The dwarf Surinam toad (Pipa parva) from Venezuela is a real rarity in the aquarium. We have a breeder who can occasionally offer us some of them. At first sight the nice animals remind us of dwarf clawed frogs (Hymenochirus), but you can always tell them apart from them by the branched fingertips – typical for all Pipa species.
The eggs of all Surinam toads develop, after they have been laid and fertilized, in the back skin of the female, which completely grows over the eggs. In the case of the Great Surinam toad (Pipa pipa and closely related species), fully developed young frogs hatch from the back skin, while in the case of the dwarf Surinam toad it is tadpoles that break through the mother’s back skin and begin an independent life. The tadpoles have a broad mouth and feed on plankton animals (freshly hatched Artemia nauplii in the aquarium).
One should maintain and breed Pipa parva with water-temperatures between 26 and 28°C. The dwarf Surinam toad is easy to feed with all kinds of frozen food for ornamental fish, many specimens also get used to granulated food. Very important is the complete covering of the aquarium, otherwise the Surinam toads go sooner or later on wanderings, which usually ends fatally in an apartment.
For our customers: the animals have code 485964 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer