Gold Tree Frog

Polypedates leucomystax

Gold Tree Frog Care


This is not, in actual fact, a single species but a whole group of them! Polypedates leucomystax is regarded as a complex of species, all closely related and sharing a very close heritage. The colour is – as you might imagine – immensely variable, from the bright patternless gold to a highly cryptic pattern of leaf browns and amber on a dark background. They have an enormous range, across South East Asia and into China, and have been introduced to Japan.


One of this frog’s common names (and it has an awful lot of them) is ‘common tree frog’, and as you might imagine from this it is incredibly adaptable in its living habits. It can be found in lowland forests and mountainous, temporary pools and large rivers, agricultural land and pristine rainforest. All of this makes it an extremely tolerant terrarium subject.


A medium sized typical treefrog with males averaging 5cm and females 8cm, they are not picky about either food or habitat. As long as they have a good range of places to hide and branches to sit on, they’re happy. Not as ferociously predatory as other large treefrog species, they nevertheless are active hunters and should not be kept with species smaller than themselves. We recommend keeping this species with access to low output T5 UV lighting, as they will seek out patches of dappled shade to rest in during the day. A terrarium of 60 x 45 x 60cm (L x W x H) is an absolute minimum for three frogs, although the more space you can give them the better.


Despite the fact that they spend the day resting quietly on a branch, this is an active frog with a need for plenty of space. They are always aware of their surroundings, and if a tasty morsel wanders past their branch they will wake up for a quick snack!  After lights out they will search for food, and use the whole terrarium; if they have insufficient space they will injure themselves by leaping into the walls and roof of the enclosure.


They are not too noisy in the home, with the males making a duck like quack when it rains to attract a female – presumably, the population density means they never had to evolve a booming call that can be heard across miles and miles of rainforest.


If you’ve ever fancied keeping treefrogs but would like something that reaches a reasonable size, consider the gold. Large enough to handle (with care), not too noisy, and decidedly unfussy when it comes to food all they really need is a large enough terrarium. Give them a little bit of space, and your gold treefrogs will reward you with years of happy viewing!

Animal Information

  • Common name: Gold Treefrog
  • Scientific Name: Polypedates leucomystax
  • Location: SE Asia, China, Japan
  • Habitat (wild): Tropical forest, scrub, urban areas
  • Captive environment: Tropical forest terrarium with plenty of climbing branches and hiding places.
  • Preferred temperature range: daytime hot spot of 35ºC under the basking light, background ambient of 30ºc, cool end of 25ºc. Temperature can drop to 20ºc at night.
  • UVB Lighting: 5% or 7% UVB strip lamp, or 10% with plenty of leafy cover 
  • Ferguson Zone: Zone 2
  • Substrate: Soil/coir based
  • Lifespan: 5 to 7 years, probably longer for captive bred specimens