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Thread: Identifying a wild frog and wondering about keeping

  1. #1

    Default Identifying a wild frog and wondering about keeping

    Hi, I really am new to frogs and I've never taken care of one before. I found this little guy (I actually am not sure of it's gender) sitting on top of my lawnmower when I went out to cut the grass. I know that supposedly you should never keep a wild frog because it causes them crazy amounts of stress, so if that's the case I will definitely take him outside and let him go free. I wasn't planning to keep him originally. I went to grab the frog to get him off the mower. I expected him to freak out and run off, but he didn't seem to mind being handled at all.

    I used to have a few fish, and I still had the 5 gallon tank that they lived in, so I thought that since I was about to mow the lawn, I would just would just stick him in there until I was finished just in case he got in the path of my mower and I didn't notice. It's a pretty small frog. Anyway, I put about an inch of fresh water in the tank and stuck a couple big rocks in for him to sit on. After I mowed, I went to go get him out again. I expected him to be freaked out about having been in the cage and would try to escape, but no it's been really really calm and I found I can even hold him for extended periods and he kinda seems to even enjoy it. It also seems to like it when I scratch it's back.

    Later on in the day I did take him outside, set him down and the grass and expected him to go away but 30 minutes later I went out for a smoke, and noticed that sure enough that same frog came right back and was just sitting by the door! Never seen anything like that from a wild frog before! So, naturally I brought him back in and he's been hanging out in the tank for a couple days now. Now and then I get him out and he still seems to enjoy when I scratch it's back. I fed him a few mealworms, and he eats them right up. I read that when they are stressed out, they refuse to eat.

    So, it's kind of a strange situation and I wanted to ask some of you frog experts your opinion on this one. What should I do here? Should I let him go again anyway no matter what, or do you think it's okay to keep doing this and just keep a lookout for signs of stress? He's actually sitting here next to my keyboard right now, and I'm going back and forth between typing and scratching it's back.

    Here's a picture of the frog I took after I first brought it inside. He's only in that small DVD spindle cover because I hadn't set up the tank again yet. He was in there for 5 minutes tops, then I moved him into the tank as soon as I put the water and rocks in. Can anybody tell what species it is? Looks like a typical garden frog to me, but I'm sure it has a proper species name.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Identifying a wild frog and wondering about keeping

    It's either a Green Frog, Rana clamitans, or a Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. A Green Frog will have a ridge of skin running down each side of it's back, a bullfrog won't (I can't tell from your picture one way or the other).

    Most wild frogs like this can be picked up pretty easily, especially if they are far away from water (a sure place for them to risk fleeing to). Rest assured that it views you as something that will potentially eat it. It not fleeing is the frog optimistically hoping that you won't identify it as something tasty and will just leave it alone.

    I'd release it. If you are interested in keeping a frog from the wild, the smaller they are when you remove them, the better. The tadpole stage would be ideal. Your 5 gallon tank is also insufficient. These are powerful swimmers and jumpers and would benefit from much larger tanks.

    No matter what you decide, thanks for taking the time to mow your lawn in a frog friendly way. Many people mow without concern that their mowers are Armageddon machines for all the little wildlife out on their lawn whose main goal for the day is trying not to die.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator Heatheranne's Avatar
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    Default Identifying a wild frog and wondering about keeping

    Welcome to the forum . And thank you for moving the little lady aside.

    I agree as well... I'd set her free too. I might toss her a treat or two every now and again if she stays around though....crickets, etc. .

    It looks to me like an American bullfrog. I don't see a ridge down her lateral side, which would identify her at a Northern green frog as Brian has noted. Her front legs are that of a terrestrial frog. She has the front legs of a bullfrog. I'm sure she has back webbed feet?

    Bullfrogs grow large...she will need at least a 75 gallon tank, preferably a 100 gallon. I have a captive bred albino bully. He's only a year old and already outgrew his 55 gallon tank. They are avid swimmers and need a pond and land area.

    My recommendation would be to put in a small yard pond. If she likes the area, she might linger around. He/she will likely come and go. Keep in mind though, that you'll have to watch out when doing yard work. A 4ft deep pond will allow her to hibernate there if she chooses. Perhaps she'll mate there too and you'll have tads.

    Trust me though, that bully's are quite a bit of work in a tank. They eat a lot and poop a lot and have large poop. You'll have to get a hefty filter and do lots of water changes to keep up with them. It's like having a breeding tank of large goldfish, lol! I love mine, but yes, lots of work compared to other frogs.

    I am a believer of keeping only captive bred frogs due to declining amphibian numbers. You can get several options of captive bred frogs and toads from either the pet store or online. The best thing to do is to do your research first, then decide, then make the habitat, then purchase your frog(s).

    They are awesome creatures! But as a rescuer of sick frogs, I know first hand it's not fun curing ill ones, which is what happens when they're improperly cared for. I have adopted 6 tree frogs and 3 terrestrial frogs in the last year that needed medical help due to poor care at the pet stores.

    You have to get their homes set up like their natural environments, with proper humidity, heat, gauges to read humidity and temp, proper aeration, proper filtration if aquatic frogs, safe substrates, land vs. trees vs. water set-ups, dechlorinator or spring water, water bowl, stress-free area to house them, proper sized tank for the species chosen, calcium/vitamin D3 and multivitamin supplements, proper food ie. crickets, worms, roaches, fruit flies, springtails -depending on species, hides such as caves/huts, plants etc., proper cleansing of tank and decor, coverings for backgrounds to reduce stress, etc.

    Having amphibians is a fun hobby . And if prepared, very enjoyable . It's also a great learning experience for kids. I'd surely recommend it. I would scroll around the forum. I think you'll enjoy the possibilities . Once you do your education you can choose what species is best for you. This is the way to go .

    I'd love to read about your beautiful vivarium with happy toads or frogs vs. the alternative. Though, of course, we're here to help . Since she has sparked your interest, you may just be "a frog lover" like us .

    Here is a great article about choosing a frog that's right for you. It may be helpful . =a.1434844115446.2055312.1363241107&source=11&ref= bookmark

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