Riobamba Marsupial Frog

Gastrotheca riobambae

Riobamba Marsupial Frog are a medium sized treefrog, growing to around 4-6 cm in size (2 inches), with males being very slightly smaller. Both displaying colours of light grey or dark green with grey and/or brown dorsal stripes. They are a gregarious species and(so) they are happy to live in groups. 


Due to their size and sociability, an enclosure of 45cm x 45cm x 60cm (18” x 18” x 24”) would work well for single frogs or groups of this species. Bigger enclosures will be more comfortable. A moisture retaining substrate such as bark chip and coco fibre mix or a bioactive substrate will work well. Like most frog and amphibian species, cover is important so it is essential for there to be plenty of hiding spots for the frogs to feel safe. This can be done using plastic plants and cork bark. The Riobamba marsupial frogs are a resilient species so bioactive enclosures can also be used to house them.


As for all frogs and amphibians, water quality is vital for good health. Large water bowls can be used to allow the frogs to soak, the bigger bowl the better but any bowl which the frog can fit its whole body in will work just fine. Water from the tap can be used but it must be dechlorinated first. There are many products that can be used to do this by adding just one or two drops to the water making it safe for the frogs (always check the label!). Frogs like to have a humid environment of about 50-70%, regular misting of the enclosure using a spray bottle or automatic misting and fogging system will help with maintaining the humidity.


These frogs thrive at a lower temperature than other popular pet frogs due to their habitat in the mountains. They are most comfortable at a temperature ranging from about 18 to 24⁰C, preferably with a gradient across the enclosure allowing the frog to choose what temperature it wants to be at. Using a good digital thermometer and thermostat is vital to monitor the temperature of the enclosure and allow the frogs to thrive.


The diet of these frogs is very similar to other frog species, feeding mostly on insects such as crickets, locust, wax worms and calci worms. Feeding many different prey items is great for introducing some variety into your pets diet. All food must be dusted with a calcium or calcium and multivitamin/multimineral powder and gutloaded before feeding to ensure as much nutrients as possible is being passed into the frog. 


UV lighting is important for all reptile and amphibian species and the Riobamba marsupial frogs are no exception. This frog is a Ferguson zone 1 species meaning it will not spend a lot of time basking but will still need a suitable level of UV light to thrive.  Provide plenty of cover and hiding spots for when the frog wants to hide. 


Frogs of all species have sensitive skin which can be affected by the oils on your hands so handling is not recommended. If handling is necessary, wearing disposable gloves while doing so is strongly advised.

Animal Information

  • Scientific name: Gastrotheca riobambae
  • Location: Ecuador 
  • Habitat: can vary from montane forests to dry, rocky hillsides in the Andes 
  • Preferred temperature range: 18 – 24⁰C
  • Humidity 50%-70%
  • UVB: 5% or 7% compact bulb
  • Ferguson Zone: zone 1 
  • Substrate: Forest floor/bioactive
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years in captivity