Solomon Island Leaf Frog
The Solomon Island leaf frog is a simple frog to keep, with relatively few demands. Their “sit and wait” or ambush style feeding technique tends to make them relatively bold and not inclined to hide during the day. No special lighting or food is required, so they are a pretty easy keeper!
Solomon Isle leaf frogs are a terrestrial frog which comes from the wet rainforests of the Solomon Islands. Apparently there is little available standing water though, for they have an interesting and unusual reproductive strategy, that is to lay eggs which undergo direct development into tiny baby frogs. The eggs are laid in the forest floor substrate, in small pits the frogs hollow out. The frogs seem to breed on and off all year round.
Baby frogs are kept in small groups here, in ten gallon tanks, with three quarter glass and one quarter screen lids. Some ventilation seems important, but they need a high humidity. The tanks are set up with a coarse gravel substrate and plants, also a few hide spots. A mulch substrate could also be used, but would break down more quickly, and thus need cleaning more often. We keep about fifteen in a set up like this, but thin them out as they grow. They are sprayed down well once a day, and fed appropriate sized crickets about three times a week. At the size we ship this frog, I suggest that approximately a 1/4 th inch cricket would be good, but generally you can use the head width rule of thumb, that is the food item should be no longer than the frogs head is wide. Food should always be dusted with a quality vitamin and calcium supplement, we recommend Rep-Cal and Herptivite. Despite the fact that the frogs are basically nocturnal, they can be fed any time of day, and they will eat any time food walks by, if they are hungry.
The frogs are not kept under any special lighting, and I have raised them in containers without any direct lighting in the past with success. Good strong fluorescent lighting will bring out the bright yellow of the frogs, especially as they mature, however don't waste your money on “full spectrum” bulbs, if you want my advice. The frogs are kept in the upper seventies to about 85 degrees. Night time temps drop to the mid sixties shouldn't cause a problem.
As your frogs get larger, considerably larger terrariums will be needed. The frogs are generally pretty sedentary, but will jump strongly when startled, and can smack into the walls of their tank if its too small. I recommend a forty breeder size tank or larger for a small group of these frogs. Maturity seems to be reached at about one year of age, and about 2.5 to 3.5 inches in total length. Males will begin calling during evening hours, especially after you have misted them. Some juvenile and adult males can apparently be sexed by the presence of two white lines running parallel to each other in the belly. These are the ureters, or ducts that connect the kidney to the bladder, and they run from snout to vent. I am not sure why they are not observable in females, and I can't vouch for the accuracy of this method.
Egg laying is done in the substrate, so a two or three inch thick layer of a forest floor type substrate should be used. Try to stick to more coarse material, like mulch, rather than soil or coco husk, as these substrates will rot quickly. Some method of draining the tank should be used so the tank doesn't hold water and turn “swampy”.
Eggs should be dug up, and incubated on a long fiber sphagnum and sand mix, about one to one. Saturate this mix with water, then squeeze dry. Fluctuating temperatures in the 75 to 80 degree range are appropriate for incubation. Eggs which are scattered about the floor of the tank are rarely fertile. After about 40 to 50 days the eggs will hatch if they are fertile. The tiny froglets can be set up as described in the outset of this caresheet, and fed fruit flies or three day old crickets.