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Green Tree Frog, Hyla cinerea

Green Tree Frog, Hyla cinereaIntroduction Green Tree Frogs are often shades of green on their back and beige on their stomach, being divided by a lateral white line. They have a native range throughout much of the Southeastern United States. They average between 2 and 3 inches and are often found perching on broad leaves within damp, humid woodland habitats. They are even known to occur within human developments, as our deck and porch lights attract bugs, in turn attracting the frogs.

Acclimation and Quarantine Quarantine and/or acclimation enclosures need not be elaborate, instead they should be sterile and easy to clean. Appropriately sized tanks or plastic Rubbermaid containers can be used.

Water should be filtered and/or changed frequently.

Be sure to provide a heat gradient, a water dish, and climbing opportunities. Artificial foliage will provide seemingly natural hide areas and should be provided for additional security.

This setup should be used until the frog is feeding regularly and appears to be in good health.

Housing After the frog has been quarantined and is feeding well, it may be set up in a decorated enclosure. Since green tree frogs are communal, an individual or a group of 5-8 may be kept in a 10-15 gallon tank. Since they are arboreal, it is recommended that vertical space, arboreal hides and perch points be made available. See our HOW TO section for tips on Constructing a Natural Looking Terrarium or Vertically Orienting an Aquarium.

For the substrate, a mixture of peat, coconut earth and cypress mulch in a ratio of 1:1:1 will make a mixture that will maintain humidity and provide a good rooting medium for the addition of live plants. One may also choose to place a layer of gravel on the bottom of the tank to provide adequate drainage. On the top of the substrate, sphagnum moss makes a nice addition and will also aid in retaining humidity in the tank. It is also easy to spot clean; completely remove and replace. Another easier, but less visually apealling set up would consist of an aquarium, artifical or potted live plants and a paper towel on the bottom. This enclosure design is very sanitary and easy to clean. Simply change the towel every day or two. The potted live plant would provide refuge for the frog and the moist soil would aid in maintaining the humidity in combination with a daily misting.

Heating and Lighting Terrarium temperature gradients for the day time should be maintained between 70-80 degrees F. Night time temps should may be allowed to drop 10 degrees or so, so that temps are between 60-65 degrees. Incandescent lights may be used as a heat source, but in most applications, will be too hot. We recommend using full spectrum fluorescent lights to maintain most amphibians. They provide enough heat assuming the average indoor temps are in the 70's. Be sure to utilize a light that produces UVB. A photoperiod of 14 hours of light and 10 of dark is sufficient. Green Tree Frogs need UVB exposure from a quality light. Amphibians synthesize vitamin D3 when exposed to UVB, Vitamin D3 is necessary for calcium to be metabolized. Animals that are not exposed to UVB can develop Metabolic Bone Disease, especially babies and juveniles. If MBD isn't treated in a timely fashion, skeletal deformities, kidney failure, seizures, and eventually death will occur.

Feeding Green Tree frogs are fairly simple to feed. Provide them with a variety of appropriately sized insects such as crickets, meal worms, flies, fruit flies (wingless), phoenix worms, wax worms etc. All insects should be dusted with a quality vitamin and mineral supplement twice a week for baby tree frogs and once weekly for adults. Insects should be offered in moderation as some, such as crickets may actually prey on weak and baby tree frogs. All food items should be no larger than the width between the eyes of the frog you are feeding.

Humidity Green Tree Frogs thrive in the humid environments of the Southeastern US. Humidity should range between 60 and 80 percent. However, brief periods above and below this range is acceptable. To maintain humidity, providing a source of water, restricting air flow, and misting the enclosure should be adequate.

Water A shallow bowl of clean water should always be provided. Depending on the terrarium design, some people incorporate beautiful water features such as water falls or a seemingly natural body of water.