HABITAT AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
D Auratus- Green Black is primarily an arboreal tree dweller. It comes down to the lowland forest floor and hunts and hides among the dense leaf litter, returning to the safety of the canopy for sleeping. Courting and mating also takes place in the saftey of the canopy. Eggs are deposited in the axils of bromeliads during the rainy season. Provide sufficient ground cover in the form of leaf litter and plenty of places for climbing and sleeping in the upper part of the vivarium.
The natural habitat of the D Auratus- Green Black occurs at 50m-800m. Daytime temperatures should be high at around 82F with nightime temperatures down to 70F. Humidity should be kept high.
D Auratus- Green Black is extremely easy to care for and a Very hardy species. They are a bolder species of the Auratus family and very prolific. Body type tends to be rotund. Voracious eaters with an endless appetite. D Auratus- Pastores can be quite bold at feeding time. If you encounter shyness, trying changing the viv configuration or interior setup. 2-4 month old froglets range between $45- $60CDN
Feeding- While a great amount of debate exists about the best feeding program for Dart frogs, much has already been learned in the relatively short time these animals have been in captivity. While feeding the widest range of foods available is always a good thing to, these frogs can also thrive on a diet of just Melongaster or Hydei flightless fruit flies.
Always make sure these foods are dusted with both Calcium powder and a vitamin supplement powder as well. We dust our feeder insects at every feeding. Rep-Cal phosphorus free calcium powder with vitamin D has been specially formulated for dart frogs. Other brands containing phosphorus can be damaging to your frogs over the long term and lead to spasms and death. We encourage their use at every feeding. One container can easily last a hobbyist for one year. It is well worth the small investment. In their captive habitat, they nourish mainly on drosophylias as well as micro pinhead crickets. It is also possible to give them small insects found directly in nature, i.e., plant louses or termites. Special care should be taken not to overfeed on these as they contain high levels of fat and chitin. In particular woodlice or the ladybirds. Chitin is not very well digested. There also are risks of obstruction of the bowels. It is important to note that one should not offer food caught in a place treated with insecticides, pesticides or manure.
For advanced information regarding fruit flies and the culturing of other foods visit our Culture Corner (HERE)
Housing your Dart Frogs
Dart Frogs are generally sold as two month old froglets. It is best to confine them to a smaller container for the first two months in your home. This allows them to get larger and primarily to find enough food to grow and prosper. Placing your froglets in a larger vivarium is very exciting, but a risky idea. They will not be able to find enough food. The humidity level must be maintained as well. Froglets frequently dry out or starve in these larger vivariums.
Sexing & Breeding
Sexual dimorphism generally becomes apparent as the frogs mature. This will generally happen around 12-14 months of age. This process can be sped up a bit by feeding your frogs well twice per day instead of once or as some do, or only every two to three days. If you need to sex the frogs before calling and courting begin, there are a few accepted ways.
The front fingers of the male develop a flat, bi-lobed, terminal disc. Males are slightly more large than the female. Males may begin calling immediately, but if not, sometimes an impression of a throat sac can be seen. Tinctorius are not very vocal, however, Just a faint low pitched buzzing sound. Females when ready for breeding will become extremely rotund when gravid with eggs. The female will also appear slightly rounder from the rear. Breeding can be induced at will by replicating a dry season of 5-7 days and then spraying twice a day with mist.
D Auratus- Green Black prefer to use a inverted yogurt lid placed under a cocnut hut in the enclosure . The elaborate courtship mating is quite delicate. This begins with the female stroking the back of the male. The female and male stroke each other as they locate to a more private locale. The mating begins with the male assuming amplexis where he will inseminate the eggs as they emerge. Sometimes the male does not play such an active role at the time of egg deposition. It is always a good idea to leave the eggs where they were laid for up to 48 hours to make sure they are fully fertilized. Beware if you have extra females in the enclosure as they will attack the eggs and eat them. Other females will want the male to resume breeding and not encumbered by the responsibility of a litter to care for. I always remove my eggs at day two and place them in a plastic box for incubating. I use a small spatual and gently undercut slightly from each side. Tip the container into a petri dsh or yoegurt lid and allow them to slowly slide out. Be sure that he eggs remain upright. Carefully add a bit of water to keep the eggs moist but do not submerge them. You are about to embark on a wondrous journey with the creation of your very own froglets!
For More information on Egg Care or Tadpole Care go (HERE)
The D Auratus- Green Black is yet another natural wonder of beauty that only nature could create. And only man can eradicate. Please join in our efforts to save this beautiful creature.
Captive breeders worldwide are working to provide a booming hobbyist trade with out decimating wild populations. DO NOT buy illegal wild caught frogs! Many are shipped inhumanely and do nor survive. The ones that do are weakened, sick, and generally do not live long. These can also jeopardize any frogs you already have.