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Amphibians ...

Aili Pauline McKeen, Connecticut, U.S.A.

I live in central Connecticut, U.S.A., I've always enjoyed the outdoors and always loved animals. I never catch to keep anything indigenous, but often photograph the beasties I meet in their natural habitats. We do a lot of hiking. I'm also active in Girl Scouting. I dabble in about a billion other hobbies and crafts, including fiber arts (sewing) and gardening.

I'd give my husband Bruce credit for something....like it was all HIS idea...but he told me early on that he likes to have pets, but he can't be relied upon to take care of them. All the care is my responsibility, that's ok, I like it.

The amphibians I got from Bruce's nephew. He had brought home about 5 different species of frogs, plus newts, lizards, and fish, and but them all together in a 30 gal. long. Almost none had their ideal habitats, and they certainly did not get along with each other. No surprise when he started  losing them. Figuring I "had a way" with animals, he asked me to take them. My "way" with animals is to read about their needs and try to meet those needs. I split the remaining creatures into two separate enclosures: a wet-dry habitat for the fire bellied toads and newts, and a dry one for the tree frogs. Though all frogs need plenty of moisture, these particular tree frogs suffer health problems if the humidity is too high. Since frogs exchange gases and liquids through their permeable skin, they require absolute cleanliness or they suffer severely. The tree frogs are in a simple habitat with a water dish, several potted plants, and a gravel substrate covered with washable fabric. The gravel was required by the under-tank heater, and covering it with fabric keeps the frogs from ingesting gravel as they catch their prey, and its easy to keep clean.
First we have a pair of Red-eyed Tree frogs. These are native to Latin America (southern Mexico to Panama). They are nocturnal so I sit up with only a night-light on watching them in the dim. They are bright lime green on the dorsum, bluish on the sides, white bellies, orange hands & feet, and of course, those bright red eyes. They turn a brownish-purple color at night when they are hunting. They tend to be slow moving and are easy to photograph. I believe they are both male, but not sure yet.
Also, we have a white-lipped tree frog, native to Australia (bottom picture). He isn't as pretty but he has a great personality. He is brown during the day and turns a chartreuse-y green at night while hunting. He is capable of becoming a bright leaf-green, but hasn't displayed that coloration since just after we got him.

A red-eyed tree frog; Agalychnis callidryas

The white-lipped treefrog; Litoria infrafrenata

More pictures and text in next page..

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