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Grey Leg Dart Frog Care Guide

The Species: Grey Leg Dart Frogs (Dentrobates tinctorius) also known as Dyeing Poison Dart Frog or Grey Leg Poison Arrow Dart Frog are native to Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and Brazil and inhabit tropical forests. Dart Frogs can be common pets kept in exotic animal collections and there are many different species with Grey Legs being just one. A common misconception surrounding Dart Frogs is that they are all extremely poisonous and just touching them can paralyse and sometime kill you however this is not the case, Dart Frogs are only poisonous when they eat a specific diet and any who are captive bred (as long as they are fed on an alternative diet) are not poisonous at all.

Enclosure: These frogs are terrestrial and should be housed inside terrariums, made from glass. A minimum size enclosure for an adult pair is 60x45x45cm however for 3-4 individuals they should be kept in an enclosure of 90x45x45cm. Juvenile frogs (froglets) can also go into enclosures of this size however they can be housed in smaller terrariums to monitor their growth better. Tadpoles should be housed in small filtrated tanks with an island with for them to go onto once they metamorphise into frogs.

Enclosure: These frogs are arboreal and should be housed inside terrariums, made from glass. A minimum size enclosure for an adult pair is 45x45x60cm however for 3-4 individuals they should be kept in an enclosure of 90x90x45cm. For a juvenile pair, a suitable size enclosure is 30x30x45cm however can be placed straight into a larger enclosure.

Being a tropical species, these animals need suitable substrates and ideally need the substrate to be earth based to keep humidity up, recommended substrates are Arcadia Earth Mix or ProRep Bio Life Forest however other alternatives are also acceptable. Various layers of substrate can also be beneficial such as having a drainage layer at the bottom, followed by an earth based layer which can then have a bark layer on top and can even be topped with leaf litter. Do not use arid substrates for this species.

Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks and caves are all suitable to use for this species along with a small pool however this need to be shallow. Reptile safe plants are also a good addition to tropical enclosures as it helps maintain humidity levels.

Heating: Grey Leg Dart Frogs don't often need heat lamps as they can usually reach temperature in a warm house, however it is important to keep in mind that they do have a temperature range of 18-25 degrees celcius (64-77 degrees farenheight) and should not get too hot. If the temperature range cannot be reached then additional heating should be added to the enclosure, this can be provided by a heat lamp on a thermostat on top of the enclosure. If additional heating is added, it should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.

Lighting: Despite a lot of information you may come across, we can assure you that Dart Frogs do in fact need UVB lighting. Many sources out there will inform you that because this species in nocturnal they do not need UVB however this is not the case, countless times it has been proven that these animals do need UVB lighting to prevent them from getting MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). They don't need high levels of UVB however it is important that they do receive it. This lighting should cover approximately 3/4 of the enclosure to ensure that the animal receives adequate levels of UVB as much as possible. These frogs should have a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 12% UVB bulb and they should be replaced every 6-12 months to ensure that the UVB doesn't run out within the bulb. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle to provide a natural day/night sequence.

Humidity: Being a tropical species, it is important to make sure that the correct humidity levels are being reached, Grey Leg Dart Frogs should have a humidity range of 70-90%. The best way to achieve these levels is by using a misting system to keep the humidity of the enclosure up. Mist King are the top-rated misting system but there are other suitable options. Alternatively, you can use a hand sprayer throughout the day, however this can become more difficult to reach ideal humidity levels. Keeping live plants in the enclosure can also help with keeping humidity levels up.

Diet: Dart Frogs are carnivores and naturally hunt for their food in the wild. Their diet consists of insects and other invertebrates, they should only be fed on fruit flies, curly wing flies and micro crickets as they can choke on prey which is too large for them.

It is important to supplement your Frog's food which will help in preventing MBD, calcium is the main priority supplement however others are also important such as Vitamin A. We recommend Arcadia's supplements provided on rotation including Calcium with Magnesium, Earth-Pro A Supplement and Repashy Vitamin A Supplement for Amphibians. All three of these will provide a complete level of supplements.

Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet and constant water access. Grey Leg Dart Frogs should be provided with a small, shallow pool, not deep enough to drown in as some females can try to drown each other to compete over males. We generally recommend RO water or mineral water, tap water cannot be used for frogs due to it containing chlorine which is harmful to amphibians.

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