Adelphobates galactonotus - Care

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Specification Description
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Family: Dendrobatidae
Scientific name: Adelphobates galactonotus
Dieet: Insectivorous
Average age: >10 years
Average length: 4cm
Distribution: Zuid Amerika
Habitat: Tropical
Lifestyle: Terrestrial
Reproduction: oviparous / egglaying
Cites: B / II

Adelphobates galactonotus (Steindachner 1864)

This active poison frog is best suitable for the advanced enthusiast. They require a relatively large terrarium and a constant temperature.


Physical Characteristics:  The A. galactonotus is a big poison dark frog to get to 4cm long. Males and females are equal in length but males are significantly slimmer than the females. Another way to distinguish the males are clearly larger adhesive discs on their toes tops.

The general colour is a black base with a coloured back. This colour can be ether yellow, orange or red. This colour can cover 75% to 95% of the back and upper parts of the legs. These differences in percentage are often dependent on the location. There are populations that are entirely white mint coloured making them look similar to the D. terriblis 'mint' and D. bicolor. There is a 'koi' or 'blue' variant which is reasonably rare in captivity. In this variation, the normal yellow to red coloration is a grey-blue colour.


Origin and Habitat:  This strong poison dart frog finds its origin in the provinces of Para and Maranhao in Brazil. They inhabit these vast areas south of the Amazon. Their natural habitat consists of moist to wet rainforest and secondary forest in lowland areas. They are diurnal residents who live on the moist soil of the forest. This frog is found sporadically in openings in the forest vegetation created by fallen trees searching for the drought and some heat. These areas have a considerably lower humidity because of the ventilations and exposure to the sun. In their natural habitat this species experiences a dry season and a rainy season. In the dry season the humidity is relatively low and the temperature can often rise to 30C. In this period the galactonotus are less active and hide deep in the forest floor. The rainy season is cooler with an average temperature of 23C. During this period, the animals lay most of their egg.


Husbandry:  This frog can be kept in groups of several animals, for example, two males with 3 females. Give a group of 5 a terrarium of 80x50x50 or larger. These frogs are real bottom dwellers and therefore require little climb area. Decorations like plants and logs serve primarily for visual barriers between territories and as hides. Because this species naturally lays eggs between leaves and other damp areas on the bottom. Bromeliads are not necessary but are great for decoration and providing shade. Line the walls with a background, this creates a more secure feeling to the frogs and plants that can grow on it can be used as hides. Cover the soil with a thick layer of leaves, bits of treefern, bark and moss. Place several (covered) petri dishes for the animals to possibly deposit their eggs and a larger water basin for tadpoles. Mist shortly 2 to 3 times per day in the wet season and keep the humidity high (80%- higher at night). Offer a daily average temperature of 26 to 28C. The night temperature should not deviate much from here, a drop of 3C is sufficient.


Diet:  This frog feeds well on dust crickets, fruit flies and springtails. They also eat the larvae of fruit flies, small wax moths, springtails, tropical woodlice and bean beetles. Vary their diet. It is wise to dust the feeders with a calcium supplement about two times a week.


Reproduction: Female Adelphobates galactonotus lay relatively large eggs. An average of 5 to 15 per clutch. The father takes care of the clutch by keeping it moist. There are reports of several males who take care of the same clutch. On average these eggs hatch after 14 to 20 days. The male transports the tadpoles almost always one by one, at times per two to a water hole where they can feed and grow. The tadpoles feed on all kinds of algae and aquatic creatures as daphnia and mosquito larvae. In the terrarium you can also feed with spirulina and tetra fish food that is pulverized. Developing from a tadpole to a small frog takes an average of 60 to 85 days. When the young frogs come on land they mostly feed on small fruit flies and springtails so make sure you have an active culture in your paludarium.

A continuous successful captive propagation of this species sometimes seems difficult. It is not uncommon that the tadpoles will not thrive optimally. The development takes longer, the young frogs are really small, there can be seen deformations or the tadpoles die prematurely, if there are any fertile eggs deposits at all. This seems to have to do with the dry rest experienced by the animals naturally. The dry period is the time, especially for females, to rest and build up reserves. In the terrarium these dry rest often remains out or is very short because conditions are kept the same all year round. So if you want this species and the breeding to be a long-term success than the rest is very important. Place the males separate during this dry period. 

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