White’s Tree Frogs have long been considered one of the best tree frogs for new pet owners. Bright green or teal in coloration, these bold frogs have a loud call at night. Best of all, they are easy to care for, hardy, and tolerate handling well. There’s no need to limit yourself to just one White’s Tree Frog, as they do great in groups (as long as they are all about the same size!).
The White’s Tree Frog, also known as the Dumpy Tree Frog, is scientifically known as Litoria caerulea. They are so named for their large, simple appearance (dumpy) and for the naturalist who originally described the species, John White. This frog is also known as the Australian Green Tree Frog, or the Blue Tree Frog. The preserved specimens originally sent back to England that were used to describe the species turned blue in the preservative used! Some individuals display a teal/blue coloration during life, as well.
White’s Tree Frogs are easy to house. They are large tree frogs, and as such require a larger enclosure – an 18x18x24 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium is a good size for 2-4 juveniles or adults. Opinions on substrates vary – we’ve had the best luck with Josh’s Frogs Frog Foam. They need constant access to fresh, clean water – a large water bowl is a must! Use an easy to clean dish, such as an Exo Terra Water Dish, as the frog will be using the dish as a latrine and you will need to clean daily. Scrub the dish and disinfect with a 5% bleach solution or ReptiSan. These are big tree frogs, which means large amounts of waste. Want to make caring for your White’s easy? Check out the Josh’s Frogs Tree Frog Kits! Remember, bigger is better for these guys. Even though these frogs will spend the majority of their time during the day hunkered down like a bump on a log, they’ll be active at night. They can also jump long distances, and will appreciate any room you can give them.
White’s Tree Frogs can tolerate a wide range of temperatures – keep your frogs between 75° F and 85° F. At Josh’s Frogs, we house our hourglass tree frogs at 74-76° F, with occasional temperature highs in the low 80s. Night time drops down into the 60s is fine, and encouraged if you are trying to breed them. Measure temperature with a digital temperature gauge. These friendly frogs are very tolerant of a wide range of moisture, making them an ideal pet frog. Aim for an average humidity of 50% or so, with spikes up to 70% right after misting once or twice a day. Providing ventilation is very important – we recommend using at least a half screen top. Stagnant, humid conditions quickly leads to bacterial skin infections. A large dish of clean water should always be provided. Monitor humidity with a digital hygrometer.
At the time of sale, captive bred White’s Tree Frogs from Josh’s Frogs will measure about 1 1/4″ and be between 8 and 10 weeks old. They’ll quickly grow to 3″ within another 3-4 months. After about 10 months they will be nearly adult size, with adults measuring up to 5″ in length! With proper care, they can live up to and over a decade. Reports of 15+ year old animals abound. The oldest White’s Tree Frogs I’ve heard about were over 20 years old! All White’s Tree Frog froglets sold by Josh’s Frogs are 8-10 weeks old. Keep this in mind when considering White’s Tree Frogs as a future pet. These frogs may be around for decades to come!
At the time of sale, captive bred White’s Tree Frogs from Josh’s Frogs have been chowing down on 1/4″ crickets for several weeks and growing like weeds! Within another 3-4 months and they should be large enough to eat 1″ crickets. As adults, they will easily eat 3/4″-1″ adult crickets. All crickets should be be dusted with a quality vitamin/mineral supplement. We typically dust with Repashy Calcium Plus, RepCal Calcium with D3, and RepCal Herptivite. They appreciate a varied diet, and will also consume hornworms, dubia roaches, black soldier flies, blue bottle flies, and waxworms.
White’s Tree Frogs are fairly easy to sex as adults. Females are much larger than males, with a wider and more stout head. Females will be about 1″ longer than males, and are easily 25% heavier. Males generally have a stretched out looking throat – probably a result of all those nightly calls! All White’s Tree Frog froglets sold by Josh’s Frogs are not sexable. In daylight, they are bright green, blue, or teal in coloration. At night, when they are active, they are a purple or brown color.
White’s Tree Frogs are easily kept in groups, especially when young. Make sure that all frogs are getting adequate food – sometimes froglets will out compete each other. We recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a group of both sexes. If you’re planning on breeding them, remember you’ll want multiple females and males. In the wild, White’s travel down to the forest floor in search of pools of water to breed. Eggs are laid among vegetation that’s partially submerged – eggs can be laid at or below the water’s surface. Tadpoles quickly grow in the pools, and can leave the water in 6-8 weeks. Young frogs live around the edges of the pools, before making their way back up into the canopy. In captivity, they are typically bred in a rain chamber. Check out our video of Josh’s Frogs Rain Chamber Setup.
In the wild, White’s Tree Frogs inhabit the canopy of tropical rainforest and are endemic to Indonesia, Paupa New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. These particular frogs originate from Australia, and tend to be a more blue/teal in color than other locales. They rely on camoflauge to blend in, and do a great job during inactivity during the day! They have had a mixed history in the hobby. Available typically as wild caught animals imported from Indonesia, captive bred White’s tend to be hardy captives. Remember to always purchase captive bred animals whenever possible. Captive bred frogs are much easier to keep alive in captivity, and you generally do not have to worry about parasites or disease when purchasing from a quality breeder (like us!). Captive bred animals are better adapted to life in a glass box, and are generally much more calm than their wild caught counterparts.
Gotten this far and still sold on a future pet White’s Tree Frog or three? So what are you waiting for? As long as you’re ready to provide these easy to care for, long lived frogs with a proper home, hop on over to Josh’s Frogs and take the plunge! We only sell healthy, captive bred animals, so you’re sure to get the perfect pet frog.
Zach is the Curator of Fauna, he leads the entire animal operation here at Josh’s Frogs. He also answers all customer questions about animals. You may see him on the road at one of our trade shows. When Zach goes home he maintains over 40 vivaria of his own, and he's been caring for reptiles for over 25 years! Zach has his Bachelor's of Science in Biology from MSU.