The White’s tree frog (Ranoidea caerulea) is also known as the “dumpy tree frog” or “Australian green tree frog.” These frogs are 3-5” long, nocturnal, arboreal amphibians native to Australia and New Guinea. They generally prefer moist forests for habitat.
White’s tree frogs have smooth skin, squat bodies, large round toes, and horizontal pupils. They are gray-green or blue-green in color, with pale bellies. Their most distinctive feature, however, is the droopy ridge of fat above/behind each eye.
White’s tree frogs are popular as pets because of their size and hardiness. With good care, they have a lifespan of up to 20+ years.
Minimum terrarium size for White’s tree frogs
The absolute minimum terrarium size for one White’s tree frog is 18”L x 18”W x 24”H. Of course, larger is always better if you can manage it! Offering more space means you can provide a more varied landscape and more room for the frogs to explore and exercise.
Cohabitation (keeping multiple White’s tree frogs in one enclosure) is common practice, as these frogs seem to get along well in groups. However, cohabitation is not a requirement, and they also do well when housed singly.
Do White’s tree frogs need UVB?
They seem to be able to survive without it, but we still recommend providing appropriate UVB lighting as part of the setup. UVB lighting helps provide a clear day/night cycle, provides all of the vitamin D that your pet needs, strengthens the immune system, facilitates better digestion, and provides other benefits.
The best UVB bulbs for White’s tree frogs are:
- Zoo Med T8 Reptisun 5.0
- Arcadia ShadeDweller
For best results, house the UVB bulbs in a reflective fixture, 50-100% the length of the enclosure. Position the lamp over the mesh lid on the same side of the terrarium as the heat lamp, and place the basking branch no closer than 6” below the lamp (UVB intensity varies by distance from the bulb).
UVB is blocked by glass and plastic, so placing the terrarium in front of a window doesn’t count as “free UVB” — in fact it can make your terrarium too hot due to the greenhouse effect. Don’t forget to replace your bulb every 12 months!
Lights should be on for 12 hours/day.
Best temperature for White’s tree frogs
Like other amphibians, White’s tree frogs are cold-blooded, which means that they rely on external temperatures to manage their own body temperature and metabolism. Although amphibians are generally not as dependent on thermal gradients as reptiles, it’s still important to make sure your frog can thermoregulate as needed.
White’s tree frogs should have a basking air temperature around 82-84°F, an average ambient temperature of 74-76°F, and nighttime temps as low as 65°F. Air temperatures should be measured with at least two digital probe thermometers.
Provide heat for your frog with a low-wattage white heat bulb, placed over a basking branch or large artificial leaf. Do not use ceramic heat emitters, deep heat projectors, or colored bulbs, as these are not as effective.
Best humidity levels for White’s tree frogs
As amphibians, White’s tree frogs can’t live without ready access to water. However, this species is more resistant to dehydration than most other frogs. Average air humidity can be as low as 50%, but daily spikes up to around 70% are recommended. Humidity should be measured via digital probe hygrometer, with the probe placed in the middle of the terrarium.
Increase humidity by misting your frog’s enclosure 1x/day with a spray bottle. Mist first thing in the morning and then again at night, preferably when the lights are off.
Amphibians are sensitive to chemicals present in their environment, and even the type of water that you use for misting and drinking. Use dechlorinated tap water or spring water for misting and drinking, not distilled or reverse-osmosis.
Best substrate for White’s tree frogs
Providing a thick layer of naturalistic substrate (“bedding”) will help maintain correct humidity levels and helps make your enclosure more attractive! We recommend the following substrates for White’s tree frogs:
Remove poop and urates daily, along with contaminated substrate. Substrate should be totally replaced every month if you are not running a bioactive setup.
How to decorate a White’s tree frog terrarium
An empty terrarium makes for a bored frog, reducing its quality of life. Keep your pet entertained and engaged with its environment with the strategic use of decor items that encourage it to exercise natural behaviors!
Here are some décor ideas to get your started:
Make sure your frog has covered areas to retreat to when it wants privacy.
What to feed to a White’s tree frog
White’s tree frogs are primarily insectivorous, which means that they need to eat live insect prey in order to get the right nutrition. 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.
Food options for White’s tree frogs:
- Black soldier fly larvae and flies
- Discoid roaches
- Dubia roaches
- Mealworm beetles
You will need to keep calcium and multivitamin supplements on hand to help prevent your frog from developing a nutritional deficiency, helping it live healthier. We recommend Repashy Calcium Plus LoD, lightly dusted on prey before each feeding.
Of course, don’t forget a small, shallow water bowl for your frog to drink from and soak in! Change the water daily and scrub the bowl with an amphibian-safe disinfectant weekly, or whenever it becomes soiled.
How to handle your White’s tree frog
Amphibians generally don’t appreciate petting and handling in the same way that dogs and cats do, but as far as amphibians go, White’s tree frogs can be fairly handleable. However, each individual is different, so while some may tolerate handling well, others may be very stressed by it. Get to know your particular frog and handle accordingly.
To handle your frog, wear a pair of nitrile gloves and grasp them gently but firmly. The last thing you want is for them to jump out of your hand! And of course, make sure to wash your hands after working with your frog or their enclosure.
If you would like to interact with your pet without handling, try offering food via soft-tipped feeding tongs.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. Although it’s a good introduction, please further your research with high-quality sources. The more you know, the better you will be able to care for your pet!