2- Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel'
Defining Characteristics: Great Beginner Frog | Bright red and green coloration | Moderately Bold | Easy to breed | Loud call | Small | Great in Groups
Name: Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel', commonly known as the phantasmal poison dart frog frog, is a small, bold, and colorful frog. These frogs are also known as SIs or Santa Isabels.
Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10G aquarium is suitable for 2-3 Epipedobates anthonyi, but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or larger vivarium - these frogs do great in groups, and a larger vivarium means more frogs can be housed together. Not sure how to set up a vivarium? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Vivarium.
Temperature: Epipedobates anthonyi can tolerate a temperature range of 65 F to 80 F, but prefer temperatures in the low to mid 70s. Temperatures over 85F are dangerous.
Humidity: Like most poison dart frogs, anthonyi prefer a humidity range of 80 – 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.
Size: Adult female and male Epipedobates anthonyi are similar in length, measuring in at around 1". All of the Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 1/2” long.
Age: Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' is capable of living well over 10 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 5-8 years is more common. All anthonyi for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 3-4 months old.
Feeding: Like most poison dart frogs, anthonyi prefer smaller foods. All of the thumbnail dart frogs sold by Josh's Frogs will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Adult Epipedobates anthonyi will readily consume Drosophila hydei fruit flies and pinhead crickets. All ages of poison dart frogs will enjoy springtails and isopods. All feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. For more information on what poison dart frogs can eat, please visit our How-To Guide on Feeding Poison Dart Frogs.
Sexing: Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' are fairly easy to sex as adults. Females are much wider than males, especially before laying eggs. Josh's Frogs sells 3-4 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted. For more information on sexing poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Sexing Poison Dart Frogs.
Color/Pattern: Santa Isabel anthonyi are fairly consistent in color and pattern. These frogs start out life as a brown/tan froglet with barely any striping. With time, the brown/tan coloration develops into a bright red color, and the stripes turn from yellowish to green. Josh's Frogs does not recommend, support, or endorse line breeding as we believe this leads to weaker captive animals and nature has done a wonderful job of creating an amazing variation in color and pattern of poison dart frogs already.
Social Behavior: Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' do well housed in groups their entire life as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends approximately 5 gallons per frog. As they reach sexual maturity at 5-8 months of age, the social dynamic in a group of anthonyi may change and females may eat each other's eggs, although most will even breed together in the same film canister! Josh's Frogs strongly recommends against housing different species/morphs of dart frogs - for the health of your pets, please avoid mxing! Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair.
Breeding: Best bred in groups, males call to attract a female to a suitable egg laying site. Then, 10-20 eggs are laid under water (often in a film canister or a bromeliad). The eggs hatch into tadpoles, which then take 60-80 days to complete metamorphosis into miniature versions of the adults. Tadpoles will feed on dead fruit flies, the standard frog and tadpole bites/sera micron fare. For more information on breeding and raising poison dart frogs, please visit our How-To Guide on Breeding Poison Dart Frogs.
Natural Range: Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' is native to Ecuador.
History in the Hobby: Our Epipedobates anthonyi 'Santa Isabel' breeders are from many older bloodlines present in the US trade. This frog has been around for a long time in the hobby.
3- Captive Care of the Phantasmal Dart Frog (Epipedobates tricolor & Epipedobates anthonyi)
courtesy to :
by Michael Jones
The Phantasmal Dart Frog covers two species of dart frogs that originate from the El Oro, Azuay, and Loja provinces of southwestern Ecuador and the Piura, and Tumbes departments of northwestern Peru.
Epipedobates anthonyi is generally located in south-western Ecuador (Salvia, El Oro Province), while E. tricolor is found in central Ecuador, on the western slopes of the Andes (El Porvenir, Bolívar Province).
Although initially described as two different species, they have also previously been considered together as one species (E. tricolor) but their captive care is essentially the same.
General Description :
They are relatively small dart frogs, reaching a snout-vent length of up to 25 mm, however what they lack in size they tend to make up for in boldness. As well as bold they are extremely hardy frogs making them an ideal starter species for those wanting to begin keeping dart frogs.
The most commonly available morphs consist of a base body colour of red with yellow or cream coloured stripes running longitudinally down the body. Different morphs do exist with tan, green or even blue stripes.
Females can be larger with a more rounded body shape although this is not always the case and so the most reliable method of sexing is observing male frogs calling. Male frogs can begin calling as young as 3 months after metamorphosis, but 6 months is more common.
These frogs thrive when housed in groups and although small, are extremely active, and will exhibit territorial behaviour, so they do best in heavily planted, large vivaria with leaf litter as well as tropical seed pods and branches for climbing. A 20 gallon tank (about 80 Liters) would adequately house a group of 6 to 8 adult frogs. They are a predominantly terrestrial species but will make use of all parts of a vivarium. Males will compete for the highest calling spots and some height is advantageous.
The 45 cm x 45 cm x 60 cm (18 x 18 x 24 inch) vivarium in which I keep
a 3.3 group (3.3 means 3 males and 3 females).
