Tomato Frog Care Sheet and Maintenance
The Tomato Frog is recognized for its striking red coloration and round shape reminiscent of tomatoes. As a member of the Microhylidae family, commonly known as narrow-mouthed frogs, it stands as the largest frog family globally!
Tomato Frogs are nocturnal which means they are primarily active at night. Like other frogs, Tomato Frogs are insectivores.
Tomato Frogs are a great beginner species of frog and are very popular amongst the hobby due to their personality and bright appearance and coloration. Expect your pet to live 6-8 years.
What You Need for a Bioactive Tomato Frog Enclosure:
- 18x18x18 Front Opening Enclosure or Larger
- Arcadia Shade Dweller D3 7% UVB T5 Bulb + Fixture
- 35w Arcadia Halogen Lamp + Fixture
- 18x18x18 Tomato Krog Advanced Bioactive Kit or 18x18x18 Terra Firma Kit
- Isopods and Springtails
- Exo Terra 2qt Pressure Sprayer Mister
- ZooMed Repti Fogger Terrarium Humidifier
- Bio Dude Terra Bowl and Feeding Dish
- Cork Bark Flats
- Bio Dude Digital Thermometer/Hygrometer combo x2
- ZooMed Stainless Steel 10” Curved Feeding Tongs
For a pair of adult Tomato Frogs, a 20-gallon long or an 18x18x18 front-opening enclosure is recommended. Due to their semi-fossorial nature, an ideal substrate like our Terra Firma supports their burrowing behavior. Optimal live plants include those rooting in multiple places, such as Pothos, Silver Waffle, Black Velvet Alocasia, and Philodendron Moonlight which thrive in humid environments. Ensure a spacious water dish for soaking is consistently available, The Bio Dude Terra Bowl is a great option!
Temperature and Humidity:
Maintain temperatures in the 70-75°F, well-suited for typical home environments. Monitoring with thermometers aids in maintaining these conditions. Humidity levels between 50-70% are recommended, which can be accomplished by using a humidity-retaining substrate such as The Bio Dude Terra Firma, live plants, as well as misting the enclosure 1-2x/day. We recommend using our Thermometer/Hygrometer combo to ensure proper temperature and humidity monitoring.
UVB & Plant Lighting:
Tomato Frogs are nocturnal (active at night), so its very beneficial to provide them a proper day and night cycle. Although they are capable of surviving without UVB light, its best practice to include it as part of the frogs setup as it provides all of the vitamin D that your pet needs, strengthens the immune system, facilitates better digestion, and provides other benefits.
- We recommend installing one of the following UVB bulbs:
- Arcadia Shade Dweller 7% UVB
- Arcadia T5 HO Forest 6%
Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun 5.0
We recommend installing one of the following Plant Light Options:
- Bio Dude Glow & Grow 16” LED Plant Light
- The Bio Dude Solar Grow 12" T5 HO Light Fixture 12” (8 Watt, 6400K) Plant Light
Because Tomato Frogs require a temperature range of 70-75°F we only recommend providing a heat source if your home drops below 70. Using a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) or a low wattage halogen bulb hooked up to a thermostat dimmer combo will ensure your enclosure stays in a good range for your Tomato Frog.
We recommend installing one of the following heat sources if your home drops below 70:
- Zoo Med Nano Ceramic Heat Emitter 25w paired with a Zoo Med Nano Dome Lamp Fixture
- Arcadia Halogen 35w Bulb paired with an Arcadia Ceramic Clamp Lamp
We recommend these Thermostats to control your enclosure temperature:
- Exo Terra Thermostat 300W Dimming & Pulse Proportional
- Zoo Med Reptitemp Digital Thermostat
Handling Tomato Frogs requires a gentle and cautious approach to ensure both the frog's well-being and safety.
- Gloves: It's advisable to wear disposable gloves when handling Tomato Frogs. The oils and residues on our skin can be harmful to their delicate skin.
- Frequency: Limit handling to essential situations, as frequent handling may stress the frog. Minimize disturbances during feeding, cleaning, or health checks.
- Technique: When picking up a Tomato Frog, use a scooping motion rather than attempting to grasp it. Gently slide your hand beneath the frog's body, supporting its weight evenly.
- Avoid Jumping Distances: Tomato Frogs have a robust build but are not adapted for long jumps. Avoid holding them at a height that might lead to a fall, as this can cause injury.
- No Sudden Movements: Sudden movements can startle the frog. Move slowly and steadily to provide a sense of security.
- Quiet Environment: Choose a quiet and calm environment for handling. Loud noises or sudden disturbances can stress the frog.
- Handwashing: After handling, thoroughly wash your hands even if you wore gloves. This prevents any potential transfer of substances from the frog to yourself.
Remember, each frog may have its individual preferences and tolerances. Observing their behavior during handling can provide insights into their comfort levels. Always prioritize the well-being of the frog and ensure that handling is kept to a minimum, allowing them to thrive in their enclosure.
Size and Age:
- Female Tomato Frogs can reach nearly 4 inches.
- Males usually top at 2.5 inches.
- They can thrive for up to 10 years in captivity with proper care.
Given their proportionally small mouths, feed adult Tomato Frogs 1/2-inch crickets or small dubia roaches. Froglets may require 1/4-inch crickets.
Sexing is generally based on size, with females exhibiting more red tones, while males tend towards orange or yellow. Reproductive tracts on males appear as distinct white lines beneath the skin.
Adult Tomato Frogs evolve from light brown juveniles to vibrant orange or red adults. A distinctive darker brown band separates the upper coloration from the white underbelly. Most individuals develop a rhomboid marking on their backs.
More than two frogs can coexist in the same enclosure when provided ample space. Males typically display non-aggressive behavior unless breeding conditions are met.
Breeding involves cycling, featuring an extended dry period, increasing humidity, and intensive feeding. Placing the frogs in a rain chamber prompts females to lay between 1,000 and 1,500 eggs. Tadpoles hatch in about 3 days and metamorphose over approximately a month and a half.
Tomato Frogs are found along the eastern rainforest belt of Madagascar, between 150-900 meters above sea level. Their secretive nature implies potential occurrences at more localities than recorded.
History in the Hobby:
Desired for their vibrant color and ease of care, Tomato Frogs have been sought after in the hobby. However, being classified as CITES II species limits imports, and captive breeding programs significantly contribute to the availability of frogs in the hobby.
Ready to make the leap?
Below is a link to our complete bioactive kit made with tomato frogs in mind!
Complete Tomato Frog BioActive Kit: https://www.thebiodude.com/collections/frog-bioactive-kit/products/whites-dumpy-tree-frog-bioactive-kit
- Pete Garcia