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Thread: Pacific Chorus Frog

  1. #1
    Paul Rust
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    Default Pacific Chorus Frog

    Care of Pacific Chorus Frog - Pseudacris regilla
    (Baird and Girard, 1852)



    © Paul Rust - NorthWest Amphibian Rescue

    A very special thank you to Jo-Anna Brown "Jace"
    for her expertise and patience



    Taxonomy

    Family - Hylidae -Treefrogs
    Genus - Pseudacris - Chorus Frogs
    Species - regilla - Pacific Chorus Frog


    Meaning

    Pseudacris - Greek - pseudes, deceptive
    regilla - Latin - regal, splendid

    The Pacific Chorus Frog is commonly and incorrectly referred to as the Pacific Treefrog, Pacific Chorus Treefrog, Northwest Chorus Frog, Northern Pacific Treefrog, Sierran Treefrog, and several others which make it confusing for people trying to find care information. It is not a treefrog, it is a chorus frog, and more correctly it is the Pacific Chorus Frog! Many organizations still use the traditional name of treefrog while conceding that the vernacular doesn't have to be an accurate reflection of phylogeny.This article is intended to make the distinction for care purposes and is only for the Pacific Chorus Frog.

    RCW 1.20.150 legally designates the Pacific Chorus Frog as the official amphibian for the state of Washington.


    © Jo-Anna Brown (jace)


    Description/Housing:

    • A small frog that reaches a maximum of 2" in length.
    • Pacific Chorus Frogs can be immediately identified by the dark brown or black eye-stripe that disrupts the outline of the eye.
    • Body coloring ranges from green, tan, brown, gray, reddish and cream, but it is most often green or brown.
    • Body color and the eye stripe do not change, but the body color can quickly change from dark to light in response to environmental conditions. This change is involuntary and has to do with temperature and humidity, not background color.
    • It has round pads on the tips of the toes and small webbing between them.
    • These frogs live on the ground and in low bushes and branches so you will want a multi-leveled habitat consisting of ground area, plants, sticks, and water. They are chiefly nocturnal but often become active during the day in captivity. A 20 Gallon aquarium is both long and high enough to accommodate about 5 safely. These frogs are social and show little or no signs of aggression or territorial behavior in captivity. The males like to sit at the edge of the water and call in the evenings so a water feature 4” or so deep and about 1/3 the length of the enclosure will be appreciated by all as they like to swim also. The advertisement call is an extremely loud two part call that sounds like “crick-eck”. It is very pleasant after you get used to it.
    • If you want them to breed they prefer deeper pools up to 19” deep but I have bred them in 6” of water. The water must be filtered and have sticks and rocks in the pool for the female to attach her eggs to. Males have a dark patch on their throat that is wrinkled, this is the vocal sac. Females have a white, light colored smooth throat.
    • The top of the enclosure must be escape proof and can be half glass and half screen or all screen. These frogs can climb exceptionally well and will test the security of your setup.

    Range:
    • The Pacific Chorus Frog ranges from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California and eastward to Montana and Nevada. In Baja California it is restricted to desert oases. It is the only native frog species on the Channel Islands.
    • It is the most abundant frog within its range.

    Breeding:
    • Breeding takes place from November to July in a wide range of habitats. Provide a water area that is around 5" to 19" deep with some form of structure in the water.
    • Females will lay egg clusters on vegetation, sticks, rocks and anything they can stick them to. Clusters can contain as many as 70 eggs each.
    • Tadpoles hatch within one week and metamorphosis can take up to 2 ½ months.
    • Once the froglets emerge they will seek hiding places in the moss and vegetation and should be fed daily with fruit flies. They grow fairly fast and the adults do not prey on the young so they do not require being separated.

    © Jo-Anna Brown (jace)

    BEAUTIFUL YOUNG MALE CALLING




    © Paul Rust
    COUPLE IN AMPLEXUS



    © Paul Rust
    EGG CLUSTERS ON STICKS



    © Paul Rust
    NEWLY HATCHED 3/8" TADPOLE



    © Paul Rust
    ALMOST READY



    © Paul Rust
    FIRST DAY OUT OF THE WATER



    © Paul Rust
    3 DAYS OUT OF THE WATER


    Substrate:

    • Additive-free top soil or potting soil from a garden center or hardware store is ideal. You can use your garden's soil provided it has not had chemicals sprayed or added to it in at least 6 months.
    • Coconut fibre (sold under various brand names as a compressed brick that you soak in a bucket of water overnight to expand).
    • Regardless of what you use provide at least 2 inches. These frogs will burrow to some extent to make homes.
    • Cover the substrate with moss, leaf litter, sticks etc. This helps give them places to hide and makes them feel secure. It also keeps the substrate from sticking to them.

    Hides/Cover:
    • Hollowed out logs, seed pods, coco huts, anything they can get into or under.
    • Try to provide at least one hiding spot for each frog. Breaking up the line-of-sight from hide to hide will help them feel more secure.
    • Plants need to be sturdy and well rooted as this species will climb and jump from plant to plant and will trample and destroy frail plants.
    • Provide several long sticks that are at least as thick as the frogs are wide. They like to sit on these and sleep. They also pick out spots on them to attract mates.

    Food/Feeding:
    • These are a fairly small species and food items need to be small or medium sized.
    • Crickets should be the staple diet. Be sure and gut-load them before feeding.
    • Flightless fruit flies are a good food also and help provide something to eat between feedings.
    • Feed a couple of crickets per frog every other day or so along with 50-70 fruit flies. You don’t need to hand feed them, just drop the food into the enclosure and let the frogs hunt them.
    • A good rule of thumb is to provide food smaller than the frog’s mouth is wide.
    • Dust the food items with good quality vitamin and calcium supplements weekly.

