American Green Tree Frog Care
A common stalwart of the pet trade for many years, the American Green Tree Frog is a medium sized tree frog makes a robust and lively pet. A North American native, they can be found in south-eastern America with a geographic range from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to southeast Florida.
They vary in colour from a bright grass green to a lime green, sometimes yellow-green and even a drab olive green colour when cool or stressed. Sometimes they have small white or yellow spots on their backs, and most have a pale stripe running down both sides although in some populations this is absent. A medium sized tree frog, they grow to between 4 to 5cm with the boys being on the smaller end of the range and the girls slightly bigger.
In common with all tree frogs, the enclosure provided should have lots of climbing surfaces, twigs, and sturdy branches. In the wild these frogs tend to stay high in the canopy except when they come down to breed, so they will appreciate plenty of cover. They are also capable of burrowing to escape temperatures that are high enough to make them uncomfortable, so make sure that any substrate used is suitable for digging.
They do like a high humidity, but there also needs to be adequate ventilation; the conditions in their woodland home are humid but not stagnant, and the setup needs to mirror this. We prefer to use the screen topped glass terrariums, as they are very well ventilated, and when used with the correct substrate and plenty of cover, they hold humidity well. What is even better is a live planted, bioactive environment – if you’ve ever wanted to give that a go, this is an ideal species to begin with!
An enclosure size of 45x45x60cm is suitable for these frogs, and as they are happy to live alone or with company then you could keep up to three frogs in this size setup. Make sure that there are plenty of perching and basking spaces as well as lots of cover so that each frog can get away from any others it lives with. A hot spot temperature of 25 to 28ºC with a background ambient temperature of 20 to 23ºC is ideal, and temperatures can drop as low as 16ºC at night. They can tolerate temperatures slightly higher and lower than this, but will tend to burrow if they are uncomfortable. Never guess your temperatures, always check them with a digital thermometer.
American Green Tree frogs will very much appreciate low levels of UVB over their enclosure. This can be provided by a compact bulb or one of the excellent quality new low output T5 units on the market; as long as plenty of cover is provided your frogs will be much healthier and happier. You will sometimes see your frogs basking, especially first thing in the morning; they regulate their own exposure, and use the energy to metabolise the calcium in their diet.
Feeding is, as with most amphibians, relatively simple. They will eat anything they can fit in their mouths although they do appear to have a preference for smaller prey; crickets, locusts, soldier flies, waxmoths, waxworms and mealworms should all be taken. Remember to gut load your feeder insects, and always use a good quality calcium or multivitamin/multimineral powder to dust them with just before feeding.
Simple to keep and attractive to look at, this charming little treefrog is definitely worth keeping if you are looking for something a little bit different!