Cuban Tree frogs, one of the largest tree frogs in the world originate from the Cuba. Unfortunately, due to owners letting their frogs escape, they now populate parts of Georgia and Florida and are considered invasive species. Male tree frogs are very loud during the mating season. They give off a sort of a bark that sounds simaliar to a dog. They will do this the majority of the night from May to September so if they you plan on keeping a male in your room you may want to change your mind. Cuban tree frogs are fun to own, whether this is your first frog, or you have been raising frogs for decades.
The Cuban tree frog grows to an astounding length of 5 inches. If a species of frog is long, then it generally is very wide also, but this is not the case for this tree frog. They have slender bodies for their size, and powerful legs letting them jump great distances. On the tip of each toe is a sticky pad enabling them to climb trees just like their cousins. Generally, this species is green or gray so that they can blend into their surroundings. They can change color slightly depending on their level of stress and the color of foliage they are surrounded in. With the right care a Cuban tree frog can live to 5 years old.
When it come to purchasing this type of frog, do not hope to be holding it all that much. No frog really enjoys being held and taken out of their cage like a gecko or snake. They will attempt to slip out of your hands and escape. If handling is necessary, keep it short and wash your hands well. Amphibians can absorb chemicals and salts through their skin so any lotion, sweat, or soap left on your hand may hurt your frog.
Throughout its entire life, a Cuban tree frog will eat crickets. They have colossal appetites and you should feed them as much as they will eat in 15-20 minutes three times a week as adults. Juveniles should be fed daily. If a Cuban tree frog does not get enough to eat, they have been known to eat other frogs inside the tank, even their own kind.
Adults can also have a pinkie mouse once every other week to keep them full. This is perfectly safe due to their large size. Do not overfeed pinkie mice or else they will get too much fat in their systems and fatty liver disease can occur.
A 15-20 gallon tank will suit a single adult Cuban tree frog well. They should be given plenty of branches and foliage to climb upon as well as an area to swim. This swim area should be large enough for the frog to swim around a bit and just barely touch the bottom. An easy way to accomplish this is to buy a dog water bowl with a flat bottom and fill it with clean water and a couple sturdy rocks that poke above the surface.
A mixture of 40% peat moss and 60% potting soil works great as a substrate. If this mixture is used, it should be about 3 inches deep. Replace the substrate once every 2-4 months. Newspaper or paper towel can also be used but then you have to find a way to get your tree frog in and out of the water bowl with ease.
To help your Cuban tree frog feel safe and secure in its tank, include fake and/or live plants among the branches it will climb on. Also give your frog a hide on the ground. This can be something store bought like a coconut half with an entrance cut in it or something homemade. It doesn’t matter as long as the frog is comfortable. This means the hide is not too roomy or too tight.
Cuban tree frogs are ectotherms, meaning they need heat to survive. A basking spot of 80-85F should be maintained during the day on the land side of the cage. The water side does not need to be heated. At night, the heat can be turned off and they will be comfortable at room temperature. The easiest way to heat the enclosure is with and over head bulb of about 60-80 watts, depending on the temperature of your house.
To keep your Cuban tree frog happy and hydrated, the cage needs to stay at about 40-60% humidity.
Replace the water in the water bowl weekly or as needed. The substrate should be replaced every 2-4 months unless it is paper then it needs to be replaced when it is soiled.
Males will call to females when the mating season begins. Keep a male and a female together in a 20-30 gallon tank an be sure they are fed enough so cannibalism does not occur. If you want to increase your chances of eggs, you can have 2-3 females per male. Females will deposit their eggs in the water bowl in large clusters.
Once the eggs are laid, put them in a separate tank or bowl filled with fresh water until they hatch. It is easiest to move them when using a spoon to gently scoop them.
When the tadpoles hatch, there will be a ton of them. Feed them commercially available fish food until they start developing into frogs. Once you see legs, place some rocks in the tank and give them more area. Let them start coming out of the water. As time goes on give each frog more space and more land to venture onto. If you feel overwhelmed with the number of frog there are, never let them go into the wild. In Florida they are an invasive species and are wiping out tons of other reptiles and amphibians because of the amount of insects they can eat.
The large Cuban tree frog is a great pet. They have a large appetite and the males make a lot of noise. They are fairly easy to care for as long as they get enough to eat and drink. They are ruining parts of Florida’s ecosystem, but as long as they stay in the cage, they cannot harm anybody. Remember, do your research before buying any pet so that it can live happily and healthily.
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Ed Ortiz - March 17, 2016
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