Leopard Frog Complete Care Guide, Habitat, Behavior, and Diet

Leopard Frog

Leopard Frog is a blanket term for the range of species of frogs. These frogs vary in shape and size, found in different parts of the world including Canada, Mexico, the United States, and areas of Central America. They are called leopard frogs because of the dark spots on their body that give a leopard-like pattern.

Leopard frogs are considered captivating pets but like any other animal, need proper care and upkeep. Here are some important facts you need to consider before having a Leopard Frog as your pet.

Image Source: Loba Wolf

Overview


Scientific Name
Lithobates genus, Specie name change accordingly

     Adult size
           3–5 inches long

     Life span

     2 to 5 years, according to specie

       Habitat

Marshy area and damp forest surrounding
              Nutrition       Small Insects and invertebrates

Origination of Leopard Frog

Canada, Mexico, the United States, and areas of Central America are the locality of occurrence of Leopard Frog. Leopard Frogs are found in diverse habitats. The Northern Leopard Frogs are found in marshy areas, slow-moving or still water, wetlands, ponds, and streams. While the Southern Leopard Frogs are also found in similar marshy and damp surroundings.

The Leopard Frogs are facing a decline in their population because of Habitat loss, Climate changes, and Human intrusion.

Physical Appearance of Leopard Frog

The Leopard Frog covers a wide range of species of the frog so they vary widely in their appearances. They are medium-sized and vary in length from 3 to 5 inches. The Northern ones are more common than Southern Leopard Frog. 

The Northern Leopard Frog is bright green with brown round spots. While Southern Leopard Frog is Olive green or Light brown with the same dark round spots. They vary widely in their shape, size, and appearance but the dark round spots on their back, sides, and legs are emblems for them. 

Like many other Frogs, the male frogs are smaller in size than female frogs and have paired vocal sacs that are blown up on either side of the throat as they call. There are many other differences between male and female leopard frogs but it depends on the type and species of the frog. 

The lifeSpan of Leopard Frog

Life span like physical appearance also varies according to the type of species but the Northern Leopard Frog can live a long life of 12 years if they are kept properly with care.

Nature and Temperament of Leopard Frog

The leopard frogs are night-loving nocturnal animals but they sometimes come out during the daytime. They are harmless to humans and can be easily kept in houses with proper care. They eat anything that can easily fit in their mouth but mostly they feed on insects, flies, and beetles. If you are planning to have them in your house, don’t keep them with animals smaller in size than they can eat.

It is very easy to handle Leopard frogs but they don’t like to be handled very much and they don’t like to be picked up frequently so only pick them up while cleaning their place. They carry bacteria so wear gloves while picking them up. Beware of their timid hind legs, they can jump up to 3 feet or more with the help of their legs when they are frightened and want to escape.

If you are planning to keep many frogs in the house make sure you should keep them in enough space for all of them.

Housing the Leopard Frog- Habitat

A marshy and damp environment like streams, ponds, and wetland is the natural habitat of the Leopard Frog. Leopard Frog is a semi-aquatic animal that requires both water and dry land.

Frogs are usually kept in terrariums and vivariums. A half land and half water tank is the most suitable enclosure for leopard frogs. Your enclosure should have proper heating, water, and, substrate

Enclosure Size of Leopard Frog 

A single leopard frog can be kept in a 10-20 gallon tank. It is appropriate if you want to keep more frogs increasing 10 gallons for each frog. Floor space is more suitable for them than height. Use an enclosure that has both water and dry space because they require both water and dry land as they are semi-aquatic animals. Use a wooden bar to create a partition in the water tank.

Light

Leopard Frog being a nocturnal animal doesn’t require any kind of lighting but some owners provide their frogs lighting as it is helpful to them to provide them a proper 24 hours day and night cycle. If you are providing any light source make sure it should be at some height so that your pet doesn’t create any mess by breaking it.

Leopard frogs don’t like very bright light and they start hiding in bright light. If your frog is hiding, very likely use dim light.

Heat and Humidity

The temperature of the tank during the daytime should be70 to 75 degrees F. You can use the heating lamp and heat emitters to maintain the temperature up to the need.

The leopard frogs are cold-blooded animals that need to maintain internal body temperature. For this, they need a cooler nighttime temperature which you can create by decreasing the temperature of the tank up to 60 degrees F. Create a temperature gradient in the tank, a big tank is suitable to maintain different temperatures.

