Black Rain Frog Care: Creating the Perfect Environment At Home

Are you a lover of exotic pets? Then, you may feel excited to keep a black rain frog which is popular as a frowning frog. These rare species of rain frogs show naturally perpetual frowning that makes them grumpy. So, it may be hard to find a proper care guide for creating a perfect environment for black rain frogs.

You might not find all answers to your curiosities related to black rain frog care. In this article, I’ve shed light on housing set-up, diet, handling, breeding care, and other related factors of keeping these rain frogs as pets.

So, let’s continue reading this write-up without any further ado.

Are Black Rain Frogs Easy To Take Care Of?

After seeing the profile of the black rain frog, you might have realized that these rain frogs are not typical. So, their care guide may not be as similar as others. But, these frogs are low-maintenance frogs.

Black rain frogs tend to live in the sandy areas of the southwestern coast of South Africa. Like their habitation of the wild, you should maintain a high humidity level in their closed enclosure.

Otherwise, these cute, grumpy frogs do not have any special requirements. Their diet is simple. These rain frogs do not mind being handled. In short, black rain frogs can be the first pick for beginners.

Housing the black rain frog terrarium can be a bit tricky. In addition, you should maintain their environmental conditions. Aside from these two hassles, black rain frogs are easy to take care of.

Black Rain Frog Overview

Before going into the full guide to creating a perfect enclosure, the overview of these black rain frogs will help you get an idea about their care level. So, let’s go through the following short overview of black rain frogs.

Scientific nameBreviceps fuscus
Common namesBlack rain frog, Tsitsikama rain frog, brown short-headed frog, plain rain frog, etc.
Size40-51 mm
Terrarium sizeAt least 10 gallons per frog
Optimal humidity55-80%
Optimal temperature50-75 degrees Fahrenheit
TemperamentPeaceful and quickly getting frightened
Care levelIntermediate
Lifespan4-15 years

What Do I Need To Take Care Of A Black Rain Frog?

Before bringing a black rain frog as a pet, you should keep the basic supplies to set up a perfect environment. Let’s see what you will need to take care of a black rain frog.

  1. A terrarium of 10 gallon
  2. Moisture-absorbing substrate
  3. Thermostat regulating heater
  4. Sprayer or fogger
  5. Hygrometer
  6. Thermometer
  7. Low-powered LED light
  8. A shallow water dish
  9. Live plants
  10. Varieties of insects
  11. Supplementation

How To Create A Perfect Environment For A Black Rain Frog?

If you want to keep black rain frogs as pets, you should fulfill all the environmental requirements of these frogs. Taking care of these frogs means ensuring optimal temperature, humidity, nutritious diet, etc. 

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Firstly, let’s start with the housing set-up of black rain frogs. 

Habitat Set-up

Before setting up the enclosure of your pet frog, you should know about its wild habitat first. After all, you need to mimic their wild environment in the closed space.

In the wild, the black rain frogs live in temperate forests and burrowed themselves in dunes. These frogs live in dry areas with moist environments. So, you should create a similar humid environment where these rain frogs can burrow themselves in the substrate like moistened sand.

From the description of their wild habitat, you might have realized that black rain frogs are terrestrial and fossorial. For this reason, you should choose a terrarium that has sufficient space to accommodate making layers of substrate. But, they don’t require much horizontal space since they are not climbers.

If you worry about the capacity of the tank, you should follow the rule of thumb depending on the number of frogs. It is to keep at least 10 gallons per frog in a terrarium. For an adult black rain frog, I’ll recommend choosing Exo Terra 18”×18”×18” All Glass Terrarium.

If you do not find any suitable glass terrarium, you should choose a tank made of plastic. Also, the enclosure should be light, easy to maintain, and provide good support to keep the heater, and other equipment.


The substrate is a significant element to create the perfect environment for black rain frogs. You might know that these black rain frogs have popularity as burrowing frogs.

In the wild, black rain frogs tend to create tunnels through the sand up to 8 inches. These frogs stay burrowed the entire day and emerge from the soil at night time.

When you create a habitat for black rain frogs in captivity, you should provide them sufficient space to make tunnels under the substrate. So, you should choose substrate wisely. The best option for the substrate can be blended soil with leaf litter.

You can also use sand with sphagnum moss. The moss will keep the soil absorbing moisture and remain soft. In addition, you can mix peat moss, cypress mulch, orchid barks, coco husk, etc.

If you look for a good substrate for your black rain frogs, I’ll recommend Zoo Med Eco Earth and Zoo Med Repti Soil for your pets. Make sure that the layers of the substrate can be around 25 cm deep. Otherwise, your pet rain frog will not be able to smoothly burrow itself under the substrate.


Since the black rain frogs hail from the southern coast of Africa, these frogs thrive in the Mediterranean climate. This climate refers to a humid and dry environment with sudden rainfalls. According to the optimal humidity range of black rain frogs, you should keep the humidity of the terrarium within 55-80%.

The environment should be humid and dry. For this reason, you should ensure that the humidity range should not exceed 80%.

To keep the optimal humidity range, you should spray the tank with non-chlorinated water twice a day. You can keep small vegetation and live plants in your black rain frog terrarium. Such as ferns, moss, bromeliads, etc.

This vegetation and plants will help the soil retain water. Moreover, these will keep moisture in the tank. Make sure that the substrate should not soaking wet.

