We’re a private wildlife sanctuary located west of Brisbane, Australia and we house over 1,000 animals and more than 300 species.
Green tree frogs are one of the most popular pet frogs. They are just fantastic and enchanting-looking creatures. With their harmless nature and distinct physical characteristics, there is no doubt as to why many people keep them as pets. Although they are only a minor concern for extinction, these major amphibians still deserve proper care and attention to help with their reproduction and preservation.
Other Common Names for Green Tree Frogs
- Australian green tree frog
- White's tree frog
- dumpy tree frog
Physical Characteristics and Behavior
Like other tree frogs, the green tree frog has large expanded discs on the tips of its toes and fingers, and its toes are fully webbed. A pair of large parotid glands extend back from the eyes onto the shoulders.
Their eyes are usually a pale gold, while their thighs vary in color from yellow to maroon. The green tree frog's skin is smooth, and the top part of the frog ranges from a bright green to a dull, dark-olive green in color. The underside color can vary from white to brownish-white or pinkish. They normally have a series of white spots from the corner of their mouth to the base of their forearm.
Female green tree frogs can grow up to 10 cm (4 inches), while males are a little smaller at 7.5 cm (3 inches). The largest known size is 15 cm (6 inches). They live up to about 16 years.
These tree frogs are wonderfully curious and have individual personalities and antics. They often stick to the surface of leaves or trees and look longingly at a certain spot.
Like many frogs, green tree frogs call and make "barking" sounds. They do this not only to attract mates, but to advertise their location, usually after a rain, for reasons that are still unknown to researchers.
Green tree frogs catch food with their strong jaws and often will use a hand to force the food down. They are carnivorous and have been known to consume a diverse array of prey including:
- Small birds and bats
- Other frogs
- Small mice (in captivity)
Green tree frogs live throughout the eastern and northern parts of Australia. They prefer cool, damp places, but in more arid areas, they will often use human habitation for shelter. They can be found around human dwellings in places such as shower blocks, water tanks, and toilets.
Although they adjust well to human habitation, their natural habitats are in ponds, creeks, and trees. These natural habitats, however, are slowly disappearing because houses are being built on land that has been cleared for urbanization.
Reproduction and Conservation
The main danger to the green tree frog is the destruction of its habitat through wetland clearance and drainage. In addition to this, the frog is also threatened by a type of fungus called "chytrid fungus" which attacks the frog's skin.
Researchers are currently and very closely examining the effects and spread of this pathogen as it appears to have caused the decline of several species of frogs in Australia and South America.
Adopting a Green Tree Frog
Before deciding to adopt them into your yard, it is important to consider some important things.
What to Consider Before Adopting a Tree Frog
- Don't overfeed them. Green tree frogs tend to become obese if overfed.
- In the wild, exertion of energy is required for a frog to capture its prey. Make sure they have enough space to explore.
- They can make a lot of noise long into the night.
- Set up a terrarium. This provides an environment that closely resembles their natural habit and ensures that they survive so they can continue enchanting more people.
Croaking Green Tree Frog
itsjustmelfg1964 on April 05, 2020:
Wouldn't it be better if we just left them in their environment instead of taking away their freedom. Also they have a better chance of surviving in their own natural habitat and catching their own food instead of depending on somebody to hopefully feed them correctly.
dog cunt on April 02, 2020:
can frogs sing
Bridget on October 19, 2019:
Do these frogs smell at all
nibba on July 24, 2019:
Gay on May 21, 2019:
wwwwsssssssssssssssssss on May 21, 2019:
Hunter on March 28, 2019:
I have 3 green tree frogs and a gold bell frog and they are so good this site helped me a lot thanks!!!
Daniel Barton on May 10, 2018:
I live in a mechanic shop that i run in riverdale ga.my two pets are Rufus a ausie.shepard an Hermit the shop bathroom green tree frog.
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on December 18, 2017:
Tree frogs are just so gorgeous! That picture of the frog in the spider web made me feel sick, but that photo was at least soon followed by that adorable girl with two of those beauties!
Laila T on June 22, 2017:
I just got a new Green Tree Frog! I love him/her so much I keep her with an Anole, Long Tailed Lizard, and two other frogs.
tori vredeveld on April 30, 2017:
they must be very good pet frogs!