Another important parameter is the humidity that needs to maintain up to 50-70% in the tank. You can use spray bottles and foggers to create a misty environment in the tank. If the frog needs more moisture it’ll go in the water present in the tank.

Substrate and Vivarium Plants

Create natural habitat for your frog in the enclosure by using plants and substrates. The most suitable substrate is organic potting soil. Keep in mind leopard frogs like to burrow so make sure the soil should be up to 3 inches.

Don’t use any pebbles and small stones for decoration. Your frog can eat them so it can be harmful. Use plants and wood pieces to create a place for hiding and jumping, for this use those plants that can sustain the environment of the enclosure. Use a smooth piece of wood and don’t use any sharp-edged decoration piece in the enclosure, it can harm the frog badly

Cleaning of Enclosure

Frogs can create a lot of mess in the tank which needs to be cleaned regularly. The tank has two parts: water and the dry part that needs to be cleaned regularly.

The most suitable thing is to use water-removing tanks that help to change 50 percent of the water twice or thrice a week. 

Start it by putting the frog aside or in another tank if you have then clean the water slides using a toothbrush. Remove all the dirt and algae. Then check for the plants, remove fallen leaves and uneaten food, and wash the tank walls with reptile-safe spray or warm water don’t use any detergent because the chemicals present in it can kill the frog. You can also use reptile-friendly designed tank cleaning products but the most appropriate is to use warm water in case of any doubt.

Image Source: Lowland leopard frog

Replace the decoration pieces, wash them with warm water, refill the gravel, and put your frog back into the enclosure that is now clean and healthy.

Maintenance

The leopard frogs are very easy to handle. They don’t need much care and attention. Once you understand how to handle a Leopard frog your 2 hours of care and upkeep in a week is enough for the frog. 

Nutrition and Leopard Frog Feeding

Leopard Frog eats small insects like beetles, flies, earthworm and roaches as their food. The appropriate diet for the young frog is 3 to 4 insects per day and as they grow up start feeding them every other day. Leopard Frogs are the reptiles that eat everything that comes near to them. Those frogs that eat everything are usually overfed by their owners. The owner should limit the diet of frogs if they are getting fatter and rounder.  

The water in the enclosure is used by them for drinking as well as bathing purposes. The water should be clean in the tank and keep changing 50 to 70% of the water every day. Use those tanks that ensure easy changing of the water. The water should be fresh all the time because stagnant water can cause a disaster.

Handling with Leopard Frog 

Leopard frogs are usually easy to handle but they can cause trouble sometimes as they are good hiders and jumpers. Be careful before opening the lid of the tank because frogs can jump up to 3 feet as they are good jumpers.

Keep in mind before handling them that they don’t like to be handed frequently, do it once a week so that they become comfortable in handling it. Handle them with care as their skin is sensitive. Make sure to clean your hands before and after having them in your hands. They don’t release any harmful toxins that but washing hands reduces any risk of spreading any type of disease through frog or human hands

Keeping them away from the hands of children, handed roughly and harshly by them can stress them out.

Reproduction of Leopard Frog

Frogs usually reproduce as they reach the stage of sexual maturity and start mating. Mating is initiated by the rumbling call made by the male frog for the female one and it’s up to the female to choose the male frog.

 After mating, the female frog starts laying eggs in the water area of the tank. Several eggs produce and convert into tadpoles that feed by the algae present in enclosure water due to plants.

However, a huge number of eggs are produced as a result of mating but only a few reach the stage of maturity.

Threats to Health

The leopard frog can get two types of diseases.

Red leg disease

As the name shows, the disease causes redness in the legs side of the frog. This disease is caused by a parasite and the leg becomes inflamed and red. The main symptom of this disease is a loss of interest in eating and activity.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infection is caused by the dirt and decaying matter present in the tank water that causes inflammation and the appearance of cotton-like substances on the body.

The fungal infection can be harmful to reduce its risk, keep the water and substrate in the enclosure clean and maintain hygiene.

 For the best treatment of these diseases consult a veterinary doctor. 

Conclusion

Leopard Frog being a mesmerizing pet brings excitement to the house. You can get the Leopard frog from a trustworthy breeder for between $10 and $25 according to the type of species.

Check the eyes and clear skin of frogs while buying them. If the frog is too lazy it’s not a big deal. It’s normal for the frogs as they do it to hide from predators and when they are nervous.

Leopard frogs are amazing pets, very easy to handle and upkeep. They don’t need a lot of attention. One can easily have them along with other pets.

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