The Strange Case of Dr. Spekyll & Mr. Hyde

on April 4th @ 09:50 hrs. the stork ( in this case, UPS Overnight Air… ) brought me a package… from that moment on i became the proud father of little “Spekyll & Hyde.” their names a tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, as well as being indicative of their relative ‘personalities’ ( *gasp* …if i may be so bold as to be anthropomorphic for a moment, that is..), and – of course – their phenotypical traits.

Picture 1: this first shot, taken shortly after their “sunrise,” is of Hyde on the way to his favorite sleeping perch, which is in a crook at the top of the back rock wall… ( Litoria caerulea, like most tree frogs and their immediate kin, are nocturnal. ) here you can see him ‘eye-balling’ it on the way there. he’s very methodical in his daily routine… for instance, almost every day he typically spends the first hour after ‘sunrise’ soaking in his pond / pool before climbing up to his perch to sleep the day away again. they, like us, are ‘creatures of habit…’

eye-balling favorite sleeping perch

Picture 2: this next shot is Hyde’s aforementioned favorite sleeping perch…. here he is settling down for sleep. sleep tight, little friend….

( i really like Hyde’s two little white spots on his right side…… so out of place on his otherwise uniform green body….. totally unlike Spekyll, who’ll you’ll meet in a moment.)

Picture 3: i really love this shot. Hyde seems almost noble… regal…. in his “king of the hill” pose… just brimming with pride from his successful cricket hunting ( A. domesticus ) and his obvious conquering of the drift wood jungle gym… this shot was taken just prior to the previous two… again, on his way to sleep for the day. i’ve owned a large female Aphonopelma seemani [ a very large Costa Rican tarantula ] before, and these guys ( yes, my little, cute, smiling tree frogs ) put her to shame as far as predation goesany day of the week. these little sweeties don’t ‘sit & wait’ for a damn thing… oh no, they’re active hunters. if they see movement with those large, light-gathering, pretty eyes of theirs, it’s all over for the responsible party (that is, if said party will fit inside their mouths.) Hyde in all his glory:

\

Picture 4: here’s Hyde in his ritual morning soak before sleep….

morning soak...

Picture 5: another shot of Hyde perched on the back rock wall….

Hyde perched on back rock wall of vivarium...

Picture 6: the following picture is yet another of Hyde having a nice, refreshing soak… post sucsessful cricket hunting. giving me the cold shoulder this time…. i don’t blame him, though…. i’m the huge, ugly primate chasing him with a box full of lightning!

Hyde giving me the cold shoulder...

Pictures 7 & 8: the following two shots wrap up this set of pictures of Hyde. i’m positive there will be much better material in the very near future, so check back if you like. the first is a cute shot of Hyde peeking out at me taking pictures…. the second, another shot of Hyde in the pond. i love this little guy, he’s great!

peek-a-boo!

Hyde in pond...

…. and, now: Spekyll…

Pictures 9, 10, 11, & 12: unfortunately, Spekyll was hiding when i had the good camera for the above shots… ( i’m not going to disturb my frogs for a damn picture… these guys have a typical lifespan in captivity of 15 – 20 years – i’ll get my shots, lol…) i used my brother’s cell phone to snap these shots, and the quality is poor to say the very least. (at least i was able to post some pictures of him, though… thanks Lawrence!) so, without further adieu…. i give you Spekyll.

blue froggy....

( he looks ‘big’ in these pics… but he’s only slightly larger than Hyde (4-ish cm.) …still tiny, yet. i love his spots, (hence the name, of course!) and his blue coloring! both are of an Aussie blue morph stock.

goblin!

i see spots!

( i’ll be posting some high quality pics of Spekyll very soon. these are horrible, and really DO NOT do him justice…. he’s a real beauty.)

Spekyll sleeping...

(if you look closely in the above photo you can see Spekyll’s “beauty mark” – the white spot on his upper lip. i think that’s so awesome! oh! there’s a much better shot of this mark in the very 1st picture of Spekyll too! … four images up.)

btw: i’ve been referring to both of these little guys as ‘he,’ however sexing (other than very invasive and very expensive methods) isn’t easily determined until they reach at least a semi-mature age… around a year old, from what i understand… at this time the males will expose themselves as such via their calling for females at night, etc…. and by the nuptial pads on the inside of the thumbs [ this helps the male grasp the female during amplexus]… the males will also generally have darker, looser skin under the neck than females… )

note: this is essentially only a VERY ROUGH DRAFT of this post… i wanted to at least get a shell up so people could finally see my new little friends… expect better quality shots and more information in the near future.. END.

Update: here are a couple of much better shots of Spekyll… more to follow relatively shortly.

Picture 1: here’s a much better shot of Spekyll…. ( again, as the guys were getting ready for sleep in the morning… typically, this is a period of time when they are neither hunting nor sleeping, and i can risk disturbing them with the camera’s flash… ) apparently, one of the crickets fed to them last night had managed to slip through the nightly gambit known as Spekyll & Hyde, and had survived… it was perched up top between the ‘rock’ wall and the screen top. …..hence Spekyll’s acute interest.

Spekyll with left foot on Hyde\'s head...


Picture 2: a few seconds later… after said cricket jumped for his life. he got away…. briefly.

** now, the funniest part about these two shots is the placement of Spekyll’s left foot during the entire process… all of about five minutes… that’s Hyde’s passive face Spekyll happens to be standing on. if you look under Spekyll’s left foot you can see Hyde’s nose and the top of Hyde’s left hand as well. Hyde was trying to sleep and never once ‘complained.’ …….what an alter-ego! More photographs and information to come relatively soon! END.

Spekyll with his left foot across Hyde\'s face... they stayed like this for like five minutes.. Hyde never \'complained.\'

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~ by theboardedwindow on April 26, 2008.

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