Rythegreat on April 05, 2017:
Thank you so much this is very informative and I think this is a really cool article
kylie on December 17, 2015:
First green tree frog owners as of today...And we're all in love with Cormet & Freddo lol..They are so cute
Lola on November 18, 2012:
I have two as pets I love them to bits, couldn't just get one had to get two so they don't get lonely lol, I've got a Hugh set up for them they have so much space.. My staffie likes to sit and watch them a lot :) :)
Auntie D from California on May 29, 2011:
They are cute and really quite harmless. I have one who comes back to my pond every year. Nice and informative article.
frogs on November 17, 2010:
i realy love the green tree frogs my daugther has one as a pet.ive got several items of the green tree frog around my home (just lov them)iam also have the user name as frogs
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
John - Posted on June 27, 2018 - 23 Comments -
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are likely the most well-known frogs in the world. Certainly among treefrogs, to say the least. With their big red eyes, orange feet, and bright green skin with blue sides, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. They make great pets too. I don’t recommend them for beginners but they’re not extremely difficult to care for either. That’s what this guide is for, showing you how to properly care for Red-Eyed Tree Frogs.
In this care sheet, I’ll recommend cage sizes, show you all the supplies you need, explain how to best feed them, and teach you how breeding them. Before I get into that, I encourage you to read the “In the Wild” section to learn where RETFs (Red-Eyed Tree Frogs) comes from how they behave in their natural environment.
The 5 Best Frogs & Toads for Beginners
When determining the best frogs for beginners, I had to first establish some criteria. I decided the upkeep should be minimum, the cost low, and most importantly, the frog should be hardy. That is, a frog for beginners should be able to withstand a little neglect. They should be durable enough to withstand the typical mistakes beginners are bound to make sooner or later. With that in mind, I think I’ve come up with a great list of frogs that meet these criteria.
I did my best to include each type of frog a terrestrial type, aquatic, and arboreal. Terrestrial frogs are notoriously easy to care for, they include species like toads and other mostly land dwelling frogs.
Aquatic frogs aren’t quite as well-known but they’re available and the one I selected is very easy to care for.
Then there are the arboreal frogs, the treefrogs. This one was difficult. Tree frogs are usually a bit more difficult to care for. They require a vertical terrarium and most of them are kind of fragile. But fear not, I’ve got the perfect tree frog for beginners and you can read more about them below.
African Dwarf Frog
The only aquatic frog on this list is the African Dwarf Frog. There are several aquatic frog species around the world, but none are as easy to care for as the ADF. That’s my opinion anyway. African Dwarf Frogs are often confused with African Clawed Frogs, even in commercial pet stores. This is due to their incredibly similar appearance. Both are very easy to care for, but the ADF seems to be more commonly available.
To keep an African Dwarf Frog, you’ll need a 10-gallon aquarium minimum. The size of the tank really depends on your preference and your wallet. You can go as big as you want, just be sure the height of the aquarium is no more than 12″. These frogs, while aquatic, need to swim to the top of the water to catch a breath of air once in a while. Due to this, it’s best to keep them in water no deeper than 12 inches.
Feeding them is fun and simple. They’re known for eating just about any type of organic material that floats in front of them. Also, it helps that specialty food is available. This is due to their popularity, of course. They’re sold at virtually every pet store you walk into. For more information on African Dwarf Frogs, check the care sheet section of this website.
Red-belly Toad (Bumble Bee Toad)
Red-belly Toads from South America are often confused with another type of a frog, a more popular species The oriental fire-bellied toad. Both of which are easy to care for but these are easier. They’re great for beginners. They require such small space that a 10-gallon terrarium might actually be overkill. A 10-gallon critter cage will easily hold 6 red-belly toads, maybe more.
The chores to caring for these frogs is typical feed and mist daily, change the water as needed, and clean occasionally. Probably 15 – 20 minutes of upkeep each week. Feeding them is a little different than larger frogs. Because they’re so small, they need a diet consisting of tiny insects. Things like fruit flies, springtails, and pinhead crickets. All of which are available online or in commercial pet stores.
There are currently 8 species in the Certophrys Genus, all of which are commonly referred to as Pacman Frogs. Another common name they’re known by is “South American Horned Frog”. These are easily the 2nd most popular frogs kept as pets today, second only to poison-dart frogs. And for good reason their looks are amazing, it’s fun to watch them eat, and they’re super easy to care for.
They spend the majority of their time burrowed into the substrate. Also, they’re nocturnal so you won’t see them moving around very often. When you do get a chance to observe them, it’s quite entertaining. Their plump, round bodies and gigantic mouth make for quite the spectacle around feeding time.
As far as supplies and availability, buying a Pacman Frog won’t set you back too much. A 10-gallon terrarium, some coco-husk fiber substrate, a small water dish, and maybe a plant decoration and you’re good to go. Of course, you’ll need food too. They eat the common items you can readily pick up at your local pet store crickets, mealworms, waxworms, pinkie mice, etc. As far as the price goes, you can usually find these guys for $20 – $40. A rare color morph might cost a little extra but that’s to be expected.
One thing to know about these frogs is they’re cannibalistic. Only one Pacman Frog should be kept in a terrarium. Should you decide to breed Pacman Frogs, things might get a bit tricky. Ensure they’re well fed before introducing them into the same enclosure. Anway, if you want to learn more about these frogs, check out our full guide in the care sheet section of this website.
