It was quite usual for me and my brother to bring home every frog that we came across on our way from school!!
Our mother would scream and get angry if she came to know, but many times we were able to hide them in our room and keep them in a box!
Once, we found an unusual green colored frog. It was a green tree frog, and we came to know this later when my father’s friend told us. He loved frogs and had many unusual pets! That was my favorite frog.
Now that I am all grown up and have my own mini zoo! I have a number of frogs and reptiles as pets, but the pride of place goes to a pair of American green tree frogs. These are beautiful to look at and very easy to keep as pets.
It is very common in the Southeast United States, and you can easily recognize them from a mile away thanks to their unique calling sounds! They usually call out when the temperature starts to drop and before it starts to rain.
Size and Life Span
Green tree frogs generally grow to a size of about two inches from tip to tip. In captivity, they can grow even up to 3 inches. Interestingly, the tadpoles also grow to a length of 2 inches.
The green tree frogs usually lay several hundred eggs at one time. These are attached to sticks, stones, leaves in water. In the aquarium at home, the eggs will attach to plants, gravel, or even to the surface of the box. In less than a week, they start to hatch, and like other tadpoles, they remain with the eggs for a number of days.
It is bright green or yellow-green in color. Depending on its movements and temperature, this color may change. It may become brighter when the frog is calling or moving around, and it can become a dull green or grayish when the thermostat comes down or when it is resting. Its stomach is cream or light green in color.
There may a white or yellowish stripe that runs from its jaw along the full body. This stripe is not symmetrical and can be longer on one side. It has long toes, which help it to catch sticks and jump from leaf to leaf. The big toe pads are sticky and help it to cling to plants ad leaves. Some of the frogs may even have gold spots on their backs.
Behavior and Temperament
These frogs are tiny and happy on their own. They are timid and shy. They don’t like being held or touched too much. You can slowly train your tree frog to get used to your light touches. Some get used to being held or carried around. Be careful, and don’t cause any unnecessary stress to your little pet.
Avoid keeping tree frogs in your bedroom at night! It is a nocturnal amphibian and will stay awake the whole night and keep you also awake! Males are active and very vocal at night. If you don’t mind them disturbing your sleep, then keep their tank nearby!!
Food and Water
Green tree frogs may be tiny, but they love their food! They are good eaters and exclusively feed on insects. They love crickets, and you can make them a big part of their diet. Give crickets that are gut fed with high protein meal and dusted with calcium powder. You can add Multivitamins to the diet a couple of times every week. Apart from crickets, you can also give fruit flies, horseflies, moths, and other insects to the tree frog.
Green Tree frogs generally eat more in the summer and spring season than in the winter. You can feed the smaller frogs every day. If the frogs are larger, then you can feed them every other day. Please pay attention to the weight, and don’t let them become obese.
Keep a large but shallow dish with clean water. These frogs are not great swimmers, and that is why the dish should be a shallow one. Maintain humidity by spraying water mist on the cage surface daily.
It would help if you had a minimum 10-gallon tank or enclosure for green tree frogs. Remember that these are arboreal creatures, and they love to climb on trees! Please keep the height of the cage more than the floor space. Tall cages are perfect for them, and they love going up and down. Put a mesh or some other secure cover on top so that they don’t escape.
Keep enough branches and live or artificial plants to give them a chance to climb. Ensure that the branches and plants don’t carry any bacteria or fungus and are pesticide-free. You don’t want your pet to get infected.
The substrate is also important. You can use materials like gravel, mulch, or soil with peat. I have seen some people use indoor carpeting, but it is better to use a natural substrate. You can cover the base layer with moss and cork bark to make it more natural and habitable for tree frogs.
Unlike many other frogs, green tree frogs are fuss-free and don’t need any individual heating or lighting. You will find that it is effortless to take care of them.
Most amphibians are prone to bacterial and fungal infections, and tree frog is no different! Skins and eyes get affected easily. If you notice swelling, redness, or pus, it is a clear sign of an infection. Contact a vet and start medication. Constant monitoring and hygiene in the enclosure can prevent a lot of infections.
They may also get respiratory ailments due to lack of humidity or excess humidity! Symptoms for this can be wheezing, drooling, or lethargy. If there are no outward signs and yet your frog is not eating well, then it could be a parasitic infection, and you need to consult a vet.
Green tree frogs make for a great pet because of their easy temperament and the fact that it is not very difficult to look after them! If you are planning to get a tree frog does make sure that you provide the best care to your pet. Many people keep them for some time only to leave them in the nearest open space when they are unable to look after them!
This is a sad situation, and to avoid any such thing, you must be doubly sure of yourself before you decide. Only buy from a reputed breeder. A happy and healthy green tree frog will be an excellent companion to you!