Pet of the Day

December 10, 1998

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Dumpy, the Pet of the Day
Name: Dumpy
Age: One year old
Gender: Male
Kind: White's Tree Frog
Home: West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
   Dumpy is a White's Tree Frog. He is usually brown, though he's sometimes green. He was born in Texas, though his heritage is Indonesian. Australia also has White's. Theirs tend to be a lovely blue-green. They eat all sorts or insects. I feed my two White's mostly crickets. Dumpy comes out at night during the early evening simulated shower, stretches, and hops up on a branch or ledge and looks for roaming crickets. If he sees one, he leaps from his perch and seizes the unfortunate cricket. Dumpy's home is a large, six foot tank, furnished with real plants, two pools for wading and drinking, rock ledges, a cave to hide in and explore and moss-covered walls and flooring. He shares this tropical habitat with a female White's, two tiger salamanders and six red-eyed tree frogs. I think the White's can live 10+ years and grow to four inches. Dumpy is less than one year old and is about one and a half inches.

    White's are about the easiest frogs to keep. Dumpy loves to eat, he's not fussy! And he spends most of the day hiding and sleeping in the leaves of the plants or attached to the glass walls of his tank by his sticky, big toes. They even like room temperatures, though it's good to give them warm spots and cool spots in the tank. They're cold-blooded and sometimes like to warm up a bit. (White's Tree Frogs are also known as Dumpy Tree Frogs!) He's just a baby and he's smooth and lean. As he gets older he'll grow quite fat and frankly, will look rather "dumpy."

    Like most amphibians it's good to not handle them too much. While Dumpy poses no toxic threat, he does lay around in watery conditions all day and could carry harmful bacteria. I always disinfect my hands immediately after handling any amphibian. Our touching is not very good for Dumpy's tender frog skin, either. Dumpy tends to ignore everyone else in the tank, even when he's sitting right next to a tiger salamander as big as he is.

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