The Asian Painted Frog, or “Fat Frog”, as it is affectionately known, is a narrow-mouthed frog native to Southeast Asia, where this species is widely distributed. This species is so hardy and adaptable that its population continues to grow despite the widespread collection of wild specimens for the food and pet markets. They have even been introduced to other parts of the world, where their population has grown significantly enough to cause environmental problems, especially in areas like Florida.
It is this hardiness and adaptability that makes Fat Frogs great pets, as they adapt to captivity easily and quickly, even when conditions are not right. If you want to know more about these adorable amphibians, read on for a deeper look!
Quick Facts About Asian Painted Frogs
|Species Name:||Kaloula pulchra|
|Temperature:||68°F – 78°F|
|Temperament:||Sociable, friendly, tough|
|Color Shape:||Brown body with distinctive stripes|
|Size:||2 – 3 inches long|
|Diet:||Crickets, worms and other insects|
|Minimum Tank Size:||15 gallons|
|Tank Setting:||Moist substrate, skin and live plants|
|Suitability:||Strong and good for beginners|
Asian Painted Frog Overview
Although Fat Frogs are popular in the pet trade, relatively little is known about their behavior in the wild. This species is native throughout Southeast Asia, including India and Malaysia, usually living in lush forest floors and rice fields. They have the ability to expand when they feel threatened and will secrete a non-toxic but foul-smelling sticky mucus to protect themselves from predators.
These frogs have a voracious appetite and move slowly, earning them the nicknames “Fat Frog” and “Bubble Frog,” which is further accentuated by their short snout and short legs. They are usually inactive during the day and settle under dead leaves and are much more active at night when they feed. They were even seen climbing trees.
How Much Does Asian Painted Frog Cost?
Fat frogs are not easily bred in captivity, and as such, are very few. Most frogs in pet stores are wild caught because of their abundance, and they are usually quite inexpensive. If you want to buy an Asian Painted Frog from a pet store, you can pay around $12-$30.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Fat Frogs are nocturnal, meaning they are only active at night. They are generally docile and easy-going, and although they may mistake your finger for a worm and attempt to bite, they are mostly harmless. However, it is important to handle them with care and gentleness, as they will puff up and expel unpleasant mucus when they feel threatened. While it’s not toxic, it’s certainly not fun. They are adaptable animals that are good for captivity, and their docile nature and low requirements make them easy and easy-going pets to care for.
Appearance & Variety
As their nickname suggests, these frogs are round in shape with short legs and a short round snout. The painted part of their name is also appropriate, as they have two beautiful creamy yellow stripes with a black border running vertically down their backs and contrasting the darker mottled brown base color. They usually have a gray underbelly, although this is often darker in males.
There are three recognized subspecies of the Asian Painted Frog, and the jury has yet to decide whether these should be treated as their own unique species or continue to be considered only as a subspecies.
How to Take Care of an Asian Painted Frog
Fat Frogs are easy to care for and have some special requirements for a happy and healthy life. They don’t take up much space, and their needs can be met easily and affordably. Luckily, they don’t require special lighting, but you should maintain a normal day/night cycle for them.
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A 15-gallon tank is the perfect size for a Fat Frog, and a general rule of thumb is 20 inches long by 10 inches wide and at least 10 inches high. The higher, the better, because these frogs are excellent climbers. There should be mesh netting tightly attached at the top to avoid escaping if you include small plants for them to climb.
These short, squat feet of frogs are not ideal for jumping but are great for digging, and your Chubby will need a moist substrate that they can easily dig into. Chemical-free soil or coconut husks are best, but avoid vermiculite, gravel, stones, or small wood chips as they can be easily swallowed during feeding and can potentially cause health problems. A damp paper towel can be a great temporary substrate if you need a temporary cage to move your frogs around or during quarantine.
Temperature and Humidity
These hardy frogs can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, although you should try to cool the tank a bit at night. Anywhere in the 68-78 degree Fahrenheit range is fine, and even the occasional fluctuation outside this margin shouldn’t cause them much trouble. Humidity should be kept at around 70%, and this should be kept relatively constant with a moist substrate, but an occasional mist will help if needed, especially if you use a mesh gauze cover.
You must equip your frog tank with several hiding places. Driftwood, rocks and plants are all ideal, but live plants can sometimes be difficult because the Fat Frog can dig them up while digging. You should also have a ceramic dish filled with water at all times, large enough for them to soak. Make sure the water is fresh and free of chlorine or heavy metals, and change it every few days.
Are Asian Painted Frogs Friendly With Other Pets?
In general, these tame frogs can be housed with other frogs of the same species, but they will eat smaller frogs of a different species if given the opportunity. They are at peace with other frogs of the same species and are rarely aggressive, but they do not need to live in groups and like to live alone. Of course, you should always keep them away from other pets such as cats and dogs in your household.
What Feeds Your Asian Painted Frog?
Fat frogs have a large appetite and eat a wide variety of commercially available insects, including crickets, mealworms, silkworms, and waxworms. While crickets should be their main diet, try to vary their diet and include two to three other insects every few days. Adult frogs should be fed two to three times a week, while juvenile frogs can be fed more often. It is a good idea to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals that can be added to their diet, especially for teenagers.
Keeping Your Asian Painted Frog Healthy
Fat frogs can live for 10 years and more, with some reaching up to 20 years in captivity, so they are hardy and long-lived animals in general. As with most amphibians, you should handle them as little as possible to avoid damaging the skin. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling. Even without the right breeding conditions, these highly adaptable animals can survive well, so if they have the right environment and nutritional needs and are handled as little as possible, they suffer from few health problems.
In the wild, Fat Frogs reproduce profusely and rapidly, so it makes much more sense to get them from the wild. With captivity, you must mimic the rainy conditions in which they normally breed and lower the temperature to induce brumation. This is a time-consuming and complicated process, and breeding in captivity is recommended only to experts in the field. While it doesn’t cost much to set up a breeding facility, it won’t make you much money either, so it’s only worth doing for the fun of it.
Is Asian Painted Frog Right for You?
As one of the easiest and strongest amphibians to care for, the Asian Painted Frog is an ideal choice for beginners. They are interesting to watch and don’t mind handling (with care), and they have low housing requirements. Also, they are inexpensive to buy and house, so they are inexpensive and easy to care for pets.
If you want to dive into the exciting world of raising amphibians and reptiles, the Asian Painted Frog is a great entry point.
Featured Image Credit: Kurit afshen, Shutterstock