American Toads are the epitome of the perfect frog for beginners. Well, they’re actually toads. True Toads to be precise. You see, there is a difference between a frog and a toad but that’s a topic for another post. Anyway, American Toads or Anaxyrus americanus actually describes three species the Eastern American toad, Dwarf American toad, and Hudson Bay toad.
The reason they’re so easy to care for is that they require so little. They will eat nearly anything you put in front of them, a 10-gallon terrarium will suffice, and they’re really hardy. Most people don’t seek out a place to buy them because they’re usually caught in the wild and kept as pets. While I certainly don’t agree with doing that, it’s just the way it is. I remember being a kid and keeping basically anything my parents would let me, American Toads included.
That’s not an excuse to treat them poorly though. They still have requirements. A nice substrate like eco earth or plantation soil in a 10 to 20-gallon terrarium with a small, shallow water dish is needed. Clean, dechlorinated water should be provided at all times. Also, a nice hollow log, some leaf litter, and plants (real or fake) will help them feel more comfortable. They should be fed regularly and their food needs to be dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements.
Gray Tree Frog
I spent some time debating whether or not to add Gray Tree Frogs to this list. They’re not very difficult to care for, but they’re a little more complicated than your average toad. When I consider a frog “easy” to care for, I look at the upkeep time and how delicate the frog is. Most frogs are actually very easy to care for, but some of them are more delicate than others. The Gray Tree Frog is not one of them. They’re fairly hardy, especially for a tree frog. That’s the other reason I added them to this list, I wanted to recommend a good tree frog for beginners.
One of the neat things about the Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) is its ability to change colors. If you’ve never heard about this frog, you’re probably looking at the picture above and wondering why I keep calling them a “Gray tree frog”. Well, its because they can be gray or green, depending on their surroundings.
I actually found a large one hanging out on my in-law’s window this week. My son HAD to hold him. So after washing our hands in a nearby rain puddle, I grabbed the frog and handed him to my son. He loved it. The frog, not so much. He jumped off the first chance he got and we watched as he disappeared into the grass. He was in great shape, had thick, strong legs and a healthy body. Their overall size is small, but for a treefrog, they’re kind of big. They’re a far cry different from skinny Red-Eyed Tree Frogs. Anyway, I told this story as an example of how hardy they are compared to other tree frogs.
They need a vertical terrarium. Something taller than it is wide. An 18″ x 18″ x 24″ terrarium will house several Gray Tree Frogs. A smaller terrarium, 12″ x 12″ x 18″ will work for one to two at most. They can be kept at room temperature or a little warmer. They will tolerate a wide range of humidity levels but its best to mist their enclosure twice daily. Keep the humidity around or above 50% or a slightly higher. An occasional spike in humidity is recommended.
The frogs listed above just happen to be the ones I think are easy to care for. Truth be told, most frogs are easy to care for provided you do the proper research and planning. Anyway, I’ll make a short list of a few more frogs that are easy to care for, but that didn’t make the list above because I was too lazy to write about them!
The list continues! Each new care sheet I add to this website gets tagged as, beginner, intermediate, or advanced. While the list is currently small, I will continue adding more. Check the beginner’s list by clicking here or by using the main navigation at the top of this page.
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Tree Frog Cages
Tree frogs require a moist environment if they are to be happy. For this reason glass reptile tanks tend to suit them best. If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, tree frogs also like to spend time off the ground most commonly sitting in trees and other foliage.
For this reason it is critical that a tree frog cage is tall enough to allow the inclusion of some plant material in which they can climb, explore and hunt.
However whilst tree frogs require a moist environment, their cage shouldn’t be allowed to get too wet on a consistent basis. Doing so can allow mould to grow within the tank, and can lead to respiratory problems in amphibians.
The best cages for tree frogs are consequently those composed primarily of glass, which fascinates excellent visibility and humidity control, but which also has a mesh area. Excess moisture can then evaporate through these vents, allowing air circulation.
Choosing Your American Green Tree Frog
Frogs can make lovely pets, but frogs in the wild are facing population declines and extinction due to human encroachment. If you take in a wild-caught frog as a pet, it may have diseases or health issues.
Buy a locally captive-bred frog from a reputable breeder and make sure it tested free of disease. You can usually find a breeder through an exotics veterinarian, another frog owner, or a reptile expo. Reptile shows typically have amphibians on display and for sale, too. Most American green tree frogs cost about $10.
Look for an active, alert animal that has clear eyes with skin that looks free of bumps or cuts. If you can watch it eat before deciding, that's ideal most frogs will not refuse food unless they're unwell. Likewise, if the frog you are considering seems lethargic or is having trouble breathing, or if its abdomen seems bloated, these may be signs of illness.