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Gray Tree Frog: Care Sheet, Lifespan & More (With Pictures)
Are you thinking about becoming a frog owner? If so, the Gray Tree Frog is a great place to start. Being native to North America, this frog has evolved to withstand a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, meaning they are much easier to care for than other amphibians.
To find out more about Gray Tree Frogs, read on. In this guide, we give you a comprehensive overview to this frog species so that you know what you are getting into before making your final decision. Let’s get started.
Quick Facts About Gray Tree Frog
|Species Name:||Hyla versicolor, Gray Tree Frog|
|Care Level:||Beginner to intermediate|
|Temperature:||65 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Temperament:||Docile and skittish|
|Color Form:||Gray, green, brown; changes color to match environment|
|Lifespan:||7 – 9 years|
|Size:||1.25 – 2.5 inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||12 x 12 x 18 inches (one frog)|
|Tank Set-Up:||Vertical with a lot of climbing and hiding areas|
|Compatibility:||Beginner amphibian owners|
Gray Tree Frog Overview
Gray Tree Frogs are native to the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. They can also be found in areas like Texas and Oklahoma. Most often, these tree frogs can be found in forests, swamps, and areas with ponds and small bodies of water.
As the name suggests, this species likes to stay in trees. What makes them really unique is the fact that their skin color changes based on their environment. Their coloration can change from a variety of colors, including gray, green, and brown so that they can match their environment and escape the eye of predators.
Because these frogs can change colors, they are considered one of the more attractive tree frogs native to North America. Plus, they are relatively easy to care for in comparison to other tree frogs. With the right tank setup and diet, these frogs are suitable for beginner or moderate tree frog owners.
How Much Do Gray Tree Frogs Cost?
Because Gray Tree Frogs are so wildly found throughout North America, they are not considered a particularly rare species. In fact, their high numbers and more adaptable nature makes them a favorite pet among amphibian lovers.
For these reasons, Gray Tree Frogs are very affordable. You can typically find Gray Tree Frogs between $10 and $25, depending on where you live and the exotic pet store you select. If you live in an area where these frogs are native, you will typically find them at much lower costs.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Most frogs have similar behaviors and temperaments. For starters, they do not like high stress environments and do not like being handled. Gray Tree Frogs are the same way. You will have to handle the frogs when cleaning their cage, but you should limit how often you try to touch them.
Gray Tree Frogs will not become aggressive when handled, but they will get stressed if you try to handle them too much. This may cause them to try to jump out of your hand, which can then lead to injury.
As we discussed above, one of the most interesting facts about Gray Tree Frogs is their ability to change colors. Most often, they are colored light gray or green. These colors most naturally mimic their native environment in the eastern United States and northeastern Canada. They can also turn brown.
Males and females have slightly different appearances. When it comes to their colorations, females have white around their throat, whereas males have a dark brown or gray coloration in the same area.
Males and females are different in other ways too. For example, females are larger than the males. Females can grow between 1.75 and 2.5 inches, whereas males only grow between 1.25 and 1.5 inches in length.
How to Take Care of Gray Tree Frogs
Unlike dogs and other popular pets, Gray Tree Frogs do not need a lot of attention, but you do need to take extra steps to properly care for them. Most importantly, the habitat for your Gray Tree Frog needs to be correct and replicate its natural environment.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
To begin setting up your Gray Tree Frog’s habitat, you need to select a tall terrarium. Because these frogs like to live in the trees, the terrarium needs to be taller than wide so that the frogs have more vertical space to climb.
Most experts suggest a terrarium that is 12 x 12 x 18 inches. If you are getting more than one frog, you will want your terrarium to be larger. Luckily, these frogs don’t grow very big, meaning you don’t need a huge terrarium for this species.
Inside the tank, you will need different items that mimic the natural wooded area that these frogs live in. This includes getting things like branches, vines, and plants. These items can be live or fake, but they need to provide a lot of climbing and hiding areas for the frogs.
At the bottom of the tank, you will want substrate. Because this frog spends most of its time in the trees, you have a lot more options when it comes to substrate. Just make sure that the substrate you select is not harmful and retains moisture.
We recommend opting for a coconut husk fiber substrate. You can also use any soil that is mixed with peat moss and unfertilized vermiculite. Do not select sand or aquarium gravel because the frog may eat the material, leading to impaction.
