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Thread: Hello - help please!

  1. #1
    StephenLS
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    Default Hello - help please!

    Hi All

    Nice looking forum you've got here.

    Is there any chance any of you have ever had any experience with the Madagascan Marbled Burrowing Toad (Scaphiophryne Marmorata)?

    Any advice at all would be helpful!
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    Last edited by StephenLS; August 17th, 2009 at 02:16 PM.

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    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Welcome to the forum Stephen. I've just been admiring your photo albums - thank you for gracing our site with your lovely photos.

    I've never kept Scaphiophryne species before, but I have kept other Microhylids. In fact this genus is poorly known in captivity - they do get imported as you are aware, which is somewhat saddening considering how vulnerable Scaphiophryne marmorata is in the wild.

    I expect their care is similar to the Microhylids found on Madagascar. Here's what I would do.

    Provide them with a warm vivarium (mid to late-ish 20s Celsius/77-83 F is a good range) with a layer of at least 5 cm (2 inches) of substrate in which to burrow - a nice humus-rich topsoil without artificial additives would be ideal. You could use coconut fibre but aside from the fact that this is a poor approximation of tropical soil, it loses moisture very quickly, thus causing unnaturally rapid changes in the terrarium's conditions. To heat this terrarium don't use an under tank pad - in all likelihood these frogs will spend a lot of time buried, where it's supposed to be cooler rather than warmer. Under tank heating in a "burying" species' vivarium also leads to drying out from the bottom-up, and can lead to fire risks due to the inability of the heat to dissipate. If heating is necessary I advise you to use a low wattage daylight bulb (not the true heating kind – those are too good at their job for most amphibians). Provide a vented lid and mist every day or two to keep the humidity up – to establish what’s a good level, I would mist the tank every 3 days at first and see if the frogs are active If not, increase to every 2 days, observe, and then increase to every day if necessary – constantly too moist is often not a good thing.

    You can provide hides and such but I doubt the frogs will use them much, preferring to bury themselves. Plants, live or artificial, can be used to provide ground cover. We have a nice thread all about vivarium plants elsewhere on the forum.

    Food-wise, I don’t believe these have any special requirements but they may be more inclined to feed at night, at least at first.

    Good luck with them – they are a fascinating genus and I am quite envious of you!
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Stephen, I was thinking that you should enter a photo or two in the photo of the month competition - I think you'd win!
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

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    100+ Post Member Buck Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    One thing I would recommend is too have the soil a bit deeper than 5cm if possible especially if you are going to hibernate it. Gorgeous frog by the way, do you have just the one or did you get more?

  6. #5
    StephenLS
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I have a group of four! 2 pairs from different sources (very hard to track down). 2 of them I believe are adult and are about the size of a 50p piece whilst the other pair are about half the size at the mo!
    I've heard some high pitched chirps from them already so definitely a male in there!

    They do spend the majority of time burrowed and are highly nocturnal but when out seem to be fairly good climbers!

    I'll take your advice and increase the depth of the substrate (it's quite shallow at the moment so it's easy for me to locate them!) and add a fluorescent tube at the top of their tank (it's quite high) to try and increase the temperature slightly, however, I've been keeping them slightly cooler than you have suggested as per guidelines for dwarf chameleons which I believe come from similar habitat?

    Thanks for the advice on the pics John!

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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Well the way to tell if the temperatures are right is if they eat heartily and are active - if it's too warm they'll probably stay buried all the time and not eat as much. My temperature advice was just educated guesswork. Thank you for sharing your photos with us and the insight - we are very privileged.
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    100+ Post Member Buck Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenLS View Post
    I've been keeping them slightly cooler than you have suggested as per guidelines for dwarf chameleons which I believe come from similar habitat?
    That is very good thinking, a lot of the dwarf chameleons do stay close to the ground where it is warm and humid which would be similar (but not the same) to these frogs environment. But also keep in mind that Madagascar does have a dry season as well.

  9. #8
    StephenLS
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll try changing environmental conditions wee bit at a time and see what I notice!

    I'll keep you posted as to how they are doing!

  10. #9
    100+ Post Member Buck Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello - help please!

    Great stuff, keep us posted!

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