Reed Frogs of Madagascar Care

Blue Back and Starry Night Reed Frogs

Reed frogs are small, semi-arboreal frogs from southern Africa, including Madagascar. The reed frogs from Madagascar tend to be more strikingly patterned and colored, and more difficult to acquire in the hobby.

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Trade Name(s)

The two most common reed frogs in the US hobby are the Blue Back Reed Frog, and the Starry Night Reed Frog.

Family & Scientific Name

HyperoliidaeHeterixalus madagascarensis, Heterixalus alboguttatus.

Range & Origin

Madagascar, although they have many close relatives on continental Africa. Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs from Madagascar are more of a forest species.

Adult Size

Adult Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs can reach about 1.25 inches, with females being larger than males.

Life Span

Captive life span of Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs is unknown, but suspected to be in the 2-5 year range, based on experience with similar species.

Enclosure

Since Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs are small animals, housing them is relatively simple. A 10 gallon or 12x12x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium with a partial screen top can easily house 4 adult Blue Back reed frogs or Starry Night reed frogs.

Substrate

Long Fiber Sphagnum Moss, coco fiber or coco husk, or ABG mix works well as a substrate for Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs.

Temperature

Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs are not very picky about temperature, and will do well with an ambient temperature of 70-80F. A warmer spot of 85-90F is appreciated and often utilized. Blue Back reed frogs or Starry Night reed frogs should be misted 1-2 times a day, to keep the humidity between 50-80%. Both temperature and humidity should be monitored with a digital gauge.

Social Structure

Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs do best in groups, and will not behave aggressively towards cage mates, as long as there is plenty of food and surface area for them to utilize.

Diet

Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs are insectivores, and will consume numerous small feeder insects. Young Blue Back reed frogs or Starry Night reed frogs will relish hydei fruit flies and 1/8 inch crickets. Older Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs will consume 1/4 inch crickets with gusto. All feeder insects should be dusted with the proper vitamin/mineral supplement.

Cleaning

Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs make excellent specimens for a naturalistic vivarium with live plants. If not housed that way, they must be cleaned on a regular basis. Water bowls should be cleaned daily and scrubbed out with hot water. Change the substrate at least once a month, and clean the enclosure and decor with a 5% bleach solution.

Handling

Both Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs are small and delicate, and should not be handled regularly, except when necessary to clean their habitat.

Conclusion

Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs are growing in popularity and availability, mainly due to the breeding efforts of private hobbyists. Josh’s Frogs is proud to breed both Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs for the pet trade. We take pride in only offering healthy, captive bred animals – many of which are bred by us.