All frogs in this world are cold-blooded amphibians, which means that their body temperature is regulated by changes in the environment. During unfavorable weather conditions, most frogs become inactive in order to preserve themselves. This behavior is known as hibernation.
You have a frog in your tank, not just any frog, an African dwarf frog. You must also be thinking about whether or not they hibernate too. The answer is Yes. They indeed go into hibernation, but they do it in the dry season rather than in the winter.
But what exactly is hibernation and what’s its deal with your African frog? This is what we’ll explore together down below. So, don’t let go of my hand just now…
What is hibernation?
In order to find out whether African dwarf frogs hibernate or not, we must first know what hibernation exactly is.
It becomes clear how amazing nature really is when you take into account the various ways that animals can adapt to environmental changes in order to survive. Hibernation is one such strategy. This is a trait seen commonly among most amphibians. To slow their metabolism and increase their longevity, the majority of amphibians that live in harsh, cold climates typically hibernate.
The process of hibernation involves the animal’s metabolism being slowed down to the point where it uses very little energy; even its heart rate and body temperature are decreased, and it typically doesn’t eat. Bears, jumping mice, turtles, snakes, and even numerous insects all engage in this behavior.
In the winter, it is far too cold for reptiles and amphibians to be active without freezing to death because they are cold-blooded animals (unable to produce their own body heat using their metabolism). As a result, they must hibernate. If they are to survive this difficult season, they must make sure they find the ideal location.
Do African Dwarf Frogs go into Hibernation?
Now, let’s get back to the original question.
Yes, African dwarf frogs do hibernate. But, as opposed to other frog species, which hibernate during the winter, African dwarf frogs actually hibernate during the dry season in Africa.
This is due to the fact that in the dry season, most water bodies dry out, and it is a well-known fact that these frogs do not survive for long outside of water. The bodies of these aquatic frogs rapidly lose moisture when out of water. As a result, their bodies dry out quickly as well, which is fatal for these tiny amphibians.
Since it doesn’t get as cold in Africa—the most likely place to see them—during the winter months as it does in America, these animals don’t need to hibernate during this period.
How long do African Dwarf Frogs Hibernate?
Usually, the dry season in Africa lasts throughout the months of October to April. The African dwarf frogs hibernate throughout this whole period of time and emerge back when it begins to rain.
How do African Dwarf Frogs hibernate?
The moment African dwarf frogs decide to hibernate, they start eating a lot of food all at once, enough to last them the entire hibernation period. Afterward, they look for moist, muddy areas where they dig a hole and then bury themselves underground.
The moisture in the mud keeps their skin moist during this time. They also slow down their metabolism rate by lowering their heart rate, body temperature, and energy consumption.
Do Captive African Dwarf Frogs go into Hibernation?
African dwarf frogs in captivity usually do not need to go into hibernation. This is due to the fact that in an aquarium, they are always in the water. Also, their basic needs are fulfilled by the owner most of the time, so they have no need to slow down their metabolism rate.
There are many endangered species of frogs out there in the wild that meet their end during the hibernation period. Fortunately, the African dwarf frogs are not such creatures.
Your African pet dwarfs will not need to enter the hibernation period as long as you tend to their needs. So, you can be sure of their well-being. Just keep doing your best!