Popular TV One personality, Ruud Kleinpaste, known for his acclaimed TV show, “The Bugman”, made a Whistle Stop tour, so to speak, of the Whistling Frog habitat near the Catlins, Whistling Frog Cafe on Wednesday 21st January.
He was on his way to Riverton and mentioned that he was excited to see how the cafe, owned by Paul and Lynn Bridson, were preserving the habitat of this rare little frog.
He said that he hadn’t been to the Catlins in about five years and was excited to see that there are conservation efforts to preserve these frogs which have been decimated by a virulent frog fungus in many parts of New Zealand.
Paul is hoping to work with Mr Phil Burgess, the frog specialist, at Otago University, to build an interactive exhibit, at the cafe as many guests are intrigued by their froggie inhabitants and want to see an adult frog, which are extremely small and reclusive.
But more about the Whistling Frog:
Light brown with patches of green,begins off as big as your thumbnail, then grows to 3-4 cm long (1 inch =2.5cm)
Habitat: Arboreal tanks are prefferred, perhaps of the 20 gallon size.
Spray their habitat with distilled water once a day and keep the temp around 76 degrees F. They also love moss.
These frogs are known to hibernate.
Diet: Bloodworms, Fruitflies, small crickets, aphids. Other treats include whiteworm colonies, ants from the backyard, and mealworms. Habits: The male's whistling call can be heard throughout the year.
This frog produces a loud mating call which is a cricket-like trilled creak or whistle. Miscellaneous Facts: The Whistling Tree frog is one of the New Zealand frogs. It is found in a variety of habitats including coastal swamps, lagoons and dry and wet forests. At breeding time they gather around dams, ponds, creeks and waterholes.