Mossy frogs are a beautiful species of frog that resemble a clump of moss due to their colouration and lumpy bumpy skin. They occur in the cooler regions of Vietnam and some areas of China occurring in forests, caves and cliff areas, always around water. They are a small to medium sized frog, females are the larger sex growing to around 8-9cm.
Many species of frogs are supremely suitable to natural planted terraria or even a paludarium (a natural terrarium with a large water area, often with fish). The balance of nature is relatively easy to achieve with these kinds of housing. The live plants and custodian critters (woodlice etc) sharing the terrarium do a lot of the work for you. Of course a paludarium would also allow you to keep fish too, and the resulting display can look fantastic in any living room. There are several choices of commercially available paludariums and terraria, from both Zoo Med and Exo Terra. There are also a whole load of accessories that make this kind of terrarium even easier to construct such as purpose “stilted” land areas and heaters, lights etc. In our shop here at Coast to Coast Exotics we stock a huge array of live plants which with thrive in this kind of set up too. It’s a massive topic in itself, something we have done many times and can help and advise, but it can lead to a fascinating hobby.
With regards to Mossy frogs choose a terrarium that is tall, as they like to climb, and also with a large water area too. Plenty of branches and perhaps a purpose made backwall for planting will allow plenty of opportunity for the frogs to climb and hide. The important requirement to note is that they will not tolerate high temperatures, quickly stress and die. Anything over 24C will cause problems, we highly recommend a room temperature is perfect for them – around 15-20C will suit them. Lighting is a huge topic in itself, a naturally planted terrarium will require lights for the plants to thrive – a balanced light especially for plants. We have had good success with the Reptile Systems New dawn LED lights. Many keepers also provide UVB lighting for the frogs too, something like Arcadia Shadedweller will suit this purpose. Keep a high level of humidity, it can vary, between 70-90%. Water quality is important, it needs to be clean and chlorine free, but also tannin coloured – an easy way to achieve this is by having fallen oak leaves in the water. I always collect fallen oak leaves each autumn to last the following year.
Once maintained in favourable conditions they feed well, greedily eating a large range of commercially available livefood insects such as suitably sized crickets, locusts, cockroaches, waxworms etc. Please remember that the food offered in captivity will not bas as varied as in the wild, so please do your utmost to balance it as well as you can. Vary their diet with all available livefood, and feed the livefood well (this is called gut-loading). Use a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement such as Nutrobal – there are many brands.
A highly recommended species for those keepers with a little experience, maybe not the best for the less experienced keepers.