White's tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) or dumpy frog is native to Australia and is one of the largest frogs on the continent. These frogs are hardy, and are a great choice for beginners or experienced amphibian owners. They will not let you down.
White's tree frogs have colorings from green to a light turquoise. Brown tree frogs are not uncommon. These frogs can change their color slightly if stressed, or dehydrated along with other factors. If they are happy, their waxy skin may even look brighter.
This tree frog can reach up to 4 inches in length when fully grown. Males are generally smaller than females and can be 3 inches long. If you have the proper care, a White's tree frog will live from 10-15 years.
Over time with gentle handling, a White's tree frog, unlike many tree frogs can be held regularly. Wash your hands both before and after holding sessions because the frog may inhale or absorb unhealthy particles. Frogs are most vulnerable to natural oils found in lotion and soap, along with salt.
When holding your White's tree frog, do not make any sudden or jerky movements. Move slowly, and be sure your frog doesn't feel like it's falling. Your hands need to be a sturdy foundation with all four legs on them.
Crickets are the main food of a White's tree frog. Earthworms are another option, but they do not contain the same nutritional value as crickets. A cricket should be the length of the width of the frog's head.
White's tree frogs will keep eating if you keep giving them food. Be sure you have a limited amount because obesity can become fatty liver disease, and that is fatal. Feed adults every three days or so, but hatchlings under 2 inches need to be fed every day.
Gut load, or feed all insects your frog consumes. What the crickets eat is what the tree frog eats. Also dust before feeding with 100% calcium that can be found at most pet stores.
Although during the day a White's tree frog may seem inactive and slow, they are very active at night chasing crickets and exploring. These tree frogs can climb glass walls so a sturdy screen top is required. Hatchlings and juveniles can be kept in a 5 gallon tank, and move to a 10 gallon as they get older. Adults will need a minimum space of a 20 gallon high tank. For every new frog, add 5 gallons.
White's tree frogs were discovered up in the canopies of trees and will spend most of their time off the ground except when they want to hunt. A higher tank's space will be used more than a long tank's.
Bed-a-beast is a popular substrate as well as to non-fertilized potting soil and large pieces of bark. Bark must be big enough so the frog does not swallow it, and cannot be cedar because reptiles can die from its residue and smell. Baby tree frogs are best if they are kept on paper towels because it both holds humidity and can't be digested. Adults can be kept on this too. Paper towel makes cleaning quick and easy.
Provide lots of hanging branches and vines that can support a frog's weight. They will not go hide on the ground if they can rest in leaves of branches. Live plants are great for White's tree frogs, but must be able to not droop and hold its weight.
White's tree frogs are nocturnal, and UVA and UVB lights are not needed. Using a heat lamp, the basking spot should be 80-85F. Make sure the bulb is far enough away from foliage so it does not melt or catch fire.
Have a thermometer on both the warmer and cooler parts of the tank and monitor them to make sure that they stay consistent so they can digest their food.
These tree frogs are from drier regions than many other frogs could live in, making the humidity a little more manageable. 50-60% humidity should be maintained and raised a little at night. Use purified water or bottle water instead of tap because it is not cleaned well enough. A hydrometer should be used so you know when to mist the cage.
If you are having problems keeping humidity up there are a couple options. Cover the screen of the cage 2/3 with plastic wrap. You can also remember to mist the substrate thoroughly, and humidity will rise off of that throughout the day. Some keepers provide a shallow water dish, and if you do the water needs to be changed every other day or else bacteria may start to grow, and infect your frog.
Feces of the frog should be removed when seen, and the water replaced in the water bowl every other day. Paper towels should be removed when soiled, and loose substrate every 4-6 months.
Males need to be 12 months old and females at least 14 months before breeding. To tell male from female, a male will be much smaller and will call out to females. Leave them together for a week or until they mate. The female will lay her eggs in shallow water.
Before they breed, be sure to fatten them up, and provide their usual crickets every day about 2 weeks from the breeding point. Pinkie mice can also be fed once a week or so. For 4 months, the days should be shorter, and rainier. During this time the humidity should be raised up to 80%.
Eggs should be gently placed in a separate tank with shallow water and rocks and many other things for them to cling on to. You need to set up a system that keeps fresh water in the tank at all times so bacteria does not develop and kill the eggs. Keep them at 80-85F, and they will hatch.
When the eggs hatch to tadpoles, keep around 8-10 tadpoles per gallon of water. You will want a 20-30 gallon aquarium for all of them. Feed them fish food. In this tank, provide a large rock or log that is above the surface so when the start changing, you will know.
After 1-4 weeks you will notice tadpoles sprouting legs. As they change, place them in another tank with lots of rocks and branches both above and below the water. When they start climbing onto the rocks, they are developing lungs and will switch from water to land. Once their lungs have developed, remove them and put them in a separate tank. This tank should be similar to adult tanks, and have two frogs per gallon. Now start feeding them small crickets, and as they grow, give them more room and large prey items.
White's tree frogs are great for beginners because of their low humidity and basic care over all. Breeding frogs is harder than reptiles, but in the end you went from two to over a hundred. Don't only rely on this care sheet for advice, and have fun with your tree frog!
I got my Black Racers yesterday and the're doing fine. Cool reptile.
Donetta Augsburger - June 2, 2012
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