Because frogs are cold blooded, you need to add lights and temperature monitoring to the terrarium. Luckily, these frogs have evolved to survive in a wide variety of temperatures. It’s best to regulate the temperature so that it is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperature is suitable for these frogs.
If you keep your house pretty cold, you will want to add a heat lamp, but in our experience, most homes are kept a suitable temperature for these hardy frogs.
In terms of lighting, you do not need a UVB light. Gray Tree Frogs are nocturnal. So, they do not need UVB like other amphibians or reptiles. You will want to provide natural lighting that helps them stay in tune with the day/night cycle, though.
Finally, amphibians need a lot of moisture. Make sure you provide your tree frog with a shallow water dish and a spray bottle or misting system. Use dechlorinated water only. It’s also a good idea to use a water conditioner specific for reptiles and amphibians.
The water needs to be in the air as well. You want your Gray Tree Frog’s terrarium to have about 50% humidity, though they can tolerate up to 80%. Mist their cage once or twice a day to maintain the humidity inside.
Do Gray Tree Frogs Get Along with Other Pets?
As with any other frog, you want to keep your Gray Tree Frog away from other pets. Other pets are likely to harm the frogs. With that being said, you can have multiple Gray Tree Frogs inside your terrarium at once, so long as the terrarium is a suitable size for multiple frogs.
It’s a good idea to keep the terrarium away from other pets, such as dogs or cats. A barking dog can be a stressful experience for a frog, even if the dog does not have access to the frog inside.
What to Feed Your Gray Tree Frog
Gray Tree Frogs eat a variety of insects. Crickets, hornworms, mealworms, and wax worms are the easiest insects to feed your frogs. You should be able to find this food source at most pet stores.
Before feeding your frog their insects, it’s a good idea to dust the insects with an additional calcium supplement. Calcium is essential for amphibians and reptiles, and some of the most fatal diseases result from calcium deficiency.
Because Gray Tree Frogs are nocturnal, feed them right before you turn the lights off. We like to feed our frogs right after our own dinner.
Keeping Your Gray Tree Frog Healthy
Because Gray Tree Frogs have evolved to survive in a variety of temperatures, this frog is much easier to keep healthy than other amphibians. You don’t have to monitor the temperature, humidity, or other factors as carefully.
With that being said, a suitable terrarium and healthy diet is key to keeping your Gray Tree Frog healthy. More specifically, make sure that the substrate, lighting, temperature, and humidity are suitable for Gray Tree Frogs.
Additionally, provide your Gray Tree Frog enough nutrients and vitamins to keep them going. As we mentioned above, a calcium supplement is a great way to ensure your Gray Tree Frog remains healthy for years to come.
If you want to breed Gray Tree Frogs, we recommend using a cycling method. The cycling method is whenever you replicate the frog’s normal environment. You want the environment to mimic a winter and spring season by controlling the temperature, humidity, and rainfall inside the terrarium.
To begin the cycling, lower the terrariums enclosure by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 to 4 weeks. At the same time, stop misting the terrarium to decrease humidity and change the lighting exposure so that nighttime lasts between 12 and 14 hours.
After the four week winter is done, it’s time to mimic spring. Raise the temperature within the terrarium back to its normal temperature, which should be between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin misting the terrarium again and increase light exposure to 12 to 14 hours a day.
With this cycling method, the frogs should start reproducing on their own. If you hear the males croaking, you know that they are beginning the reproduction phase. After the females lay the eggs, tadpoles should hatch within 48 to 72 hours. We recommend separating the eggs before they hatch.
Are Gray Tree Frogs Suitable For You?
Gray Tree Frogs are a really unique and fun species. If you are thinking about getting started with tree frogs, this is a great species to start with. They aren’t as sensitive as other amphibians, meaning you don’t have to be as knowledgeable before hand.
Gray Tree Frogs are best for people that have enough space for a vertical terrarium. You also must be able to afford and stomach feeding the frogs live insects. Other than that, Gray Tree Frogs make great pets. Just remember they don’t like being held!
Featured Image Credit: Dustytoes, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Quick Facts About Gray Tree Frog
- Gray Tree Frog Overview
- How Much Do Gray Tree Frogs Cost?
- Typical Behavior & Temperament
- How to Take Care of Gray Tree Frogs
- Do Gray Tree Frogs Get Along with Other Pets?
- What to Feed Your Gray Tree Frog
- Keeping Your Gray Tree Frog Healthy
- Are Gray Tree Frogs Suitable For You?