Tree Frogs

An introduction to one of the most popular and easy to keep group of frogs. Tree Frogs are excellent starter species and make a great focal point in a vivarium display

Brightly colored Tree Frog

Life above water

As the name suggests, these frogs spend much of their time in trees, branches, bushes and other vegetation, often overhanging water. They have evolved disc-like pads at the end of the toes which, together with a mucus coating, allows them to climb and jump from branch to branch. They are a relatively easy to keep group of frogs and a good place for a beginner to start. They do not require a huge enclosure, although the bigger the better, and will live for up to 15 years. Whilst they can become tame and take food by hand, it is best to avoid handling as they are delicate and easily damaged if handled incorrectly.

The Vivarium

Tree frogs do not get large and several can be kept together in the same vivarium, although they should all be of similar size to avoid any cannibalism. The enclosure should be at least 60cm (two feet) high with a mesh top to allow air circulation. Lighting and/or heat sources are best kept above the mesh lid, or you may find your tree frogs accidentally jumping into a lamp and burning themselves. Heat mats can also be used under the vivarium glass. Depending on which species you keep, temperature should be between 15-30C (59-86F) and should be around 5C cooler at night than in the day. Provide plenty of twisted roots, branches, and vegetation and a substrate of moss, pebbles, gravel, or bark.

Water and humidity

Tree frogs spend their lives out of water so they do not need water to swim in, but there should be a water bowl to sit in or jump in and out of. It is important that the bowl is cleaned daily and the water replaced or toxins will quickly build up and be absorbed into the frogs bodys. Always add a dechlorinator treatment to tap water first, and ideally leave the water for 24 hours before use. Humidity is very important and should be at between 50-75% so a humidity gauge is essential. You can increase humidity by adding a larger water bowl or a mister, and decrease humidity by increasing ventilation. Daily misting is a good idea either with a simple spray or with more elaborate equipment.


By creating the right environment and providing the right triggers for the intended species, it is possible to breed most tree frogs with relative ease. In most cases, once you have a good environment, adjustments to humidity and temperature levels over a period of days, coupled with simulated rainfall (with a mister or regular sprays) will encourage spawning. You will need to transfer the eggs and/or tadpoles into a separate rearing tank and of course it is best to make sure you have homes for the young froglets to go to.

White’s Tree Frog sitting on a branch
White’s Tree Frog

White’s Tree Frog Litoria caerulea

Also known as the Australian Green or Dumpy Tree Frog. One of the most popular and easy to keep tree frogs, the White’s Tree Frog is a blue/jade to olive-green chubby looking frog and sometimes looks like it has too much skin. Whilst this is a normal appearance, they can also be greedy and over feeding will result in obesity. Unsurprisingly, they are not fussy eaters and will accept most medium to large insects, worms and on occasion, small pinkie mice. As these are a medium size frog, they only need feeding two or three times a week. These frogs will grow to 7-10cm, prefer a warm temperature of 25-30C (77-86F) and do not require an overly-humid environment

American Green Tree Frog

American Green Tree Frog Hyla cinerea

Found in southern North America, these olive colored tree frogs sport a distinctive white stripe. As a sub-tropical frog, a cooler temperature of 15-25C is preferred. The American Green Tree Frog is a small species reaching only 4-6cm (1.5-2in) so needs to be fed on smaller food items like young crickets. In nature it prefers flying insects although these are not so attainable nor practical in a captive environment!

Red Eyed Tree Frog

Red Eyed Tree Frog Agalychnis callidryas

One of the most visually stunning of the tree frogs with large bright orange-red eyes, yellow-orange feet, a light green body and cream-blue markings on the flanks, it is clear to see why this is a popular species. Red Eyed Tree Frogs are another small species, growing to just 8cm (2-3in) and preferring a temperature of 20-30C. They are not as active as others, which is a shame as the colors are at their best when on the move.