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The Wallace's Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus)

Synonyms and names in other languages

Abah River flying frog

Der Wallace-Flugfrosch (German)

La grenouille volante de Wallace (French)

La rana voladora de Wallace (Spanish)

Classification

Order: anura

Family: rhacophoridae

Genus: rhacophorus

Species: rhacophorus nigropalmatus 

Habitat

The Wallace’s flying frog is native to the Malay peninsula and western Indonesia. They can be found in India, Thailand, Malaya and Sumatra.  It is named for the biologist, Alfred Wallace, who collected the first specimen to be formally identified. They live almost exclusively in the trees, descending only to mate and lay eggs, and leap from tree to tree or to bushes. 

Appearance

It is a large and very slender frog that reaches 10 cm in length. Males are normally smaller than females. The eyes are big and have horizontal pupils. The legs are very long and fingers and toes are webbed.

It has bright green skin with small blue dots. The chin and the stomach are bright yellow, and the webs are dark purple. 

Personality

In the wild Wallace’s flying frogs are nocturnal amphibians. At daytime they sleep. They prefer to stay in the medium tier of trees and bushes that grow near the water. They eat all kinds of insects, preferably soft-bodied ones (crickets, cockroaches, spiders). Big specimens can eat pinky mice and nestlings. They also eat smaller amphibians, including the representative of their own species. 

Housing and Care

The Wallace’s flying frog needs a vertical tank at least 30x30x60 cm with a lot of real plants (preferably lianas, ivy etc). It is highly recommended to provide hiding places: logs, pieces of bark, coconut shell. The ambient temperature has to be around 28 degrees at daytime and around 18 degrees at night.  The air humidity should be about 80%.

It is best to have soft and loose upper layer of the substrate. Sometimes frogs lay eggs right onto the substrate. Adult frogs don’t need the light, but young specimens that are active during the daytime too will need UV lamps, e.g. Repti Glo 2.0.

Food

Gordon’s purple mossy frogs normally eat crickets, cockroaches etc. All the insects have to be covered with mineral and vitamin powder. Small tadpoles need more tetrafill, and adult frogs need tetramin. In spring and in summer frogs should also get boiled leaves of nettle. 

Health

This species is prone to infections. Epizootic outbreaks that lead to the extinction of colonies occur if housing conditions change abruptly or under improper husbandry (unclean water, high temperature etc.). One of the early symptoms that help to diagnose the disease is the cloudiness of conjunctiva.  

Breeding

Before mating, the female produces a fluid that she beats into a foam with her hind legs. She then lays her eggs in this bubble nest, at the same time the male fertilizes the eggs with his sperm. The egg nest is then hung over a source of water. When the embryos inside the eggs have developed into tadpoles, the nest falls apart. The young fall into the water and begin life as tadpoles. It is important that the tadpoles don't drop onto dry surface, if so the tadpoles will simply dry out and die.

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