See also  A Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bushveld Rain Frogs as Pets


In the wild, black rain frogs remain burrowed in the hot weather of the Mediterranean climate. If you want to mimic the similar temperature of the wild in captivity, you should keep the temperature range within 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Firstly, you should check whether the room temperature can remain within this optimal temperature range. If not, you should take the help of a heat lamp, heat bulb, or under-tank heater. The most suitable option can be a thermostat-regulating under-tank heater for your black rain frogs terrarium.

You can keep a warm and cool zone in the terrarium. For this, you need to adjust the heat mat or under-tank-heater on one side of the tank. To regulate the temperature range, you should keep a thermometer.


Since black rain frogs are nocturnal, these frogs can thrive in dim lighting. These frogs emerge from the substrate to eat or hunt during the night. So, you should let these frogs understand the cycle of day and night.

For this reason, you can add a bulb to maintain a day and night cycle of 12 hours. For the nighttime, you can add a night-specific bulb.

Décor and Accessories

Like other frog terrariums, you do not require to add several décor items. You should keep enough space for these frogs to move freely on the substrate. So, you should not overcrowd your frog tank with décors and accessories.

You can keep some real plants to absorb the moisture. Keep a few rocks and hideouts for your black rain frog.

Also, you should add a shallow water bowl to keep safe water for your pet frog. Although rain frogs do not drink or soak themselves in the water, the water will increase the humidity level in the terrarium.

Handling: Can You Handle Black Rain Frog?

You need not worry about poisons while handling black rain frogs. These frogs do not secret any poisonous secretions when they get frightened. So, touching these rain frogs are safe for the owners.

But, black rain frogs can quickly get frightened. These frogs will puff up their body and make a squeaky scream in defense. Due to their skittish nature, the experts suggest not touching these rain frogs without any emergency.

Besides, there may remain risks of transferring harmful chemicals or bacteria through their absorbing skins. Hence, you must wear gloves before touching your pet black rain frogs. Also, you should not try to pull them out of the substrate when they remain burrowed.

Tank Mates For Black Rain Frog

Before keeping tank mates for your pets, you should notice whether your pets are social. Black rain frogs have peaceful nature. But, these frogs do not get along well in groups. 

You should keep just one black rain frog in a terrarium. Do not keep any frogs of other species with your pet rain frogs. Since black rain frogs are burrower and skittish, other frogs can not thrive with these frogs.

You can keep multiple black rain frogs together only for breeding purposes.

Diet: What Does The Black Rain Frog Eat?

The root of ensuring the good health of your frog is to provide a nutritious diet. Black rain frogs are insectivores. You need to rely on the various types of insects of appropriate size for your black rain frogs.

See also  What Do Desert Rain Frogs Eat? [In Wild & Captivity]

In the wild, these rare frogs survive on flies, worms, larvae, small spiders, beetles, etc. When you keep these frogs in captivity, you should feed varieties of insects from reliable sources. You can keep crickets as the main source of protein for your black rain frogs.

In addition, you can feed them the following insects. These are-

  • Crickets
  • Springtails
  • Moths
  • Beetles
  • Beetle larvae
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Wingless fruitflies
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Hornworms
  • Bloodworms
  • Waxworms
  • Ants
  • Locusts
  • Small grasshoppers
  • Bugs
  • Caterpillars

The size of insects should not be larger than your black rain frog. Otherwise, your frog may choke while eating the insects. Moreover, it can cause impaction.

In the case of an adult black rain frog, feeding 2-3 times a week will be sufficient for them. Do not feed wild-caught insects to your black rain frogs. The most important thing to ensure is feeding them live insects.


No matter how well you take care of your pet frog, you may not ensure all facilities of the wild. As a result, there remain risks of poor bone density, malnutrition, etc. You need to apply a few tricks to prevent these possible diseases of your black rain frogs.

Gut loading is a popular method of adding more nutrition to insects. When your black rain frogs consume those insects, they may gain nutrition. Also, you can dust or sprinkle calcium and vitamin A supplementation over the insects.

According to the experts’ recommendations, I would like to suggest Repashy Calcium Plus, RepCal Herptivite, and Repashy Vitamin a Plus.


In the case of other frogs, you might notice the frogs soaking themselves in a water bowl to absorb the water. Black rain frogs live in such a climate where the summer remains dry.

On the other way, winter remains mild-wet. These frogs do not need any open sources of water to survive. But, keeping a shallow water bowl with fresh water can help raise the humidity level in the terrarium. 

Reproduction Care For Black Rain Frog

The breeding season of black rain frogs starts in the summer season from October to February. In these months, the habitation areas of these frogs remain hot and dry. But, the temperature gets lower by the cool breeze from the ocean during the night time.

You should mimic similar environmental conditions to encourage the breeding of your black rain frogs. Keep the humidity level high. But, the terrarium should remain hot and dry.

If you find any of your black rain frogs screaming during mating, you should try to separate them. When these frogs lay eggs, they keep their eggs under the substrate by making a nest. Try to minimize the noise that may frighten your black rain frogs.

An interesting fact about black rain frogs is that these frogs do not have any tadpole phase. Baby black rain frogs get hatched from the eggs. So, you should keep the terrarium ready for these baby rain frogs.

Before You Go

From this article, I hope you got a clear overview of black rain frog care and detailed guideline about creating a perfect environment for these frogs. Another cousin of the black rain frog is the desert rain frog. If you want to bring desert rain frogs as pets, you must go through the following article.

How To Take Care Of Desert Rain Frogs!

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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