How to Care for Your Red Eyed Or Green Tree Frog
Red Eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) are small (2-3”), nocturnal, arboreal frogs native to the tropical rainforests of Mexico and Central America. They are notable for their bright red eyes, orange feet and green bodies with blue and white striped legs. Their body color ranges from chartreuse to Kelly green, can vary in color at different times of the day or night and on occasion can be flecked with white spots. Green tree frogs (Hyla cinerea) are of similar size and are bright green with small spots on their back that can vary in color. They are native to southeastern United States and their care is similar to that of the Red Eyed Tree Frog. It is not advised to keep these two species together since green tree frogs tend to be more aggressive about catching food. Male frogs of both species are smaller than the females and tend to croak or call. The rest of this care sheet will refer to them together as “Tree Frogs”, but the information is limited to care of the two species in the care sheet title. These tree frogs are easy to keep and are generally considered to be a beginner pet.
Tree Frogs are arboreal and spend relatively little time on the ground or in the water. They are frequently kept in groups of 3-4; an all female group, or a single male with 2-3 females is the recommended mix. Tree Frogs will appreciate a tall enclosure. An ExoTerra 18”x18”x24” is highly recommended. They require a fairly densely planted enclosure with either live or artificial plants. Since they tend to orient themselves upwards, a front-opening enclosure is best to reduce the chances of them escaping. Many Tree Frogs are kept in planted enclosures with an expanded clay ball and mesh drainage layer topped by coco fiber or other vivarium soil mix. The plants in the enclosure should be sturdy. Broad leafed plants, such as pothos or sansevieria are appreciated by the frogs for sleeping on during the day. Tree Frogs can also be kept on non-particulate substrates such as paper towel with real plants in pots or artificial plants. A shallow water dish should be provided for the frogs to soak in. The water should be free of chlorine and chloramines. Water conditioner products designed for turtle enclosures will work well for treating tap water. Distilled water should not be used. It’s important to clean the water dish regularly.
Heating and Lighting
Tree Frogs do best with daytime temperatures in the high 70’s to low 80’s. They will tolerate a temperature drop into the high 60’s at night. Supplemental heat can be provided during cold weather by attaching heat cable or tape to the side or back of the enclosure. Although Tree Frogs are nocturnal, it is a good idea to provide them with a low wattage full spectrum UV light. They may receive vitamin D3 from the light while sleeping on leaves during the day. In addition, although their feeders should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3, there is a chance that the feeders will groom the supplements off before the frogs have a chance to = consume them. Fluorescent bulbs decrease in the amount of UVB emitted with time. It’s safest to replace the bulb every 6 months, though a more accurate schedule can be determined if a UV meter is purchased and used to check UV levels. If live plants are used, adequate lighting and a bulb that promotes plant growth should be chosen and run on a timer to allow a maximum of 12 hours of extra “daylight”. Humidity of at least 80% in the evenings should be provided by heavily misting each night. Humidity levels can decrease during the day.
Food and Supplementation
Tree Frogs are insectivorous (insect eating). They will eat crickets and medium sized Dubia Roaches. Some may also enjoy moths or house flies. They can be fed 2-3 times a week. Tree Frogs require calcium, vitamin D3 and other vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development. Live prey should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3 every other feeding.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to Tree Frogs, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.