How to Keep Your New Budgett's Frog
  Inside scoop from Aqualand on Lapidobactrachus
Lepidobatrachus* laevis
                                                             *Spelling corrected by Michael Chan

 
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 Budgett's Frog Factoids

Origin

Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay

Cage Size

Not much of a roamer
Sexing Males smaller with black throat. Female throat white.
Breeding Occurs after estivation
Longevity 10 to 12 years

Temperature

Room temp works fine

Attitude

Hungry lurker

Biggest Threats

Each other, dirty water, MBD

Schedule

Works the day shift

Security

Burrows into substrate

Size

Females almost 6 inches.  Males smaller.

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Water

Needs clean water at all times

LA
Budgett's frog -- one different looking frog.

Introduction.  We ran across these guys somewhat accidentally.  One of our customers requested one.  We'd never seen or heard of one before, so we started keeping our eyes peeled for them (not as painful as it sounds).  We finally found a source and ordered one.  Big mistake.  We should have ordered more than one.  They're cute little devils.  Then our source "dried up" and we couldn't find any more for at least a year.  When we saw them listed again, we ordered two.  Another "not enough" mistake.  They were another special order and gone almost instantly.  Note:  We don't order amphibians every week because of the shipping charges.  Then a month later we had enough room to order more.  Ta da ...

LA
2-inch Budgett's frog -- weird looking little guy.  Peat moss (from shipping) on his back.

Shipping.  We rarely ship critters ourselves because of all the hoops we have to climb thru -- weather, shipping schedules and restrictions, and so forth.  When our new Budgett's arrived, they were in little deli cups with air holes punched in the sides and filled with moist peat moss and each Budgett's frog in its own container.  This kept them moist and healthy during their voyage.

LA
Serious case of cute.

LA
Bare bones habitat.

LA
Looks quite innocent in this 4-nch bowl.

LA
In these containers, the peat moss makes it hard to clean them.

LA
Fairly easy to grab out of these deli cups.

LA
As mentioned earlier, they don't need a lot of room.

Cage Size.  Like the horned frogs and pyxies, these guys don't need a great deal of room when small.  In fact, the larger the cage you give them, the harder it is to keep clean.  The cage we keep ours in is bare bones.  On our little guy, we clean his water bowl every day.  It's easy to just dump his water, wash the bowl, and replace with water from a nearby fish tank.  The cleaning process does not appear to bother him (he's always smiling).  He will need a larger cage as he grows.  Larger cages become very difficult to clean.

LA
Throat color indicates sex.  Yes, both sexes bite.

LA
All the young ones seem to have white throats.

Sexing.  Breeding size female Budgett's frogs have a white throat.  Males have a black throat.  Females grow considerably larger.

LA
She's smiling because she just bit me.

Handling.  Wet your hand before handling frogs.  Your dry skin can injure their tender epidermis.  And don't use hand lotion or other weird stuff before you grab any amphibian.  Take extra care with Budgett's frogs because they will bite you.  Usually they warn you first by screaming at you, but they adapt to you and quit screaming first.  Think of them as a hungry turtle.  Smart people don't stick their fingers in a turtle's mouth.  Grab your frog from the back, not the front.  Oh, by the way, if he bites you, you will not die.  Just relax .  Don't teach him to fly.

LA
Small frog with a great big mouth (and teeth).

LA
Not a good frog to mix with anything smaller -- even if you keep them well fed.

Breeding.  Many herptiles need a period of estivation to trip their breeding trigger.  In the wild (Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia) Budgett's frogs spend the nine-month dry season hunkered in their bunkers underground.  They burrow into the mud and secrete a mucous like "cocoon" that keeps them from drying out.  After the long estivation, the pitter-patter of falling rain triggers them to emerge at the same time it triggers their urge to merge.  Females lay over a thousand eggs that hatch in two days.  The cannibalistic tadpoles eat each other and become frogs in two weeks -- which probably puts them on their parents' menu du jour.  They eat November, December, and January and then dig (butt first) back into their skin-made underground bunkers.

Estivation Tips.  To encourage estivation, you'll want to start cutting back on their food -- no hearty last meals.  Then, some froggers drop them into three inches of dry sand.  Seems harsh, but if it works, why not?  If you want to increase your Budgett's frog herd, you'll need to estivate your potential breeders.  Of course you'll need at least one of each sex.  Females will breed at one year of age, but the froggers say two years works better.

Longevity.  Budgett's frogs live some 10 to 12 years.  Some controversy revolves around whether they need the estivation period or not.  They seem to live longer with it -- what a perfect pet for people that can take long vacations.            

LA
Brace of new Budgett's frogs.

LA
Very clumsy on land -- not an Olympic runner.

LA
Very wobbly in the water also -- not exactly an Olympic swimmer.

LA
Easy to grab on the land or in the water.

Attitude.  Budgett's frogs don't seem to roam around too much on land.  They're maybe more mobile in the water.  However, they're perfectly content to just loaf on the shore and wait for you to deliver their groceries.  You can drop in their food or they will learn to eat from your fingers.  Tongs are for sissies (well, they're okay for feeding big tegus).            

LA
Budgett's frog's mouth.  Nice teeth.

Threats.  In the wild, Budgett's frogs need to fear other Budgett's frogs, turtles, large fish, and especially frog-eating birds.  In captivity, their biggest threats are dirty water and MBD (metabolic bone disease).  Frogs absorb water from their skin.  Budgett's eat a lot and thus excrete a lot.  Change their water a lot.  Fast-growing critters need lots of calcium for their bones.  Give them bony foods like fish and mice.  If you feed yours crickets, feed your crickets calcium-rich foods.

LA
Fangs on the bottom.

Foods.  Budgett's frogs will eat mostly any animal they can put their huge mouths around -- earthworms, crickets, feeder fish, mice, frogs, mealworms, waxworms, snails, tadpoles, grasshoppers, mantids, slugs or whatever.

LA
She grabbed this goldfish as soon as he (the goldfish) hit the water.

LA
Down the hatch.

LA
Same gal just "lazin' out" the next day.

LA
Sort of a hand feeding experiment.  It was a no go, so we freed the goldfish in her water..

LA
She got it on her fourth wide open mouth snap.

Mealtime Manners.  Budgett's frogs open their mouth wide, looking much like a cartoon.  They then slam their mouths shut like a mouse trap (which in some cases it is).  If they miss on the first snap, they keep snapping until their perceived prey winds up inside instead of outside.

LA
Three days later.  She snapped at this nightcrawler about eight times but couldn't get a grip on it.

LA
So we did the old-fashioned finger feeding technique.

LA
Good grab.

LA
She wiggles around to make sure she overpowers the nightcrawler.

LA
Yum.

LA
48 hours later she had "processed" the nightcrawler.  We rinsed her out and started over ...

LA
... with a small tadpole.

LA
Which she glommed onto after a great deal of splashing around.

LA
She's in the same bowl.  She looks wider.

LA
Next morning -- total barf.

LA
Total clean.

LA
Did not respond to "finger food."

LA
But she snapped up the goldfish as soon as I dropped it in her water.

LA
Two days later, whole lot of snapping going on.

LA
Perseverance pays off.

LA
Daily cleanings appear to be neccesary -- sometimes more often.

LA
She's trying to wave goodbye.

Last Words.  Budgett's frogs make an easy-to-keep critter for amphibian keepers beyond the clawed frog stage -- if you can find  room in your budget for a Budgett.  They cost a bit more, but they're worth it.  LA
 

Misc Frogs
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

 

© 2008  LA Productions
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