How to Care for Your White's Tree Frog
White’s tree frogs (Ranoidea caerulea) are also known as dumpy tree frogs and Australian green tree frogs. They are medium-sized, nocturnal, arboreal amphibians native to northern/eastern Australia and southern New Guinea. They prefer moist, forested environments, but are known to adapt well to living in other environments.
White’s tree frogs are pudgy, 3-5” frogs with smooth skin, large round toes, and horizontal pupils. Their coloring is gray-green or blue-green skin and a creamy belly. They can be easily identified by the fatty ridge of droopy flesh above/behind each eye.
White’s tree frogs are quite hardy for amphibians, making them beginner-level frogs. With good care, they can live 15-20 years.
How much space do White’s tree frogs need?
18”L x 18”W x 24”H is a good starting point for housing one or two White’s tree frogs. Of course, larger is always better!
Cohabitation (keeping multiple tree frogs in one enclosure) is fairly common, as these frogs seem to do well in groups. However, they can do well when housed alone as well.
Do White’s tree frogs need UVB?
They can certainly survive without it, but it’s still best practice to provide low levels of UVB lighting for optimal health and wellbeing. Providing UVB lighting to your frog gives them all of the vitamin D that their body needs, stimulates better appetite and activity, and generally allows them to be healthier than they would be without.
The best UVB bulbs for White’s tree frogs are:
- Zoo Med T8 Reptisun 5.0
- Arcadia ShadeDweller
The UVB bulb should be roughly the same length as the enclosure, and housed in a reflective fixture. The basking branch should be placed so the frog can’t get closer than 6” below the lamp. If necessary, you can increase the distance between the basking branch and UVB lamp by lifting the lamp up on spacer blocks. UVB is blocked by glass and plastic, so you can’t give your frog UVB by placing its terrarium in front of an open window. UVB bulbs decay over time, so don’t forget to replace your bulb every 12 months to maintain good performance.
Lights should be on 12 hours/day and turned off at night.
What basking temperatures do White’s tree frogs need?
White’s tree frogs are ectotherms, which means that they rely on the temperature of their environment to help regulate their metabolism and stay healthy. If they’re too cold, they won’t have enough energy to stay active and digest their food. If they’re too warm, they can die from heat stress.
The ambient temperature of the enclosure should stay between 74-76°F during the day, and may drop as low as 65°F at night. It is best to provide a “basking” area at the top of the enclosure around 82-84°F. Measure air temperatures with a digital probe thermometer, with the probe placed in the middle of the enclosure.
To create the basking area, use a dome-style heat lamp with a low-wattage, white incandescent heat bulb. This simulates a sunbeam coming through the canopy, and provides an area of warmth for the frog to use as desired. If it’s too hot, use a lamp dimmer to dial it down. If too cool, you’ll need a higher wattage bulb.
What humidity levels do White’s tree frogs need?
As far as amphibians go, White’s tree frogs are quite resistant to dehydration. However, they still need plenty of moisture in their environment to stay healthy. Air humidity should average around 50%, with daily spikes up to around 70%, as measured by a digital probe hygrometer. Humidity will naturally be lower during the day than at night. Misting your frog’s enclosure 2-3x daily with a sprayer will help create the right humidity levels. Using an automatic misting system and/or fogger can also be helpful.
Do not use distilled or reverse-osmosis water for misting amphibians, as this can be harmful to their skin. Instead, use dechlorinated tap water or spring water. This same rule applies to any drinking water that is provided. However, distilled is fine to use with foggers.
What substrate is good for White’s tree frogs?
White’s tree frogs require a thick layer of moisture-retentive substrate to help maintain healthy humidity levels. As an added perk, it also tends to make the enclosure more attractive.
This substrate should have small particles and hold moisture well. It should also be able to support plant life if you are using live plants, such as Zoo Med ReptiSoil. Bioactive substrate is arguably best for allowing minimally invasive husbandry, but if you’d rather not go this route, coconut fiber or sphagnum moss layered with leaf litter works well.
If you are not using a bioactive setup, substrate should be replaced monthly in order to maintain good hygiene.
What décor can you use in a White’s tree frog terrarium?
It’s terribly boring for a frog to be stuck in an enclosure with nothing in it. It doesn’t matter how big the enclosure is if you don’t put things in it for your pet to use and interact with.
Décor options for White’s tree frogs include:
- cork tubes
- live or artificial plants
Whatever you choose to use, make sure that the frog has cover to hide in so they can feel secure in their environment.
What do White’s tree frogs eat?
White’s tree frogs are insectivores, which means that they need to eat insect prey in order to get the nutrition that they need. Young frogs should be fed daily, but adults should be fed every 2-3 days to prevent obesity. Offer as many insects in one feeding as the frogs will clean up in about 15 minutes.
Insect options for White’s tree frogs:
- Black soldier fly larvae and flies
- Discoid roaches
- Dubia roaches
For best results, offer as much variety in your frogs’ diet as possible. Feeders should be offered live and measure no wider than the space between the frog’s eyes.
White’s tree frogs need vitamin and mineral supplements to enjoy optimal health. Dust their feeder insects with Repashy Calcium Plus LoD before each feeding.
Do White’s tree frogs like to be handled?
Very few amphibians actually “like” to be held, but White’s tree frogs tolerate it better than most. They have bold personalities and can get quite used to humans. However, handling is still stressful for them, so it’s best not to handle them very often.
Before picking up your frog, put on a pair of disposable gloves. Then scoop it up from below or let it hop onto your hand. Grasp it firmly but gently, and keep handling time to a minimum. If you would like to interact with your pet, a better method is to offer food via soft-tipped feeding tongs.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. Although it’s a good introduction, please do further research with high-quality sources to obtain additional information on caring for this species.