sit on leaves high up in the corner of the vivarium, usually with legs and arms pulled tightly in. When you mist spray in the evening they will quickly become alert and active. They will climb around using their sticky toe- and finger-pads.
They will eat crickets and love flies. You could dust these with calcium and vitamin supplements.