Can you hold reed frogs?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

As an expert in amphibians, I can provide you with detailed information on handling reed frogs, particularly Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs. These small and delicate creatures should not be handled regularly, except when necessary for cleaning their habitat. Let me explain why.

1. Fragility: Reed frogs, including Blue Back and Starry Night reed frogs, are delicate creatures. Their small size and thin skin make them susceptible to injuries or stress caused by handling. They have delicate limbs and toes, which can easily be damaged if mishandled. Therefore, it is important to avoid unnecessary handling to ensure their well-being.

2. Stress: Reed frogs are highly sensitive to stress, and handling can be a significant source of stress for them. When they are handled, they can become agitated, jump, or attempt to escape, which can be harmful to their health. Stress can weaken their immune system, making them more susceptible to diseases, and it can also impact their eating habits and overall well-being.

3. Safety: Handling reed frogs can also pose a risk to their safety. These frogs have specialized adaptations, such as sticky toe pads, which allow them to climb and cling onto surfaces. When handled, they may try to use these adaptations, leading to the risk of them sticking to hands or other objects, potentially causing harm to themselves. Additionally, sudden movements or accidental drops during handling can result in injuries.

4. Habitat disturbance: Reed frogs are best observed and enjoyed from a distance to minimize disturbance to their natural habitat. Frequent handling can disrupt their natural behaviors and routines, potentially impacting their breeding, feeding, and resting patterns. By minimizing handling, we can ensure that their natural behaviors and interactions are not disrupted.

In my personal experience, I have seen the negative effects of regular handling on reed frogs. I once encountered a Blue Back reed frog that had been handled excessively by its previous owner. The frog was visibly stressed and showed signs of physical injury, with some toes missing or damaged. It took a considerable amount of time and effort to rehabilitate the frog and restore its health.

To summarize, it is best to avoid regular handling of Blue Back reed frogs and Starry Night reed frogs, unless it is necessary for cleaning their habitat or addressing a specific health concern. Their fragility, sensitivity to stress, potential safety risks, and habitat disturbance are all factors to consider when deciding whether or not to handle these delicate creatures. By minimizing handling, we can ensure their well-being and allow them to thrive in their natural environment.