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Thread: Lost apetite, hyla versacolor

  1. #1

    Default Lost apetite, hyla versacolor

    I am concerned about my hyla versacolor not eating. I took him in from outside a few weeks ago. Following the suggestion in the caresheet, I have used a container in which to feed him. At his first meal he ate 7 very small crickets. 14I fed him small crickets every two days for a bit over a week, then switched to waxworms.

    At first he ate the wax worms with gusto, gobbling down 3 the first time. But during the last week and half his apetite got less and less. He stopped eating the waxworms a few days ago. I bought some crickets, but at the pet shop was told to use larger ones then before. The frog is about 1 1/2 inches long. The new crickets have a body length of about 1/2 to 5/8 inch, are fed with fish food, and they move fast.

    When I put the first cricket in the container with him a day ago, he made a lunge for it, but it got away. Since then, he has made no attempts. He is in the feeding container now with some waxworms. He is moving around in there quite a bit, but ignoring the waxworms. He is sitting on one. I often see him

    Temperature varies from about 68 to 73F. I have been misting him every day. The floor of the tank is white paper towel, there are branches to climb on, a "wading" pool, and some large rocks. He generally stays at the highest point in the tank, on top of a branch in a corner.

    The water used is either bottled Poland Spring, or tap water that has been in a container for at least several days.

    1. Any Ideas?

    2. The tank is in my study, in a quiet area. But I often have lights on till very very late at night. Could this be the problem?

    3. Are the adult crickets, which are about 1/2" body length, too large for a 1 1/2 tree frog?

    Thanks so much...


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  3. #2

    Default Re: Lost apetite, hyla versacolor

    How big is the tank? Does it have any hiding spots like plant foliage? Lots of hiding will help make the frog feel secure.

    Aim for body length of the crickets to be about the space between the frogs eyes. You can try chilling the crickets down for a few seconds in the freezer or a few minutes in the fridge then dropping them in front of the frog if it was having trouble catching them. Or try putting them in a small glass bowl to limit their movement inside his regular vivarium, that way you don't have to disturb him for feeding.

    I find waxworms get ignored unless they move with great haste (relative to waxworm speed) or I poke them around with tweezers. Waxworms should also be used as a treat, not a staple part of the diet. You can also try letting them pupate and turn into moths and feed the frog moths. If your frog doesn't go nuts for a moth flapping around, there's definitely something wrong.

    If it was outside up until a few weeks ago, it was probably on it's way into hibernating, this might have put it off food.

    I don't find mine terribly sensitive to the lighting conditions, but you could try have them on at the same time from day to day.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Lost apetite, hyla versacolor

    Thank you, Uncle Chester, both for this and for an earlier reply a few weeks ago -

    Body length on these crickets is quite a bit larger then the distance between the frog's eyes. The only shop within a reasonable distance seems only to have the very small and the adult size crickets. I do not have a colony of crickets, so I'll go back and get the tiny ones again. As you suggest, I'll try slowing these down with some cold if need be.

    The size and proportions of the tank are not ideal, being more suited for fish then frog who would like to climb. It is 20" W x 10 x 12" high. A screen cover is on top. There are no live plants at present. There are, however, many dry leaves in which he can hide, as well as a covered area formed under a part of the branches

    I did not know that the waxworms were not suited as a staple diet. It appears that I wrongly thought that by buying a container containing a hundred or so of these, he would have live food for awhile. Without some sort of cricket colony, the crickets seem only to be able to last a few days. When the draw containing the crickets is opened at the shop, the smell is pretty overwhelming. Is that typical for a cricket colony?

    At the moment, he is sitting in a pool of water with an angled bottom, nose well out of the water. About every 10 to 20 seconds or so, he lifts his rear end a bit. Why might he be doing that?

    Thank you again,


  5. #4

    Default Re: Lost apetite, hyla versacolor

    A well maintained cricket colony shouldn't stink. If you open it and stick your head in, there's a smell, but otherwise for even 3 or 4 hundred crickets it shouldn't be an issue (your nose may vary though). Even if you don't plan to breed them, give this article a read Frog Forum - Culturing Crickets - Care and Breeding of the Common House Cricket, it can help you get set up to buy a few weeks worth at a time which also lets the tiny ones do some growing before feeding. Feeding real small crickets is fine though, it just takes more.

    Wax worms are high in fat and low in nutrition, and fine treats just not staples. Same use for mealworms, and they're worth having a tub around even if used very sparingly as they are just so easy to keep. Your frog being wild caught, there should be no problem feeding some wild caught food if you have a chemical free area to collect from. Sow bugs and earth worms are good choices for more variety. You can buy earthworms as well, but you'll probably have to chop the usual store bought ones up for a frog of your guys size. Earthworms are high in protein and excellent nutritionally if your frog is interested in them (not all are).

    As you've noticed, they like to be high, so try to provide some cover up high. If you're new to plants, you can start with Pothos (devil's ivy). It's widely available, will grow up glass, and is hard to kill. Just be sure to rinse the plant off carefully and repot in frog friendly dirt like cocofibre (or put a plant&frog friendly substrate in your tank instead of paper towel and plant directly). Or you can use fake plastic plants, definitely not my preference but it would be better than nothing up high. More the merrier, it will feel safer if it knows there are several hiding spots in the vicinity. I'm sure you're aware that a bigger, and specifically taller tank, would be a good idea for the long term.

    As to the rear lifting- it may be peeing. Is their some turbulence behind him? My grays sometimes pee in the pool, and it looks kinda like you describe.

    And, you're welcome

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