Vietnamese Mossy Frog Theloderma corticale

Mossy Frogs, Theloderma corticale, are semi aquatic frog from Northern Vietnam. They live in and around mountain streams in their natural habitat. Adult size is about three inches. They have a beautiful cryptic appearance, and rough skin which gives them their name. In a properly designed setup they can practically disappear, but be right in front of your eyes!

When you initially receive your frogs from us, they will typically be juveniles, about six to eight weeks of age. At this point it will probably be best to house them in a simple set up for a few weeks, while they get some more size on them, and you become accustomed to their requirements. This simple set up will allow you to more closely monitor the frogs, and make feeding easier and more efficient. While this simple set up is not mandatory, it will most likely result in faster growth, and a higher success rate for you.

The ideal setup for a young mossy frog is a translucent plastic tub with about two inches of water on the bottom, and a piece of corkbark or a similar pull out spot.  A pothos or similar tropical plant cutting would be good to include as well, and could replace the corkbark if need be.  Food should be provided in the form of appropriate size crickets, (generally quarter inch dusted crickets, then larger as the frog grows). The crickets should be placed into an empty translucent tupperware container ,so the frogs can see the crickets moving and will be attracted to them.  Clean and refresh this food station every couple of days or as needed.   Refresh the water every couple of days as needed.  Make sure to use a dechlorinating product in the water, I recommend AmQuel.

As with most frogs that I am familiar with, mossy frogs need no special lighting. Back ground light is sufficient for the frogs, but it would be a shame to not be able to see the frogs any better, so I recommend lighting the frogs tank. Fluorescent lights will probably be the light of choice, other types of lighting will probably add too much unwanted heat to the tank. When choosing fluorescent bulbs, look for ones called “Daylight” or similar terminology, but don't waste money on “Full Spectrum” or UV – B producing bulbs, the frogs do not require this type of lighting. Whle mossy frogs are from the tropics, their specific habitat is montane, usually at or around about 4000 feet in elevation, so they are accustomed to slightly cooler temps.  I keep ours here in the mid to upper seventies, but they will tolerate temperatures into the forties at night.  Best growth and appetite will occur above 75 in my experience, but I would recommend not regularly exposing them to temps over 80 degrees. 

As your frogs grow up, they will need a larger tank. Any set up for these frogs should incorporate a large water area, with places for the frogs to pull out and rest at waters edge. A minimum size tank is probably a thirty gallon aquarium, with two thirds water area. The level of the water in the water feature is not particularly important, but it should be at least three inches deep, to allow the frogs room to move in it. They are tolerant of a wide variety of temperatures, although they seem to prefer temps in the mid to upper seventies. Lower temps will be tolerated fine, and warmer temps shouldn't pose a problem either, but they should probably not be exposed to temps above 85. The lid of the tank can be an aquarium hood, or a screen lid with some plastic covering about half the lid, to bring the humidity up. They do not require a particularly high humidity, but will probably spend more time out of water if you give them less ventilation, and higher humidity.

Food is pretty simple, a few crickets each, two or three times a week, with calcium and vitamin supplements added. We suggest Rep-Cal and Herptivite. You can feed them after dark, and just throw the food into the tank, they will track it down and eat it. Alternatively a feeding station can be used, a plastic shoebox is fine for this. Place it in the terrarium when the lights go out, with the crickets in it, and the frogs will learn to eat out of it. This will prevent crickets from running loose through out the tank, and cut down on dead crickets in the water supply.

These frogs seem pretty easy to breed, and will lay eggs on limbs or other wood surfaces just above the water level, or on rocks and other objects at waters edge. They have a quiet call, and are very hardy. Adult males can be distinguished from females by their nuptial pads, on the thumb of the front feet. The frogs seem to do well in a mixed sex group, and breed for us through out the year. Eggs are taken and incubated in Petri dishes.

Tadpoles are raised on the same algae mix we use for our dart frog tadpoles. Tadpoles can be raised in groups, or will grow faster if raised individually. They can be ready to morph in as little as sixty days, if they are kept individually in the mid seventies, or it can take up to a year if temperatures are cooler.