Friday, August 20, 2010

Ranitomeya orange lamasi

AKA thumbnail sized poison dart frogs of the orange variety. I smuggled these home from San Diego. You see the alternative was to ship them overnight which is insanely expensive and the frogs are very temperature extreme intolerant. And no, poison dart frogs are not allowed as carry ons on Southwest Airlines. Or any airlines for that matter. I printed labels with their name (the one in the title, not poison dart frogs) and tropical frogs written on it and put each in an individual 16oz clear deli containers. Then handed them to security and told them they needed to be hand inspected. They took them to the hand inspection area and gave them back once I made it though x-ray. I put them back in my big purse and proceeded to fly to San Antonio without ever mentioning them to the stewardesses. Yeah, I'm sure I broke a few laws but really, how dangerous are these little things? They aren't poisonous unless they are eating their native prey in south america. With their domesticated diets of fruit flies they aren't poisonous anymore. And they're smaller than your pinky nail, not exactly 9-11 material. They are so damn teeny and adorable even the hubby admitted that he thinks they're cute. Because they are.

Once I got them home I put all 3 in their quarantine container (a 190oz clear deli container) where they will stay until they get a clean bill of health. What does that mean for a frog? They can get internal parasites just like dogs and cats so they have to have fecals run. And just like in dogs and cats they have to have one run every 2 weeks until 3 in a row come up clean. Alternately you can just own frogs and not care if they have diseases. All frogs can have these parasites, most people just don't know it and for the most part don't care. Your average pet store frogs is cheap and if it dies because it has hook worms it's no big. Dart frogs are expensive, some go for over $200 each. I don't own any of those. Yet. But you know I was a vet tech for 5 years. Those fecals run on dogs and cats? You know who ran those? That would be us, the vet techs. The kid has a microscope, I have the know how, I can check them myself no problem. So it's not as financially silly for me to keep them in quarantine and run the tests. There is 1 other test that is more expensive that I will be running but even then, since I work in a lab I can reduce the costs greatly. There's a disease wiping out entire species of frogs in their native habitat called Batrachochytrium dendrobaditis, or more commonly known as chytrid. They do PCR testing (really insane) to figure out whether or not captive bred frogs have it. It's nasty, aggressive, and will wipe out an entire collection of frogs so yeah, I'm testing for it. I'm a scientist and PCR was something I watched neighboring biologists do at my old research lab. Yes, I am a nerd. Plus it's the responsible thing to do. Gawd I'm so old....

Belly shot!

1 comment:

Noah said...

Wow. I just got a trio of these shipped to me yesterday! Cool to see your experience.