Common Names: Asian painted frog, Chubby frog, Asian bullfrog, banded bullfrog
Size: Adults measure 2 to 3 inches (5 cm to 7.6 cm) in length.
Appearance: Round in shape and with a typical microhylid body structure, Asian painted frogs are attractively patterned with two cream colored lateral stripes that run down their dorsum. This light coloration extends onto the head and face, and contrasts with a darker brown on the rest of the dorsum and flanks below the light stripes. The ventral side is uniform white to gray, except for in males that may have a darkened vocal sac after calling.
Distribution, Habitat and Behavior: Asian painted frogs are found throughout southeast Asia. They are adaptable, living both around human settlements such as courtyards and gardens as well as in agricultural areas and in forest and along forest edges. Although during the day they are not active and hide burrowed or in shelter, at night they awaken and move around, even climbing trees or taller vegetation. When threatened painted frogs fill with air and may even secrete a sticky white noxious substance.
Availability: They are commonly available through pet stores and dealers. Captive breeding is rare and almost all painted frogs found for sale are caught in the wild. For this reason, examine frogs carefully before purchase to ensure they are in good condition. They should respond to being disturbed by hopping away or puffing up and inflating themselves with air Avoid lethargic individuals or those with marks from transit such as small abrasions or rubs, as well as frogs that show signs of redness on their skin.
Housing: Asian painted frogs do not require a large amount of space to live well in captivity. A standard 10 gallon aquarium that measures 20 inches long by 10 inches wide by 12 inches high (50 cm by 25 cm by 30 cm) is large enough to house one frog for its entire life. A tight-fitting screen cover is essential to prevent escapes because they are fairly good climbers, and if provided with arboreal space in a larger enclosure they can be observed using it at night.
A substrate that holds moisture, allows the frog to burrow, and is easily passed if swallowed works well. Coconut husk fiber or other safe soil blend is usually the best option. Avoid using soils that contain perlite or vermiculite. Other possible substrates include cypress mulch or leaf litter. Moist paper towels, foam rubber, or sphagnum moss can be used in temporary housing, such as a quarantine enclosure. Gravel, sand, or small bark chippings should be avoided because they can easily be swallowed and cause health issues.
Furnish the enclosure with a hide spot or two, such as artificial plants, cork bark, or driftwood. Live plants can be used, although they may be uprooted when painted frogs burrow. To prevent this, it may be helpful to keep plants in their pots rather than planting them directly in the substrate.
Temperature and Humidity: A wide range of temperatures are tolerated by Asian painted frogs. During the day, the temperature can remain between 68°F and 78°F (20°C to 26°C). At night, the temperature should decrease. Occasional warm days or cool nights usually don’t present a problem for healthy frogs. The humidity level in the cage can play a large role in the activity of captive Asian painted frogs. In the wild, an increase in humidity and moisture initiates breeding, and often in captivity male frogs will begin calling when the same happens in the terrarium. Misting part of the cage with water a few times a week or even daily will help maintain moisture and stimulate activity.
Water: Provide a dish of water large enough for your Asian painted frog to soak in. Change the water daily or when it appears dirty. If tap water is used, a tap water conditioner should be added to remove chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals. Alternatively, reverse osmosis (RO) water can be made safe for amphibians by adding aquarium products designed to add minerals and reconstitute pure water sources.
Diet: Asian painted frogs have a large appetite and accept most commercially available feeder insects, such as crickets, earth worms, silk worms, wax worms, and mealworms. Crickets should make up the majority of their diet, with other food items substituted for crickets every few feedings. Feeding three to six food items every two or three days works well for adult frogs. Juveniles should be fed more frequently. High quality vitamin and mineral supplements should be used to coat the food offered to adult frogs every two to four feedings, while juveniles should have their food supplemented at every meal.