The American Green Tree Frog is a popular pet due to its hardy nature and bright green color. They are not good pets for frequent handling, but they are interesting to observe. These little green frogs are found throughout the United States and spend most of their time in the wild in trees.
If you have been considering a frog as a pet, these frogs might be a good place to start. Continue reading to learn more about how to take care of the American Green Tree Frog.
Quick Facts About American Green Tree Frogs
|Species Name||Hyla cinerea|
|Care Level||Low maintenance|
|Temperature||70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Temperament||Timid, vocal, nocturnal|
|Color Form||Bright to dark green, greyish-green|
|Lifespan||2 to 5 years|
|Size||1 to 2.5 inches|
|Diet||Insects, small invertebrates|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up||Humid (50%-60%during the day, 80%-100% at night); Light not needed|
|Compatibility||Can live with the same species|
American Green Tree Frog Overview
The American Green Tree Frog is very common in the United States, especially throughout the hot and humid southern states. It is the state amphibian of two different states, Georgia and Louisiana. They are also common pet amphibians and can be found in many pet stores nationwide.
These small green frogs pack a big voice. They are recognizable by their loud, rapid, nocturnal calls. Instead of a croaking sound like many other frogs, the American Green Tree Frog makes a distinctive barking sound. They can bark more than 70 times per minute! They use different variations of this call to attract mates, let other frogs know about possible danger, or announce that rain is coming.
As its name implies, the American Green Tree Frog spends most of its time in the trees. They also like to climb the stalks of marsh grasses and other water plants as they need a body of water nearby for breeding.
They are nocturnal and do most of their calling and hunting at night. This is important to know if you plan on keeping them as pets. Their calls will keep you awake at night if they are kept too close to where you sleep!
How Much Do American Green Tree Frogs Cost?
These frogs are very commonly found in pet stores across the United States. On average, they cost between $10 and $15 each. Generally, a male frog will be slightly smaller than a female, although it can be difficult to tell. Pet stores can offer their best guess, but most will not guarantee the sex of your frog.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
The American Green Tree Frog is an arboreal species of frog, meaning they spend the majority of their time in trees or climbing up tall marsh plants. Therefore, you will need to have a setup that allows them to do this. They are a nocturnal species and will call loudly at night, even in captivity.
These frogs do not like to be handled frequently and they are rather shy. Handling them too often can be bad for their health as it can damage their thin, delicate skin. The best way to keep them healthy and happy is to leave them alone and observe them from afar.
Appearance & Varieties
The American Green Tree Frog is usually bright or dark green, although its color can fade to a greyish-green at times. Their color changes based on what they are doing. If they are moving around and their temperature is warm, they will be brighter green. When they are resting and cool, their color will fade to olive green.
Many of these frogs have a white or yellow stripe running from their mouth to their rear. Others may have yellow spotting on their backs. The undersides of the American Green Tree Frog are white or light yellow.
The skin of an American Green Tree Frog is quite smooth, although the males have wrinkles around their throats where the vocal pouch is located. The males are also smaller than the females. Both males and females have long toes ideal for climbing.
How to Take Care of American Green Tree Frogs
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Many consider the American Green Tree Frog to be a low-maintenance pet and they are correct. These frogs prefer to be left alone and don’t like to be handled. Therefore, as long as you set up the tank properly and clean it frequently, your frog will be happy and healthy. Here are a few things you need to do to set up a great habitat for your American Green Tree Frog.
At a minimum, you should have a 10-gallon glass tank with a tightly fitting screen lid. The tank can be larger to give your frog or frogs room to climb and move around.
You will need plenty of plants, branches, and other materials for your tree frogs. They spend most of their time climbing and observing their environment. Fake and real plants are both good choices, as are pieces of wood to climb and even suction-cupped platforms attached to the tank. If you are using real plants, they need to be able to survive in a very humid environment.
The best beddings for your American Green Tree Frogs are moss, bark, and mulch. This is because these will hold moisture and help keep the humidity levels at the high level required. Gravel and rocks will not keep the tank humid enough and can also be too abrasive for your frog’s sensitive skin.
The ideal temperature for American Green Tree Frogs is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be a little warmer during the day and cooler at night, although the warmest spot in the tank should not be hotter than 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is very important to the American Green Tree Frog. It influences their breeding and health. During the day, the humidity should be between 50% and 60%. This is when the frogs will typically sleep so they like a cooler and drier atmosphere.
At night, the humidity should be higher—ideally between 80 and 100 percent. You will need some kind of humidity gauge in the tank to help you maintain the right levels. Regular misting with a spray bottle will help keep the humidity high enough, or you can invest in an automatic mister.
You do not need any special lighting for your American Green Tree Frog. They like to sleep during the day and are awake at night. If you do want light in their tank at night, you can use a low-powered red or purple bulb so you can observe the frog without disrupting its normal activities.
Do American Green Tree Frogs Get Along with Other Pets?
American Green Tree Frogs get along fine with each other. However, they should not be kept with other amphibians, reptiles, or other pets in the same tank. They have delicate skin and are small so it can be dangerous to house them with other animals. They should also be kept in a tank with a secure lid to prevent escape. Other household pets, such as dogs and cats, should not be allowed to get too close to your frogs.
What to Feed Your American Green Tree Frog
In the wild, the American Green Tree Frog eats mosquitos, flies, and other small insects. They will also eat crickets, moths, and worms. As pets, the majority of their diet should be crickets. They should typically be fed every other day as adults. You should provide your frog with a shallow dish of water as well. Make sure it is not too deep because the tree frog is not a strong swimmer.
Keeping Your American Green Tree Frog Healthy
The American Green Tree Frog is usually quite healthy and does not suffer from frequent health conditions. That being said, maintaining a clean and humid environment is the key to your frog’s continued well-being. You should clean your frog’s tank every week and monitor your frog for any signs of ill-health.
These signs can include red or swollen eyes, wheezing, lethargy, or lack of appetite. Any of these can indicate an infection or parasite problem. You will need to have an exotic animal veterinarian look at your frog if you suspect they are ill.
American Green Tree Frogs typically breed from March to October. Their breeding season is impacted by the amount of rainfall and the temperature. Breeding in captivity can be very difficult because of the need for the right humidity and rainfall levels.
Once the male has attracted a female with his call, he will fertilize her eggs. She can lay up to 700 eggs at a time in shallow water! Upon hatching, it takes about a month for the tadpoles to develop into full frogs and about 6 months for them to reach full size.
Are American Green Tree Frogs Suitable For You?
If you are looking for a low-maintenance pet that is better for observing than handling, then the American Green Tree Frog might be a good choice. These small, bright green, tree-dwelling frogs are fun to watch and listen to. As long as you can commit to regular tank cleanings and monitoring the temperature and humidity, you will be rewarded with a happy little frog.
Featured Image Credit by: LorraineHudgins, Shutterstock