amphibian-care

How to Care for Red-Eyed and Green Tree Frogs

February 17, 2021

red eyed tree frog

Description

Red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) are 2-3”, nocturnal, arboreal frogs native to the tropical rainforests of Mexico and Central America. They are named for their bright red eyes, but they also feature striking orange feet and green bodies with blue and white striped legs.

Green tree frogs (Hyla cinerea) are also 2-3” long, but they are bright green with small colored spots on their back. They are native to the southeastern United States.

These frogs will be referred to cumulatively as “tree frogs” for the purposes of this care sheet, but the information is limited to care of only these two species. These tree frogs are fairly straightforward to keep and can be considered a beginner-level pet amphibian. 

Housing

Tree frogs are arboreal and spend relatively little time on the ground or in the water. This means that they need their enclosure to have enough height to allow for plenty of climbing branches. The enclosure should be no smaller than 18”L x 18”W x 24”H, and front-opening.

The enclosure should be fairly densely planted with either live or artificial plants to provide cover and help maintain humidity. The plants in the enclosure should be sturdy enough to allow for climbing, such as pothos or sansevieria. The substrate should have an expanded clay ball base, topped with mesh and followed with several inches of amphibian-safe terrarium soil. 

A shallow dish of clean water should always be available. The water should be free of chlorine and chloramines, which can be accomplished by treating tap water with amphibian-safe water conditioner. Do not use distilled water.

Humidity should rise to at least 80% in the evenings, which can be accomplished by heavily misting with a spray bottle. Using a cool mist humidifier at night can also help. Allow the enclosure to dry out during the day.

Heating and Lighting

Tree frogs do best with daytime temperatures in the high 70’s to low 80’s. Heat should be provided with a low-wattage white heat bulb.

Although tree frogs are nocturnal, it is a good idea to provide them with a low-intensity UVB light. It should be roughly the same length as the enclosure, mounted in a reflective fixture, and Zoo Med or Arcadia brand. UVB bulbs decay over time, so it will need to be replaced every 12 months to maintain performance. 

If live plants are used, you will also need a plant grow light to keep them healthy. All lights should be turned off at night.

Food and Supplementation

Tree frogs are insectivorous, which means that they eat insects. Offer insect prey 2-3 times a week, with insects being no larger than the frog’s head. Appropriate feeders include crickets, roaches, and black soldier flies. 

Feeder insects should be lightly dusted with Repashy Calcium Plus LoD at each 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.


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