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HomeAny CategoryLive AnimalsFrogsTree FrogsBlue Back Reed Frog - Heterixalus madagascariensis (Captive Bred)

Blue Back Reed Frog - Heterixalus madagascariensis (Captive Bred)


4.9 out of 5 stars


Quantity Available: 5

About This Product

Defining Characteristics: 

  • Great Beginner Frog
  • Bright Blue Coloration
  • Easy to Breed
  • Moderately Loud Call
  • Great in Groups
  • Nocturnal

Name: Belonging to the family Hyperoliidae, the Blue Back Reed Frog is scientifically known as Heterixalus madagascarensis. Sometimes referred to Spotted Reed Frogs or simply 'Blue Backs'.

Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for 2-4 Blue Back Reed Frogs, but Josh's Frogs recommends a 20H or 18x18x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, as it will allow for easier cleaning. Not sure how to set up a reed frog enclosure? Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Terrarium for Reed Frogs.

Want to spice up your enclosure with live plants? Our experts have curated a kit of easy-to-care-for and SAFE plants for your reed frogs. Check it out here!

Temperature: They can tolerate a temperature range of 65 F to 85 F, but prefer temperatures in the mid 70s. Temperatures over 90F are dangerous. A low wattage basking spot, with a temperature of 85-90F, will be utilized but is not absolutely needed.

Humidity: Like most frogs, reed frogs prefer a humidity range of 70 – 100%, but can tolerate humidity down to 50% for short periods of time if the frogs have access to water. Low humidity levels, especially without access to water, can quickly be fatal. Blue Back Reed Frogs occur in the marginal areas between water and land, referred to as the riparian zone. As such, they require high humidity paired with substantial ventilation. 

Size: Adult female reed frogs are larger, measuring in at approximately 1.5 inches. Male Heterixalus madagascarensis are a bit smaller, averaging about 1 inch at maturity. All of the Blue Back Reed Frog froglets Josh's Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 3/4” long.

Age: Heterixalus madagascarensis is capable of living over 5 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 2-3 years is more common. Active breeding shortens expected lifespan down to 1-2 years. All reed frogs for sale at Josh's Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.

Feeding: At Josh's Frogs, we feed our reed frogs dusted crickets. At 3/4", juvenile reed frogs can easily take 1/8" crickets, and 1/4" crickets as adults. Make sure to dust all prey items with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement. We place the crickets in floating food bowls in the reed frog habitat, to preven crickets from drowning and fouling the water. To learn more about feeding reed frogs, please watch our video on How to Feed Reed Frogs.

Sexing: Heterixalus madagascarensis is not sexable until 6-8 months of age. Male reed frogs tend to be smaller than females, which often appear both longer and wider. Females will also develop visible eggs on each side of their bellies and males develop a prominent gular disk on their throats.  Josh's Frogs sells 2-3 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted.

Color/Pattern: A very variable reed frog, all Blue Back Reed Frogs are primarily a light blue coloration. The amount of black, white, and yellow spots can vary widely among individuals. Spots can be large in some individual reed frogs, leading to an almost netted appearance, while many adults lack spots completely. Males are generally a pale yellow/brown color with black spots. Adult Blue Back Reed Frogs tend to have orange feet. Please keep in mind that juvenile reed frogs sometimes take a few months to develop their adult coloration, and may appear cream or brown colored at first. At night, reed frogs may appear pale in color when they are active.

Social Behavior: These frogs do well housed in groups their entire life, as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair. Please refer to the chart below to see your chances of getting at least one male and one female out of a group. We recommend purchasing at least 4-5 reed frogs at a time. 

Breeding: Reed frogs are very easy to breed - just house a male and a female together! When housed in a proper environment, Blue Back Reed Frogs are very prolific, laying clutches of 50-200 eggs every 2-3 weeks. Eggs are generally laid right above or below the water's surface, and quickly develop into very small, delicate tadpoles. For more information on how to take care of reed frog eggs and tadpoles, please watch our videos on How to Care For Reed Frog Eggs, and How to Care For Reed Frog Tadpoles.

Natural Range: Heterixalus madagascarensis are native to Madagascar. They inhabit riparian zones, where a body of water (mainly a pond) meets the land. Among emergent vegetation, reed frogs spend the day sleeping on the underside of leaves. With their limited range and the seemingly imminent destruction of their native habitat, maintaining this species in captivity should be of the utmost importance.

History in the Hobby: Blue Back reed frogs have been imported directly from Madagascar several times over the past decade. These imports are the foundation of the captive population of Heterixalus madagascarensis in the United States today.

Links of Interest:

Wikipedia - article on the current habitat of Blue Back Reed Frogs in Madagascar

IUCN Redlist - information on the current status of Heterixalus madagascarensis in the wild

Breeding Blue Back Reed Frogs by Devin Edmonds in Reptiles Magazine

AmphibiaWeb article on Blue Back Reed Frogs

Still not sure if Blue Back Reed Frogs from Josh's Frogs are the right poison dart frog for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!


After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.

With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.

If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

Based on 10 reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Reed frogs

I got the blue black reed frogs in Feb. 2017 , and they have breed twice now and let me tell you when the frogs become adults their colors are just AMAZING ! They look just like the pictures true to color, but then again never got a second rate frog from Josh yet and I've gotten lots of frogs and everyone turns out just as wonderful as the pictures, Thank you, well done, to all of Josh's employee's !!!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Fantastic job

Just received my frogs today, am very pleased with the time from order to receipt, the way everything was packaged and the customer service responsiveness. Keep up the great job!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Great Purchase!

I got my little babies this morning. This was the first time I have had anything other than feeder insects shipped to me and I was worried about how it would be. However, everything went great! They had great customer service and we're very helpful. My little frogs arrived safely and they were packaged perfectly. The heat and gel packs we're still warm when I got them. They looked very healthy and I am super happy with my purchase. I will definitely be using Josh's Frogs for future purchases! Thank you so much!


5.0 out of 5 stars

Little Opals

Beautiful little frogs who change color from sleepy opals to hunter’s brown. Very active from the beginning, and healthy and well-packaged at arrival. Very happy with these little guys, and am excited to watch them grow and change.


5.0 out of 5 stars

These frogs are adorable!

I would absolutely make this purchase again! They are absolutely adorable and while I know that they were going to be small, they turned out to be super healthy! They ate the first evening and were active. Make sure you get the add on of 500 penhead, or 1/8" crickets. They are very tiny frogs and most stores don't carry the pinheads or 1/8". These frogs arrived healthy and hopefully they will be happy for years to come!

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