A source of fresh, de-chlorinated water should be available at all times, either in the form of a water dish or a pool integrated into the landscaping of the vivarium.
For breeding purposes these frogs like to lay their eggs on sturdy, horizontal leaves (such as Pothos [Epipremnum], Alocasia, and Syngonium) as well as bromeliad leaves and axils. Therefore, these plants make useful additions to the vivarium, as well as species of climbers and other plants.
They are best maintained at humidity in excess of 90% and temperatures slightly cooler than most other dart frogs, generally within the range 18 - 25°C (64 – 78°F) with a slight drop at night. This is best achieved using a thermostat-controlled heat mat fixed to the bottom or side of the vivarium.
Lighting should be provided in the form of fluorescent tubes, either with or without UV depending on your preference, although live plants would benefit from at least some form of natural daylight bulb/tube.
Springtails and woodlice (isopods) when added to the substrate prior to introducing the frogs not only act as excellent vivarium custodians but also provide a good food source to supplement your feeding regime.
These frogs are voracious feeders, taking prey items that would be too big for other similarly sized dart frogs. Common food items are small and large fruit flies, crickets (hatchling to 1st/2nd instar), bean weevils, grain weevils, aphids, springtails, whiteworms, mites and dwarf tropical woodlice. Food items should be dusted with a suitable calcium and vitamin supplement regularly.
Once sexually mature, these frogs generally do not need much encouragement to begin spawning however breeding can be induced by increasing feeding and misting of the tank. Males have a very loud, melodic call and will compete for the highest, most prominent calling spots.
A video of a male E. anthonyi calling for females:
As previously stated they prefer sturdy, horizontal leaves for spawning but will just as happily spawn in horizontal film canisters. It is reported that they also spawn in leaf litter although I have never observed this myself.
Egg clutches can be left in situ or withdrawn for raising outside the vivarium (which I shall discuss in the next section). Once fertilised, clutches are guarded by the male for up to two weeks and will make regular trips to water sources to ensure the clutch remains moist.
Once the tadpoles begin to break free from their jelly the male frog encourages them onto his back and will deposit them in a suitable water source (normally a pool or water dish). The frogs will exhibit no further parental care from this point.
Tadpole Care :
If you decide to remove egg clutches to raise outside the vivarium they are best placed in a suitable clean (or sterile if possible) container such as a petri dish. They need to be kept moist but not submerged until the tadpoles break free of their jelly and are free moving.
A great advantage of these species is that their tadpoles are not cannibalistic like many dart frog tadpoles and can therefore be kept communally.
Tadpoles are raised in communal tanks in tadpole tea. Tadpole tea is made by boiling de-chlorinated, preferably soft water with Indian almond leaves, oak leaves, or black alder cones. The tannins released by this process softens the water further as well as inhibiting bacterial and fungal growth.
Almond and oak leaves are added whole to the tea and act as hiding places and the tadpoles will graze on the leaves and any algae or bacteria that grows on them. (Editor's note: if you do not have access to these leaves, you should be able to purchase "Blackwater extract" at your local aquarium store. This will substitute quite well for home made tadpole tea.)
Plants such as elodea, hornwort and pothos can be added to the tank to oxygenate the water as well as providing vegetable matter for these truly omnivorous tadpoles.
Although not strictly necessary, I have found the addition of a small air-stone helps improve water quality and can reduce the need for as regular water changes.
Even with an air-stone in situ, regular water changes are still necessary to maintain water quality, and may possibly reduce the incidence of spindly-leg syndrome (SLS) although this observation may be anecdotal.
As well as grazing on algae and vegetation in their tank, tadpoles will take a variety of foods. I maintain my tadpoles on tropical fish flake, Tadpole Bites, freeze-dried bloodworm and sinking spirulina pellets with added carotenoid. Feeding high carotenoid containing foods to tadpoles should improve the colour intensity of the final froglets.
Once the tadpoles begin to develop legs slope the tank to allow an area for them to climb out and add floating pieces of cork-bark. Alternatively remove any tadpoles once they have developed their front legs and place in very shallow water with areas of orchid bark which they can climb out onto. Generally by this stage tadpoles will not feed until they have absorbed their tails.
Froglet Care :
Froglets should be kept in vivaria with plenty of plants and leaf litter to provide adequate hiding spots. It is a good idea to set up such a tank in advance as this allows time for plants to grow and establish, as well as giving you time to establish a population of springtails on which the newly emerged froglets will feed.
Froglets are relatively dull when they emerge, generally brown in colour and often lacking their central stripe. This will develop over time although full adult colouration can take up to 18 months to form. Feeding springtails raised on high carotenoid foodstuffs such as fish flake, carrot and beetroot can help colour development even at this stage.
Whilst their diet will consist of primarily springtails initially, froglets can be moved on to fruit flies and gut-loaded hatchling crickets relatively quickly. These should be dusted at every feed at this stage.
I hope you have found this guide useful and it encourages you to keep this lovely dart frog species. They make an excellent beginner's dart frog, and a rewarding choice for the experienced keeper.
