What is the history of the Bumble Bee Toad in the pet frog hobby?

History of Bumble Bee Toads in the Hobby
Bumble bee toads have an unfortunately dismal track record in the US pet trade. Several times, typically many years apart, bumble bee toads are available as wild caught imports cheaply and in huge numbers. Thus, they were often viewed and sold as curiosities to keepers unfamiliar with their care needs, and viewed as disposable pets. Similar in appearance to dart frogs, bumble bee toads are often kept like dart frogs. Even though they do have many similar characteristics, such as a microphagus eating habit (they require small foods) and aposematic (warning) coloration), bumble bee toads kept at the same high humidity as dart frogs are doomed. As a result, availability of bumble bee toads declined drastically as soon as imports stopped. Within a year or so after importation ended in the early 2000s, prices skyrocketed from about $10ea to well over $200.
When bumble bee toads are cheaply and wildly available as wild caught imports, few if any people attempt to breed them in captivity. These frogs, while not impossible to breed, are certainly not easy. An understanding of their natural history, as well as mastery of culturing small prey items, are required to be successful. Fortunately, the staff at Josh’s Frogs has long ago mastered the culturing of microfoods, such as springtails and fruit flies. A strong scientific background has also allowed us to sufficiently research the genus Melanophryniscus to an extent not formerly replicated in the pet trade, allowing Josh’s Frogs to successfully raise bumble bee toads through their entire life cycle, and in large numbers.

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