Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meyer, 2002-2009

Meyer was a good frog. Named after the bountiful Meyer lemon tree in the backyard in the Faubourg Marigny, Meyer (Dendrobates tinctorius, Citronella)came to 1908 Dauphine as a rescue frog. Slated for a sad life in a cramped tank full of about 20 other dart frogs hailing from Surinam, we offered to give Meyer a proper home among Gromette (Dendrobates tinctorius, Harlequin) a little black and yellow frog who looked like grommet material, and a charming assortment of tiny little chirping frogs of the genus Epipedobates.

Meyer was a little diffident at first, repeatedly slamming his blunt yellow nose against the fabric-lined tank lid in an effort to get out of captivity (despite his truly illustrious tank filled with bromeliads, two species of Selaginella and other cool plants I jacked from the tropical greenhouse I managed). He settled into his life among many other frogs--a couple of delightful Hyla ebraccatae, a whole mess of these South American walking toads--most of whom he outlived. Meyer lived a long life, having dealt with multiple car rides, a bike ride in a sherbet tub, and trips to Shreveport living in a stuffy pet porter carefully packed with his coconut hut, a wet log, moist sphagnum, and a few sprigs of tropical plants added for cover.




Meyer was laid to rest under a big patch of lilies tonight, lilies only recently sprouted from the burned landscape of my backyard. He is survived by Spots (D. tinctorius, Citronella) and Morton (D. leucomelas), two healthy frogs (despite Columbia's terrible water quality) who continue to thrive tonight on a hearty feeding of vitamin powder-dusted fruit flies. I'll track down some fattening waxworms to offer both of them as an obligatory casserole.

6 comments:

cedrorum said...

Sorry to hear about Meyer. Sounds as though he lived a great life though.

Allison Vaughn said...

Thank you...if a little amphibian can express anything, through his enthusiastic feeding behavior and eager chasing of lumbering pill bugs he seemed to be adjusted to living in a glass house. I gave him enrichment, a good diet, plenty of hiding spots, a nice coconut house, some good logs for perching. I shouldn't own pets. I get too attached to them.

William said...

My condolences on Meyer as well. Since I know you're feeling blue, Allison, maybe you can replace Myer with a Dendrobates azureus? Those guys make great pets as well.

Allison Vaughn said...

You know, you're right. I've always wanted one and have only had the chance to babysit one for a while (I used to work for the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans). He was nice, healthy. I'm nervous about chytrid in the pet trade now...wondering if I should bring in another frog to my little isolated frogs whom I've had for 6 years. The epipedobates were great, singing with every change in the barometric pressure. I should get an azureus. My leucomelas would like it. They get along great.

William said...

Allison,

You're in luck. One of the best Dendobatid breeders in the country is right here in Missouri, Patrick Neighbors at http://www.saurian.net/. You can probably find cheaper, but you wont find better than his captive bred stuff. No chitrid worries. You're right, the azureus and leucomelas should get along great. They're generally more gentle than those tincs, the big brutes.

Allison Vaughn said...

My harlequin was so rangy and nutty, slamming himself against the tank for a fly, leaping off high perches even though there were plenty of flies right next to him. The little bumblebee is really secretive...are azureus? Also thinking of a little nocturnal guy who stays up the same hours I do. Good to know about Saurian and chytrid; I've combed through his webpage countless times.