The Pet Corner
The Pet Corner covers the know-hows for taking care of pets within the wizarding world every other Thursday. A pet will be chosen every week ranging from those students can have at Hogwarts (ie. mouse, cat, etc) to the wild and sometimes elusive advanced creatures (ie. hippogriff, dragons?) as the topic. Because we all know animals come in different species, the pet guide will also be specific to the species of the chosen pet. Today's guide will be about one of the best creature names on WoP, the Harlequin Toad!
Surprisingly, Harlequin toad is actually the common name of the toad genus Atelopus, not a single frog species. There are 32 known species of Harlequin toads beautifully ranging in bright colors from highlighter pink, to aqua green, to everything else one can imagine. They are native along Central America through South America within the diverse tropical forest habitats. In fact, the tropical rainforests are so diverse that quite a few Harlequin toads were recent discoveries over the last decade. Small in size, only a few centimeters long, they can live up to 10 years in captivity, a long time for something so small. In this edition of The Pet Corner, I will be specifically covering the Costa Rican Harlequin toad, the most likely variation for older students on WoP in the Magical Menagerie at Diagon Alley.
Did you know harlequin toads are specialized ant eaters (not the animal anteater)? Even so, they would often actively hunt for other small insects such as gnats and flies.
How to Take Care of Them
Since harlequin toads mainly eat small insects, the best food you can feed your new buddy are small insects such as gnats, flies, beetles, and ants. Although you can let your harlequin toad catch food on its own, you can also feed it some dead flies available at the Magical Menagerie.
In the wild, harlequin toads take shelter within the leaf litter on the forest floor, usually near a small stream. To accommodate all these features, I recommend giving your friend a nice roomy terrarium with leaf litter, a small bowl of water for it to wade in or take a drink, and something that can give some shade for the toad on hot days.
Fortunately, there aren’t any known predators of these toads here in the UK and they are generally not aggressive to animals that are not their kind. The only thing a pet owner should be cautious about is swimming. DO NOT LET YOUR HARLEQUIN TOAD GO SWIMMING IN DEEP WATER! Harlequin toads like most toads are poor swimmers so don’t throw your new toad into a nearby river for a swim! Instead, you can let your amphibian friend swim in a shallow bowl or a tiny creek. Also, be very careful with your toad’s interactions with other pets as they secrete toxins on their skins. Luckily it’s not toxic to us but be sure to mind interactions with “pouncy” pets.
Even though my advice to everyone this week is not specific to harlequin toads, it is problem that I’ve been noticing from many of my friends and myself this year.
It seems like this IG year, WoP has finally activated that used-to-be-always-filled green hunger bar, causing a devastating problem throughout the school: runaway pets.
Here are some of my tips for any of you that are experiencing difficulties with maintaining your pets:
- Feed your pet every 2-3 days.
- I've found that 5 Galleon food items give only a slightly smaller hunger level boost than 2 Universal Pet Food. So for those of you who don't have the opportunity to actively login or stay on for long, I recommend buying/feeding your pets the 5 Galleon food items every 3 days.
- Save up your money in Gringotts!
- I know how tempting it is to splurge all your Galleons on Chocolate Frog Cards (Believe me I've been there :) ) but the daily interest from Gringotts can really help you with having the money to buy your pet food without having to spend extra time grading/completing homework for more Galleons specifically for pet food. I ESPECIALLY recommend this if you are someone like me who has a million pets to feed because of all the Galleons required to maintain them. To help with your budget planning, 200 Galleons in Gringotts would yield 2 Galleons in interest, 1000 yield 10 in interest, and so on. (Trust me. This works. I haven't had to earn a single Galleon for my pets once.)
Keep in mind that the hunger level bar only needs to be filled about a little over halfway to satisfy your pets’ hunger so don't stress out over needing to fill up the whole bar. :)
The amount of cuddling has also been increased this year!
- If you want your pets to be happy(you can gain daily experience points for each happy pet), then I recommend 5-6 cuddles per day. Start a pet cuddling group within your friends to try to meet this goal.
- If you don’t want your pets to be depressed, then I recommend 3 cuddles per day.
Thanks for reading this installment of The Pet Corner! If you wish for me to mention a specific pet, please comment below or owl me and remember to write down the specific species if applicable.
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