4 - Epipedobates tricolor & E. anthonyi
Difficulty: Novice (anthonyi) to intermediate (tricolor)
Location & History: Southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru, west of the Andes, 153-1769 m. (1)E. tricolor described in 1899 by Boulenger, E. anthonyi describe by Noble in 1921. E. anthonyi was made synonomous (the same species) with E. tricolorin 1992 (Henle) and 1993 (Duellman and Wild), but resurrected as a species in 1999 (Schulte) and most recently by Coloma (Per. Comm./in press).
Descriptions & Behavior:Notes: While on the small side, these animals prefer larger food items such as hydei and one to two week old crickets.- The reds in the coloration are diet dependent and to get as close to wild type coloration the animals need to have a wide range of supplimentation for color from the tadpole stage thru adulthood. SIs will take the longest to color up, often not becoming red until closer to two years of age, even with supplimentation.- These animals show color change from froglets to adults - the froglets will show markings but their base color will be a muddy brown, which around sexual maturity will slowly change towards the adult reds. As mud colored juvies they are extremely skittish but calm down greatly after the color change begins.- Age of sexual maturity, size at morphing, and general froglet health is highly dependent on tadpole care. Healthy tadpoles morph large froglets that will take hydei out of the water, and grow quickly, males starting to call as young as 3 months out of the water.
Note: These morphs represent unique subpopulations in the wild that share general physical characterisitics, and for that reason different morphs should not be mixed.
Moraspunga - intermediate level frog uncommon in the hobby due to many difficultings in breeding. The true "tricolor".
Highland - intermediate level frog, was introduced to the US hobby in the early 2000's. Dark red background with broad, iridescent "white/yellow" (think terribilis 'Mint) markings on the back. Very bold frog
Santa Isabel - one of the boldest and easiest of the two species, popular due to its bright red coloration.
Salvias/Pasaje - this is actually a complex of morphs that all used to be tossed under the "Anthonyi" morph name - these tend towards the much darker, wine red background colors, pale blue to green stripes, and may or may not have flash marks. A little more skittish than the SIs, but become bolder as they become used to their conditions.
Temperatures from 68-78ºF during the daytime with a drop into the low 70s or high sixties at night. Tend to like it a little cooler.
Like most other dart frogs, they enjoy high humidity above 80%, but tricolors are said to tolerate more fluctuations with humidity, considering they occasionally venture out to drier regions. Heavy misting temps the males to call.
Groups, preferably male heavy (3.2 to 4.1) in a 20/25H. Pairs, and equal ratios have worked, but male heavy groups have always worked best for me, and Tor recomends this ratio (4.1) as well (2)
Terrestrial, but due to breeding habits require equal hieght (for plants and calling spots) and floorspace - look for 20H and larger tanks with equal hieght and width. For breeding make sure to use plants with horizontally oriented, strong leaves (pothos and alocasia are highly recomended, broms are not), have multiple calling levels for males, and have a shallow "pond" present in the tank. Leaf litter is also highly recomended with these species, especially the more skittish morphs, all juveniles, and should be in the adult tanks if it believed froglets are, or will be in the tank.
Breeding & tadpole Care:
Males will compete for calling spots in the viv, and develop a hierarchy around this (the highest frog gets the best spot) so set up "levels" of calling spots in the viv to reduce competition over these spots. They prefer strong horizontal leaves (pothos, alocasia, etc) for egg laying (occassionally horizontal film canisters as well). Male will guard eggs if they are fertile, and tadpoles will be transported to water if a pond is present in the tank, and if there is enough room the tads will morph in the tank with little to no help.
Great communal tadpoles - tadpole care clearly relates to size and health of the froglets!!
The tadpoles should be kept in cool, acidic, soft water with some leaves/ plants/ etc. for hiding spots. Keep it fairly shallow, about 3-4" deep. Tadpoles tend to cling to vegetation for easy access to air. Sickly froglets, small froglets, froglets of poor health, and later maturing frogs are signs of incorrect tadpole care - DO NOT FEED THESE TADPOLES ALGAE BASES TADPOLE MIXES. Algae should be completely left out of the diet, feed them high quality tropical fish flakes, leaf skeletons (wild almond and oak), and let them graze bacteria.
When tadpoles developed front legs, put them in a critter keeper with a sloping gravel side so frogs can easily climb out. Put some moss in the water to prevent drowning. By this point, only have about a half inch of water in the tank.
Froglets can brown at first and it may take up to two years for full color. There are testimonials/experiments that frogs will not color up properly unless a high quality supplement (with the key ingredient astaxanthin) is given while they are tadpoles....as the majority of CB tricolor fail to meet WC coloration. One will need to experiment with different types of color enhancing fish food as there is no known "proven" formula.
Possible things to try: Cyclopeeze, phytoplankton, marine fish foods, etc. are good starting points. Anything with a wide variety of caratenoids and astaxanthin are best.
Froglets will readily take melanogastor fruit flies.
Corey Wickliffe (KeroKero)
Kyle Kopp (kyle1745)
Photos by: Bill (elmoisfive)
South America Dart Frogs - Species
Madagascar Dart frogs