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Common Abbreviations and Definitions in the Dart Frog and Tree Frog Hobby

Learning something new is always fun, exciting, and challenging at times.  One of the challenges when learning something new can be abbreviations within the new interesting hobby.  Frog husbandry is a hobby where abbreviations and definitions can be new and/or confusing at first.  This guide is written through the lens of dart and tree frog hobbyists.  Hopefully, this guide will help and be a wonderful resource for this beautiful and exotic hobby!


ABG Mix (Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Atlanta Botanical Garden Mix, ABG Mix, is a common substrate for frog and reptile enclosures.  It is a lightweight mixture that retains moisture without drowning plants and creates a more natural habitat.  It mimics the rainforest allowing plants to thrive, clean-up crews to boom,  while providing the humidity that is necessary for all inhabitants to survive.  


Finn's Frog Farm ABG Mix
ABG Mix



Amplexus

The mating position of frogs in which the male is on the back of the female.  The male uses their nuptial pads, a large thumb pad, to grasp the female.  The female may carry the male for a few hours up to a few days.


Red Eye Tree Frogs in Ampleus.
Red Eye Tree Frogs

Blue Back Reed Frogs in Amplexus.
Blue Back Reed Frogs


Arboreal

Arboreal can refer to plants or animals.  It is where they prefer to spend their time.  Arboreal means living in trees or above the ground.  Tree frogs are arboreal.  They spend the majority of their time in the leaves.  Bromeliads also prefer to be in the air.  Bromeliads have shallow roots and do not like to sit in lots of water.   


Bioactive

Bioactive is a term used for a specific type of habitat setup.  A habitat that is bioactive is meant to closely resemble a natural habitat.  The main layers of the habitat will contain a false bottom, substrate barrier, and substrate (usually ABG mix).  Within the substrate layer are bugs (see clean-up crew).  There are also live plants and leaf litter to mimic the natural environment.


Booming Culture (aka Producing Culture)

Booming culture is a term that is used after a fruit fly or springtail culture has completed their life cycle and produced offspring.  In a fruit fly culture, there will be a lot of flies on the sides and the lid of the cup.  In a springtail culture, there will be a noticeable amount of springtails in the substrate.  When a culture is booming it is the best time to make fresh (new) cultures, and feed or seed the habitat(s).



Booming springtail culture.  Culture is 7 weeks old.
Booming Springtail Culture
Booming Hydei Fruit Fly Culture.
Booming Hydei Fruit Fly Culture



Clean-up Crew

Clean-up crew is a term used to describe bugs that help make a bioactive enclosure. The clean-up crew can consist of a variety of springtails and isopods.  They aerate the soil, eat animal waste, and aid in the breakdown and dying and decaying matter.  Clean-up crews help manage healthy bacteria that are necessary for a thriving habitat.


Springtails are a vital organism in the clean-up crew.  This culture is on a clay substrate.
Springtails

Zebra isopods are a great choice to add to habitat for a clean-up crew.
Zebra Isopods


CB - Captive Bred

Captive bred is when the frog is bred and raised in a local and controlled environment.  Even though the species is not native to the region.  


Dust (Crickets/Fruit Flies)

Animals receive nutrients through what they eat.  Feeder animals are dusted with different supplements to provide nutrients that the animal may be lacking.  Take a 32-ounce cup, sprinkle the supplement into the cup, add the bugs such as crickets or fruit flies, and shake around.  The bugs have been dusted and are now ready to be put in the enclosure so the animal can help.


Field Collected (FC)

Field collected is another term for wild-caught.  Wild caught is when a frog is collected out of its natural habitat.  Some people buy and sell wild-caught frogs.  The frogs would be imported into a non-native country. They may also be native species. There may be laws regarding the collection and keeping of native species. Be sure to check specific state laws and regulations.


Fresh Culture

Fresh culture is a term that can be used with fruit flies and springtails.  This is a new culture that will start a new life cycle.  Most often a person will only be able to purchase fresh cultures of fruit flies or springtails.  It can take a few weeks for the organism to complete their life cycle in order to produce offspring. 


This is a fresh culture of golden hydei fruit flies.
Golden Hydei Fruit Flies


This is a fresh new culture of springtails on clay substrate.
New Springtail Culture

Gravid

A female is called gravid when they are filled with eggs and are ready to lay them.  Instead of saying a frog is pregnant one would say the frog is gravid.  The female will become larger on the sides and will be more pear shaped.  The female will show mating behaviors.  In dart frogs a female will pet the male on the back.


OOW - Out Of Water

Oftentimes the age of a frog is determined by how long it has been out of the water (OOW).  Most breeders will sell frogs that are a minimum of three months out of the water.  At that age the frogs are well established, eating, and thriving giving the frog a stronger chance of survival.


Producing Culture (aka Booming Culture)

Producing/booming culture is a term that is used after a fruit fly or springtail culture has completed their life cycle and produced offspring.  In a fruit fly culture, there will be a lot of flies on the sides and the lid of the cup.  In a springtail culture there will be a noticeable amount of springtails in the substrate.  When a culture is booming it is the best time to make fresh (new) cultures, and feed or seed the habitat(s).


RO Water - Reverse Osmosis Water

RO water, full name reverse osmosis water, is a water purification process.  RO water is best for amphibians because the harmful chemicals and other molecules have been separated from the water molecules.  RO water can be purchased in gallon containers from local grocery and retail locations.  Some people also choose to purchase and install RO filter systems.


Slough/Sloughing

Frogs will slough their skin.  Sloughing is the process when an amphibian sheds their skin.  The frogs will often puff out and then suck in.  Their mouths will open and close throughout the process.  They will use their feet to help shed the skin and will eat it. 


Probable Pair

Probable pair is a term given to frogs that are thought to be a male and a female.  They are almost adult frogs. They have not produced any eggs.


Proven Pair

Proven pair is a term given to two adult frogs that have produced viable eggs.


Prolapse

  A prolapse is when part of the rectum is protruding out of the anus.  This can occur when the frog is having trouble passing the food.  


Terrestrial

Terrestrial can refer to plants or animals.  It is where they prefer to spend their time.  Terrestrial means ground dwelling.   


Transporting

Once a tadpole breaks out of the egg it will need to be put in water to continue the metamorphosis process. Transporting is the process in which the male frog carries the tadpole(s) on their back and deposits the tadpole into water.


Ranitomeya fantastica “Lowland” frog transporting a tadpole.  The frog is on top of a film canister.  The tadpole is on the back of the frog.
Ranitomeya fantastica Lowland transporting a tadpole
Rrnitomeya Imitator Banded frog transporting a tadpole on it's back.
Ranitomeya Imitator Banded transporting a tadpole


WC - Wild Caught

Wild caught is when a frog is collected out of its natural habitat.  Some people buy and sell wild-caught frogs.  The frogs would be imported into a non-native country. They may also be native species. There may be laws regarding the collection and keeping of native species. Be sure to check specific state laws and regulations. 



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