Agile Frog Care Sheet


Introduction

The agile frog, known by its Latin name Rana dalmantina, inhabits various parts of Europe, for example France, The Channel Islands and Italy. These frogs are often described as petite or thin with a characteristic pointed snout. In terms of size, adult males’ average height is 6.5 cm, where as females average at 8 cm. Their ventral skin is light brown, reddish or greyish. There are dark brown triangle shaped spots dispersed from the temple to the eardrum. The agile frog has an almost immaculate white underbelly. Interestingly, during the mating seasons males can morph into a colour of dark brown. This species has incredibly long hind legs which are used to jump and be particularly agile, hence their name. In fact, this species has been recorded to jump 2 metres, showing that they live up to their name! Similarly to the European tree frog, agile frogs have horizontal pupils  with a gold upper third of the iris.

Male commonwall lizard basking on a rock.

Feeding

These frogs enjoy a varied diet consisting of crickets, mealworms, calci worms, spiders, woodlice or any commercially available feeder insect.  It is important to gut-load the feeder insects with fruit, vegetables and dandelions as the nutrients from the food will go straight into the frogs. Dusting the feeder insects is also an important step to ensure your frog maintains healthy levels of vitamins and calcium. We encourage people to establish natural colonies of insects and invertebrates into the enclosure which will ensure your frog can get an unlimited supply of a varied diet, at no extra cost. Before the frog goes into hibernation, it is advised to feed it wax worms or any other type of high-fat food to help cope with the cooler temperatures in winter.

Housing

Agile frogs will really appreciate a vivarium with plenty of space to explore, dig, swim, lay and bask. Therefore, we recommend a vivarium of size 1 m  (wide)  x  0.5 m (deep) for a pair or small group. The enclosure should also have 40-50 cm of soil for the frog to burrow down and brumate as well as adequate space for a pond for the frogs to lay their spawn. A variety of plant species, logs and stones will help create a more natural, realistic environment for the frog to enjoy. This also makes for great habitats for insects such as ants, spiders and woodlouse: it’s your own microbiome! Remember, the larger the enclosure, the happier the animal, so don’t hesitate to make a larger enclosure. At Celtic Reptile & Amphibian we house all of our animals outdoors in greenhouse enclosures or outdoor vivaria, as this allows vital exposure to the sun and thus, the absorption of UVB light. Agile frogs particularly like a warm, dry climate and so it is important to reduce the exposure to water as these species often live far away from sources of water. In fact they inhabit both deciduous mixed forests and dry, warm forests. No external heating supply or UVB bulb is required when outdoors in the UK or Europe. This ensures the animals live the most naturalistic and healthy life possible which can be seen from the stunning colours of our animals! In terms of temperature and humidity, this frog is rather hardy and so can withstand temperatures as low as 10 C and as high as 40 C , with a happy medium of around 25 C. This species loves to bask and so basking temperatures may need to be higher than the rest of the enclosure, however you can achieve this by ensuring your enclosure is on the south facing wall with no sunlight obstruction.

Habitat of the agile frog: grassy meadows and woodlands of central France.

 

Breeding

Mating occurs within the spring months where the males croak with their signature “rog… rog… rog” , calling out for a compatible female. Bizarrely, these frogs often call underwater which may explain why you may not hear them call from distance! Each female will lay clumps of anything from 450 to 1700 eggs where individual eggs measure to about 1.5 mm in diameter. Unlike other frogs such as the moor frog and the common frog, this species does not lay their eggs in one single cluster, instead lays multiple separated clumps.