Defining Characteristics: Great beginner frog | Bright Yellow Coloration | Bold | Easy to breed | Moderately loud call | Great in Groups | Nocturnal
Name: Belonging to the family Hyperoliidae, the Starry Night Reed Frog is scientifically known as Heterixalus alboguttatus. Sometimes referred to Spotted Reed Frogs or simply 'starry nights', these frogs are so named for their contrasting yellow and black pattern, which resembles the sky on a clear night.
Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for 4-6 Starry Night Reed Frogs, but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or 18x18x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, as it will allow for easier cleaning. Not sure how to set up a reed frog enclosure? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Terrarium for Reed Frogs.
Temperature: Heterixalus alboguttatus can tolerate a temperature range of 65 F to 85 F, but prefer temperatures in the mid 70s. Temperatures over 90F are dangerous. A low wattage basking spot, with a temperature of 85-90F, will be utilized but is not absolutely needed.
Humidity: Like most frogs, reed frogs prefer a humidity range of 70 – 100%, but can tolerate humidity down to 50% for short periods of time if the frogs have access to water. Low humidity levels, especially without access to water, can quickly be fatal. Starry Night Reed Frogs occur in the marginal areas between water and land, referred to as the riparian zone. As such, they require high humidity paired with substantial ventilation.
Size: Adult female reed frogs are larger, measuring in at approximately 1.5 inches. Male Heterixalus alboguttatus are a bit smaller, averaging about 1 inch at maturity. All of the Starry Night Reed Frog froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 3/4” long.
Age: Heterixalus alboguttatus is capable of living over 5 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 2-3 years is more common. Active breeding shortens expected lifespan down to 1-2 years. All reed frogs for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.
Feeding: At Josh's Frogs, we feed our reed frogs dusted crickets. At 3/4", juvenile reed frogs can easily take 1/8" crickets, and 1/4" crickets as adults. Make sure to dust all prey items with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement. We place the crickets in floating food bowls in the reed frog habitat, to preven crickets from drowning and fouling the water. To learn more about feeding reed frogs, please watch our video on How to Feed Reed Frogs.
Sexing: Heterixalus alboguttatus is not sexable until 6-8 months of age. Male reed frogs tend to be smaller than females, which often appear both longer and wider. Josh's Frogs sells 2-3 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted.
Color/Pattern: A very variable reed frog, all Starry Night Reed Frogs are black with yellow/white spots. The amount of black, white, and yellow can vary widely among individuals. Spots can be large in some individual reed frogs, leading to an almost netted appearance. Adult Starry Night Reed Frogs tend to have orange feet. Please keep in mind that juvenile reed frogs sometimes take a few months to develop their adult coloration, and may appear cream or brown colored at first. At night, reed frogs may appear pale in color when they are active.
Social Behavior: Heterixalus alboguttatus do well housed in groups their entire life, as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair. Please refer to the chart below to see your chances of getting at least one male and one female out of a group. We recommend purchasing at least 4-5 reed frogs at a time.
Breeding: Reed frogs are very, very easy to breed - just house a male and a female together! When housed in a proper environment, Starry Night Reed Frogs are very prolific, laying clutches of 50-200 eggs every 2-3 weeks. Eggs are generally laid right above or below the water's surface, and quickly develop into very small, delicate tadpoles. For more information on how to take care of reed frog eggs and tadpoles, please watch our videos on How to Care For Reed Frog Eggs, and How to Care For Reed Frog Tadpoles.
Natural Range: Heterixalus alboguttatus are native to Madagascar. They inhabit riparian zones, where a body of water (mainly a pond) meets the land. Among emergent vegetation, reed frogs spend the day sleeping on the underside of leaves. With their limited range and the seemingly imminent destruction of their native habitat, maintaining this species in captivity should be of the upmost importance.
History in the Hobby: Starry night reed frogs have been imported directly from Madagascar several times over the past decade. These imports are the foundation of the captive population of Heterixalus alboguttatus in the United States today.
Links of Interest:
Wikipedia - article on the current habitat of Starry Night Reed Frogs in Madagascar
IUCN Redlist - information on the current status of Heterixalus alboguttatus in the wild
Still not sure if Starry Night Reed Frogs from Josh's Frogs are the right poison dart frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!