Bumble Bee Toads
 Aqualand’s inside info on
Melanophryniscus steltzeri

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 Bumble Bee Toad Factoids

Origin Argentina, Brazil, Paraquay, Uruguay
Size Males 1 inch.  Females 1.3 inches
Longevity 10 years or more
Attitude Active during the day
Foods Small insects
Temperature Room temp works fine
Humidity 60-80%
Spawning Trigger A week in refrigerator plus simulated rain
Spawn Size About 200 eggs
Tadpole Food Tadpoles eat flake foods
Toadlets Black toadlets metamorph at 1/4-inch
Toadlet food Very small live insects

Bumble Bee Toad Origins:  Not uncommon in Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay, and Uruguay (in alphabetical order), it took bumble bee toads a very long time to find their way to Des Moines (2010) or at least to me.  (They are also known as yellow and black walking toads.  That's a long walk to Des Moines.)  But part of the reason may be their price.  I admit to leaning toward the parsimonious side.  And Mike (the saver of everything that may be useful or come into fashion again some decade) calls me cheap because I hesitate building up a herd of some critter I know diddly squat about.  However, I can't resist acquiring a few of any critter I've never seen before.  (Our bumble bee toads come from Chicago, still a long walk.)

LA
Bumble bee toad.  New to us March 5, 2010.  In his shipping material, moist shredded telephone books.

LA
Another brace of them.

LA
Just a little squirt -- about an inch.

LA
Bright red butt and feet.  Red in the wild usually means toxins of some sort.

Bumble Bee Toad Toxicity:  Toads in general are not at the top of most people's preferred treat list.  Wild bumble bee toads are reputed to be toxic.  They apparently lose their toxicity (if any) in captivity.  They cost too much to eat anyway.  As far as handling toxicity goes, it never hurts to wash your hands before and after handling any amphibian.  Unlike most toads, they don't pee on you.

LA
Small crickets make a tasty lunch for bumble bee toads.  Gut load his crickets first.

Adult Bumble Bee Toad Foods:  Most toads (including bumble bee toads) will gulp any small critter that moves.  Little crickets make a good choice.  They're usually available year round.  Feed your crickets a nutritious diet.  And feed a variety of small bugs -- moths, fruit flies, leaf hoppers, baby mealworms, waxworms, baby roaches, and small earthworms  If you wave a butterfly net as you walk thru your yard or field, you can harvest what they call "field plankton."  Not so much during the fall and winter months.

LA
Looks good over a contrasting substrate.  Black would be a poor choice.

LA
Shows up nice over blue.

Bumble Bee Toad Substrates:  Ground coconut shells, cypress, bark, and peat moss may look a little more natural, but your bumble bee toad will blend right into them.  His camouflage coloration helps in the wild, but makes him hard to see in captivity.  Natural looking substrates are also very hard to clean.  I prefer a weekly cleaning.  Gravel cleans easily.  Natural substrates work best if you just throw them away.

LA
White works also.  Add a low water bowl.

Water Source:  Low water bowls that your bumble bee toad can get in and out of easily work best.  In the wild they live near fast-flowing streams -- tough to duplicate in captivity.               

LA
Greek temple ruins are optional.

Bumble Bee Toad Decor:  Your toad probably cares very little about his or her decor.  Plastic plants add that jungle look we all enjoy.  Just remember that the more you add, the harder it is to clean it.  And too much decor makes it harder to see your critter.

LA
Moves around a great deal but not upset by humans.

Bumble Bee Toad Motility:  Most toads get from one place to another by hopping, thus the common name:  hop toads.  Bumble bee toads motate by walking, thus the alternate common name:  yellow and black walking toads. 

LA
Easy to clean, low water bowls work best.

LA
He can climb out quite easily.

LA
Quite easily.

LA
He doesn't have the tree frog toe pads, but almost all small amphibians can scale plastic or glass.  Add a cover.

LA
Bumble bee toads get along just fine.

Breeding Bumble Bee Toads:  Today is March 9, 2010.  Since I've only had these guys since March 5, I obviously have not bred them.  The basics include brumation (females a week in the fridge), a week's worth of heavy rations, and at least an hour's worth of simulated rain.  Amplexuc occurs and the rest is pretty much toad SOP.  I'm increasing my herd in a couple days.  More to come later.  LA  


© 2010  LA Productions
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