    Temperature and Moisture:
    • This species comes from a temperate climate and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Keeping the enclosure between 65 and 75 degrees F seems to be a good balance.
    • Don't keep in direct sunlight.
    • Don't keep near heat sources, they don’t require additional heating.
    • If you decide not to build a pond in the enclosure then you need to provide a source of fresh clean water. A small bowl or container will work fine. It must be kept clean as they will jump in and swim in it, evacuating waste as they do so.
    • Ventilation is a must. They do not like being wet all the time. Covering half of the enclosure with a screen top and misting a few times a week is sufficient.
    • Keeping the temperature in the above mentioned range will prevent them from hibernating.
    • Provide a 12 hour photo period using lights on a timer.

    Final Notes:

    From an experienced point of view, they do not like other species of any kind in the enclosure with them. They will not lay eggs if there are fish or newts in the water feature. They can be handled for short periods of time and don’t seem to mind it. Keep in mind that they are frogs, they can and will jump a long ways and are difficult to catch when they are scared. It should be noted that Pacific Chorus Frogs have a natural immunity to the Chytrid fungus so you should always assume that they are carrying it. Do not share anything that you use for them with any other amphibians that you may have. Wash your hands before and after any contact with them. This species is very rewarding to keep and you will get many happy years of enjoyment with your Pacific Chorus Frogs.
    Last edited by John; July 30th, 2011 at 02:55 AM.

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  3. #2
    Jace
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    It's really great, Paul. All the information in one place, complete with your amazing pictures...anyone who gets one of these wonderful little frogs will now have access to a great care sheet. And your thank you note at the top definitely made my day-and you're welcome.

  4. #3
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by Jace View Post
    And your thank you note at the top definitely made my day-and you're welcome.
    You more than earned it Jo-Anna.

  5. #4
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Reformatted somewhat (the fonts and colours) in order to be more in sync with the other articles and I added a quick facts box. Thanks for your efforts Paul.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  6. #5
    Jace
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Amphibian Rescue View Post
    You more than earned it Jo-Anna.
    Not sure how, exactly, but you know what?? I'll take it!! Lol.

  7. #6
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Reformatted somewhat (the fonts and colours) in order to be more in sync with the other articles and I added a quick facts box. Thanks for your efforts Paul.
    It looks fantastic John, thank you.

  8. #7
    scribbles
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Great care article! It makes me want one of these guys...

  9. #8
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Congrats Paul, you have joined the elite authors of the Frog Forum, the coolest, smartest, sexiest, wisest, attactive, modest and humble people in the know universe. Did I mention we are sexy and attractive?

  10. #9
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Thank you, you forgot to mention sexy and attractive.

  11. #10
    Socrates
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Nicely done Paul.

  12. #11
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Amphibian Rescue View Post
    Thank you, you forgot to mention sexy and attractive.
    OK then here it is, we are sexy and attractive. All the ladies want to be with us, that is until they actually meet us.

  13. #12
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    OK then here it is, we are sexy and attractive. All the ladies want to be with us, that is until they actually meet us.
    HA!!! Ain't that the truth.

  14. #13
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Sadly, yes.

  15. #14
    sashaver
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Great article. We just rescued about 70 tadpoles out of our pool and now they are turning into frogs. We want to release them into the yard but want to make sure they have everything they will need to survive. Any suggestions. They have been sitting on a floating log and clinging to glass of the "too small" 10 gal aquarium for a few days now and we don't want them to die... help....

  16. #15
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    If they were only in captivity for a few days they need to be released. As soon as they morph is the best chance for survival. They need to be exposed to the environmental conditions and diseases as soon as possible to build immunity. Repatriation research shows that if they are kept in captivity for any length of time the chances for survival decreases. They can find food on their own.

  17. #16
    sashaver
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Thank you. We rescued them from the pool about a month ago and 15 have morphed over the last few days. They seem so small and fragile to just set out in the backyard..... We have a lot of trees and tall grass but no pond or other water feature. Right now the ground here is pretty moist though. Should I drive them up to a lake or stream or something? I know I have a lot of questions but I want to teach my children the correct way to do this. Thank you for taking the time. On a side note, my 8 year old just found a bunch of very small tadpoles in a decorative tea kettle we have outside. There is only about 2 inches of water in that thing. These frogs are laying eggs everywhere it seems

  18. #17
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    They don't need water at all except in the breeding season. Just put them in the tall grass out of the way of predators and lawnmowers and they will be fine. They will predate on the microfauna on the ground, and there is a lot to eat that we can't see. They will be just fine.

  19. #18
    sashaver
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Thank you so much for your feedback. We are learning SO much about these little guys. Set 10 free this morning in the backyard. They were more than happy to jump out and into the wild. Feels Good! Thanks again.
    -Andrea

  20. #19
    Paul Rust
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    Well done, next spring they will return to your yard to breed.

  21. #20
    Lewfamily7
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacific Chorus Frog

    We have just recently acquired a few frogs that we believe are Sierran Treefrog. How often should their tank be cleaned? We currently have a small dish w/ clean water in it, and moss for the bottom. Is this ok, or should we rethink their home? After eating, they all climb to the top of the tank and sit at the very top... usually until they are hungry... is this normal?

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