Maritime Aquarium visit Norwalk Connecticut

Review and Photos by Toadily Toads

     Recently, I received a google news alert that mentioned the permanent amphibian exhibit that is now featured at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk Connecticut. Living about 90 minutes away, it wasn't hard to get there for a visit.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I have visited several frog shows in the last three years and found that either the animals were emaciated and unhealthy looking, or there were only a few different species and it wasn't much of a display. And most shows only feature one true toad, if that. Usually its a bufo marinus or a bufo guttatus (cane toad or smooth sided toad). Once in a while they'll have a bufo alvarius (Colorado River toad). I was thrilled that the Maritime Aquarium had so many true toads. Most of them were bufo terrestris, but they also had three bufo marinus and at least one male bufo americanus that I found.

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk CT is a fabulous exception to the sad frog shows I've seen. The animals were healthy, well fed, vibrant and thriving. Other than one mature male toad (who just got done shedding and was a little anxious about getting back to the mating pond) all the other toads were very calm and well adjusted. Even with screaming kids tapping on the glass, the toads and frogs seemed to be breathing slowly and calmly and none of them were spending time trying to escape. That's always a good sign.

I spent over an hour in the amphibian exhibit and during the time there, I got a chance to speak to Becca, the biologist in charge of caring for the amphibian residents. Schooled in marine biology, she's been "bit" by the amphibian love bug! She told us how much she enjoys her amphibian friends and looks forward to seeing them every day.

The tanks are checked several times a day and the humidity and temperature is recorded. The amphibians receive crickets dusted with calcium supplement two out of three feedings (very good) and live under daylight fluorescent bulbs and not the super-hot basking lamps intended for reptiles. I was glad to see that, since all too often the animals in many places are under very hot basking lamps.

The toads were given a wonderful tank enclosure with lots of places to keep out of the light and most of them were under leaves and logs. I counted 10 toads that were visible and suspected a few might still be hiding. Becca confirmed that there were twelve toads in the tank. There were also a few gray treefrogs up in the top and a few salamanders on the ground. The salamanders didn't seem to mind the toads and visa vera. I have seen large salamanders hanging out in leaf litter in window wells with toads and frogs, separated only by space and leaves, so this isn't unnatural.

I personally do not keep multiple frogs and toads in the same tank, even when they are compatible. I find that my animals live longer when they're alone. However, if you were going to keep a multiple animal tank, the Maritime Aquarium toad tank is the way to do it. They have a large tank with lots of hiding places and they take stool samples very regularly to be sure none of the animals have parasites. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. You must be aggressive about checking for parasites when more than one animal, even of the same species is in the tank. Since separating my toads several years ago, one per tank, none of them have gotten sick with parasites or anything else.

But I digress............ The amphibian exhibit at the Maritime Museum is really great. You can expect to see a nice variety of frogs and toads in the Frog Show, as well as many beautiful, well kept tanks of all kinds of marine life in the other exhibits.

The Maritime Aquarium Frog Show in Norwalk Connecticut gets TWO FLIPPERS UP!!!!!