"Wall Walking" - A sign of Stress in Frogs ?

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Rich brought up an excellent point / observation about seeing an increase of frog activity centered around frogs walking on the sides or the front of a Vivarium. I've NEVER seen this behaviour discussed on ANY other forum or in any book or magazine BTW...

I assume we are talking about non-hardscaped sides - pure glass and that the frogs are seen to be active on the glass and not the "normal" tank furniture - plants, wood features, rocks, various hides and barriers.

That the frogs are exposing themselves due to possible stressors ?

I can add my own observations. I have noticed this exact same behaviour on Dart Frogs that were in a Vivarium that I had heavily fogged with cool mist KAZ ultrasonic humidifier mist. Would the mist be bothering them or even causing some amount of respiratory distress, for them to seek to escape it by wall walking ? I have noticed this behaviour at least a dozen times with my thumbnails - vents and vanzos and only a few times with my pumilio. I do notice 100% more activity from froglets when the mist is applied for a long period of time and there is heavy saturation.

VERY interesting and important topic IMO. Excellent choice of words for describing the behaviour too Rich.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
After a good misting most of my thumbs can be seen climbing glass and such. Especially the Benedicta who become VERY active. I have very rarely seen my Pumilio on the glass. I think it depends on the type of frog.

For thumbnails being on the glass can hardly be considered a sign of stress. Especially when there is calling taking place. Males will be all over the front doors calling in competition with one another...while I guess you could argue that is a form of stress I would never consider it poor living conditions. Also need to take into consideration how arboreal a species is...if its a vertical surface its for climbing...regardless of what its made of.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
I've seen large fat adult tincs climb glass too....when they have ample room in the viv, otherwise.

Could be a few explanations and as simple as "active frogs wanting to explore or get out".


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Trust me when I say that if you see at least four of six darts on glass at once, it's not 'normal' , settled in comfortable activity.
A random wall walk does not a stressed frog make, rather if there is continual walking. It signifies a want to 'get out', and if this activity (the majority always walking walls) is a common occurrence there should be note taken. As in six adult non-group darts which may be stressing each other in one viv...

Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

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That is something to think about although I have not had an issue with it but that is something that my not have been thought about in such a manor by the hobby at large. My main viv has 3 sides fully scaped and have had no issues with it even when there was 5 varadero in viv. I have seen some wall walking in the smaller vivs that are newer down in the basement. But they are just starting to really grow in so it will be something that I will keep an eye on with this in mind....Great observation Rich.
I always assumed my thumbs were on the glass for some water uptake when condensation is there. In fact I rarely see my frogs on glass unless it's wet glass.
The only time I see frogs on the glass in my vivariums is: if there are FF's climbing the glass, some of my frogs will climb after them; when I was keeping Tinc's, my powder blue male would climb the glass to the lid of the vivarium when he would see me coming with flies on feeding day.... Other than those occasions I can't recall seeing frogs on the glass in a permanent vivarium.
However, many of my frogs in quarantine tanks will climb constantly....

Then again, my vivariums are usually heavily planted--and I hear my frogs more often than I see them...
My Azureus like to climb the front doors, too. I haven't had them for very long yet, and I wouldn't say that their wall climbing is constant, but I have been looking for a thread like this just in case this behavior is something to be concerned about. The viv is well planted, but I'm thinking of adding more and maybe a cork tube or something. Another thing I'm a bit concerned about is that once in a while a frog will be high up on some of the side structure and then just take a flying leap! They don't do this often, and when they do they seem quite confident, but should I worry that they'll get hurt? So far I've only seen one kind of botched landing and I checked on the frog immediately and he seemed perfectly fine.
Frogs falling three to four feet on concrete are almost never injured. Falls in vivariums, especially with soft substrate should not be worried about.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

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