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Thread: Why did my American toadlets die?

  1. #1
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    Default Why did my American toadlets die?

    Hi everyone!
    I'm hoping for some advice or an explanation as to the unexpected mortality in my American toad metamorphs that I reared from eggs. Has anyone had success rearing them to adulthood? I'm pretty frustrated that I couldn't keep them alive despite my best efforts.

    I collected a mass of American toad eggs in May this summer to raise through metamorphosis. After the first ~week, I chose 30 healthy tadpoles to keep and released the rest to the same site. I reared them in dechlorinated water and fed them boiled->frozen kale. They were very healthy throughout the tadpole stages (only had 2 mortalities) and began to emerge from the water after ~5 weeks.

    I angled the tank that they were in to allow them to exit the water easily at which point, I started to move them to small terraria. I used plastic Tupperware with mesh lids and coconut husk soil substrate. Inside, I included a shallow water dish and a plastic cup on the side as a shelter. I fed them 3x/week with ~5-10 flightless fruit flies dusted in calcium powder. I housed them individually in these terraria and misted the soil and changed the water everyday.

    For the first 3 days of this, I had no mortality at all. Each toad seemed healthy and I observed them hunting and successfully eating the fruit flies. However, after this point, the mortalities began. On one day, I had 6 toads die (and they seemed completely healthy the previous day). As far as I could tell there was no correlation between mortality and any variables in the terraria (moisture levels, placement in the room, etc.). Even the size of the dead toads seemed to be random. Some that died were very plump and others were somewhat skinny. I also couldn't see any signs of disease before or after death (however, I am not an expert on the symptoms or clinical signs of disease in amphibians). I did perform a few "autopsies" and found nothing unusual but confirmed that there were fruit flies in their digestive tracts.

    Can anyone tell me what went wrong here? Is there something essential that I left out?

    Thanks in advance!
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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did my American toadlets die?

    The most likely to causes what are you there have been the toads had some type of deformity and they were going to die regardless or could be there was not enough food offered. Whenever they lose their tails for a very long time until they can begin eating small crickets they should be fed every single day fruit flies. So what most likely was the case some of the Toads died from lack of food and others died from deformities maybe you could not see them but they could have been internal. I hope this helps

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  4. #3
    Junior Member Amber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did my American toadlets die?

    I second starvation. I'm not an expert, but my froglets ate 20 or so fruit flies each, every single day, until they were big enough for crickets.
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    Default Re: Why did my American toadlets die?

    Unfortunately starvation seems most likely, but you can't rule out natural casualties either. I raised my 3 toads from tadpoles and they're about 4 months old now. The amount they ate at that stage was astonishing, there's really no overfeeding them when they're that young imo. I started feeding as much as they could eat once a day and then I switched to feeding slightly lesser amounts 2 times a day to ensure the flies didn't have time to groom the powder off. Were you using a multivitamin?

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