White's Tree Frog Care Sheet

Description

White’s Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea), known as Dumpy Tree Frogs are medium sized (4”), nocturnal, arboreal frogs native to parts of Australia and New Guinea.  They range from medium green to turquoise, with depending on the condition they may exhibit small white or gold spots visible on their backs.  They can change their colors in response to temperature, their mood and the humidity. They are available for purchase as pets during summer and the fall. Getting a captive tree frog as a pet is preferable as wild caught tree frogs are known to carry parasites and other diseases. You can buy one as a pet where most other reptiles and amphibians are also found, at reptile shows, petstores and online retailers. When choosing one to take home you want to look for a frog that has a good appetite, is bright eyed and also is not skinny.

 

Lifespan

White's Tree Frogs have been known to live up to 20 years, but most of the time they will live from 7-10 years in captivity. As is common with other types of frog they will use camouflage as a defense mechanism when they need to, due to this being their only defense mechanism against potential predators, in the wild they tend to have a shorter lifespan when compared to those kept in captivity.

 

Housing

White’s Tree Frogs are arboreal and will spend the majority of their time climbing up branches or hanging out in the water, they won't stay on the ground very much if at all.  They are usually kept in groups of 3-4; an all female group, or a single male with 2-3 females is the suggested mix for best results.  Tree Frogs need a tall enclosure, height is more important to them than floor space.  The ExoTerra 18”x18”x24” (30 gallons) is highly recommended. It is essential that they are housed in an enclosure that is densely populated with plants for them, the plants can either be real or artificial  As they tend to climb and hump upwards, it is advised that you use a front opening tank so that they don't escape when it is opened.  Many White’s 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. White’s 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 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

White’s 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 White’s 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.  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”.

White’s  Tree Frogs come from a somewhat more arid climate than most other types of tree frogs. Humidity of 50-60% is adequate and can be achieved by misting every other day, you can also use a water bowl with bottled spring water or dechlorinated tap water, this helps with sudden humidity changes and the frogs need a source of water.

 

Food and Supplementation

White’s Tree Frogs are primarily insectivorous (insect eating) though some enjoy a pinkie mouse periodically. You should always ensure that their feeders are gut-loaded. They will eat crickets and medium sized Dubia Roaches, for variety, they can also be fed moths, earthworms, house flies, mealworms or small superworms.  They are voracious eaters and need to be monitored to insure they don’t become obese, feed the frogs as much as they will eat in a 10-15 minute period, adults should be fed 2-3 times per week, youngers frogs every 1-2 days. For best feeding success, try our ___ variety pack. 

White’s 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.

 

Handling

White's Tree Frogs can be handled and are considered to be a beginner pet, which is in contrast to a lot of other amphibians, the more you handle them the more they won't mind it and can be quite tame. Any handling should be done with care due to the delicate nature of their skin and basic sanitary procedures should be followed before and after.

 

Breeding

When in the wild, these frogs tend to breed after heavy rainfall which can be simulated in their captive environment when breeding. Using a rain chamber is the best way to do this, the male and female will meet at still and slow moving water to mate, females lay hundreds of eggs at one time that are fertilized by the male as they are produced. Eggs take two to three days to hatch and the tadpoles will feed on standard food for aquarium fish. They will start to morph over the first two months but can stay in the tadpole stage for up to a year. The  "Froglets" are very small and need to be fed daily with tiny insects such as pinhead crickets and fruit flies which need to be dusted with calcium, until they grown and are able to take the same foods as adult frogs.