Considering a Super Tiger Leg Monkey Tree Frog as a pet? These amazing amphibians make awesome pets, as long as their basic care needs are met. Read on to find out what you need to do to make your Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frog thrive!
Defining Characteristics: Great beginner frog | Bright Orange Sides | Bold | Moderately loud call | Great in Groups | Nocturnal
Name: The genus Phyllomedusa is commonly known as the Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs, notable for their wax secreting glands on their back elbows and rump. This wax is secreted then rubbed all over the body, sealing in moisture and allowing these tree frogs to take advantage of drier conditions than other amphibians. Phyllomedusa tomopterna is commonly known in the US hobby as the Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frog, as it is larger than it’s close relative Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis (the Tiger Leg Monkey Frog) and it has notable orange and black banding on it’s sides. Due to this coloration, the frog is sometimes called the “Barred Tree Frog”. The monkier ‘monkey frog’ comes from this frog’s tendency to walk instead of jump, which closely resembles a monkey.
Recommended Vivarium Size: A 10 gallon aquarium is suitable for 1-2 Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs, but Josh’s Frogs recommends a 20H or 18x18x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, as it will allow for easier cleaning. Super Tiger Leg Waxy Monkey Frogs can be kept just like Red Eye Tree Frogs. Please watch our video on How to Set Up a Terrarium for Red Eye Tree Frogs.
Temperature: Phyllomedusa tomopterna can tolerate a temperature range of 65 F to 85 F, but prefer temperatures in the mid 70s. Temperatures over 90F are dangerous. A low wattage basking spot, with a temperature of 80F, will be utilized in the lower end of the temperature range but is not absolutely needed.
Humidity: Like most frogs, super tiger leg waxy monkey frogs prefer a humidity range of 70 – 100%, but can tolerate humidity down to 50% for short periods of time if the frogs have access to water. Low humidity levels, especially without access to water, can quickly be fatal. Like most tree frogs, ventilation and air movement is very important – the top should be at least half screen. Along with regular misting, you’ll want to provide your pet tree frog with a water bowl that is changed daily – the frog will use the water bowl as a latrine every morning before going to sleep. Use dechlorinated or spring water for the water bowl, and distilled or r/o water for misting.
Housing: Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs are easy to house – aim to provide about 5-10 gallons of space per frog. A standard 20H aquarium with screen top, or 18x18x18 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, is sufficient for 3-4 Super Tiger Legs. Substrate recommendations vary, but we have had luck with sphagnum moss (pressed down so that it’s very flat), damp paper towel, or damp coconut fiber. Provide a large water bowl and plenty of places to climb. These frogs will typically perch on vines/branches or broad leaves during the day, and spend the night roaming the tank. Provide a low level UVB light, such as the Exo Terra UVB100, for 12 hours during the day.
Size: Adult female Phyllomedusa tomopterna frogs are larger, measuring in at approximately 2.5 inches. Male Super Tiger leg Tree Frogs are a bit smaller, averaging about 1.75-2 inches at maturity. All of the Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs Josh’s Frogs sells are well started juveniles, and measure approximately 3/4”-1″ long.
Age: Phyllomedusa tomopterna is capable of living over 10 years in captivity under ideal conditions, although a lifespan of 4-5 years is more common. All tree frogs for sale at Josh’s Frogs are well started juveniles, and are 2-3 months old.
Feeding: At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our Super Tiger Monkey frogs dusted crickets. To make feeding easier, we’ve developed Tree Frog Feeder Bundles. At 1″, juvenile Phyllomedusa tomopterna frogs can easily take 1/4″ crickets. As adults, super tiger leg monkey frogs will eat 3/4″-adult crickets. Make sure to dust all prey items with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement. To make supplementation easy, check out Josh’s Frogs Tree Frog Supplement Bundle. Try house flies for an entertaining treat!
Sexing: Phyllomedusa tomopterna is not sexable until 6-8 months of age. Male frogs tend to be smaller than females, which often appear both longer and wider. Josh’s Frogs sells 2-3 month old juveniles that are not sexable unless otherwise noted.
Color/Pattern: Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs are a pleasant green coloration with a cream colored underside. The most notable coloration present on these animals is a characteristic orange and black banding on their sides, running from their front legs to their back legs. The green coloration can appear brown, and sometimes even bluish, in the right conditions.
Social Behavior: Phyllomedusa tomopterna do well housed in groups their entire life, as long as enough space is provided. Josh’s Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair. Please refer to the chart below to see your chances of getting at least one male and one female out of a group. We recommend purchasing at least 4-5 tree frogs at a time.
Breeding: Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs are fairly easy to breed, and are similar to Red Eye Tree Frogs in breeding setup! When housed in a proper environment, mainly a rain chamber, a properly cycled pair will lay eggs on an exposed leaf, then wrap the leaf around them to conceal the eggs. 30-100 eggs can be laid at a time, which hatch into tadpoles that wiggle free from the egg mass and fall into water below. Watch this video of a Rain Chamber for more information.
Natural Range: Phyllomedusa tomopterna are native to Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, and Suriname, with most animals in the hobby coming from Suriname. The Super Tiger Legs sold by Josh’s Frogs descend from animals field collected in Suriname. The Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frog can be found in tropical lowland forests and swamps, very humid and warm habitats. These frogs require pristine forest habitats, making them very vulnerable to deforestation.
History in the Hobby: Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs are generally available as seasonally wild caught animals from Suriname. Relatively few people have been successful consistently reproducing this species in captivity, one of them being a good friend and fellow hobbyist Mike Novy, who produced the animals we have for sale.
Links of Interest:
Wikipedia – article on the current habitat of Super Tiger Leg Monkey Frogs in the wild
Reptiles Magazine – A great article by Devin Edmonds on the captive husbandry of Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Reptiles Magazine – A short article by Devin Edmonds on breeding Super Tiger Legs in captivity
AmphibiaWeb – a bit of natural history of Phyllomedusa tomopterna