Agalychnis lemur is known commonly as the Lemur Leaf Frog. Its name can be partially attributed to its tendency to walk with all four legs like a mammal rather than propelling itself by jumping. This species was originally placed in the genus Phyllomedusa, subsequently into Hylomantis by Faivovich et al. (2005), and most recently Agalychnis (Faivovich et al. 2010).
A 10-gallon tall tank is suitable for a group of 2-4 adult lemur frogs while an 18”x18”x18” or larger Exo Terra tank is suitable for 5-10 adult lemur frogs.
We have found success using damp sphagnum moss on top of a 2” drainage layer as a substrate. Be sure to flatten the sphagnum moss to reduce the risk of impaction.
Lemur Frogs need constant access to fresh, clean water – a large shallow 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 frogs enjoy plenty of branches and foliage to climb on at night and rest on during the day. It has been suggested that these frogs benefit from UVB light.
Lemur frogs do well with daytime temperatures between 74-78 degrees F and nighttime temps between 68-72 degrees F. They are tropical frogs and need humidity between 60-100%. This can be accomplished by covering about 80% of the enclosure top with glass and leaving the 20% uncovered for ventilation. Keeping the moss damp but not soaking will keep the humidity high.
Lemur Leaf frogs can subsist on a diet of gut loaded and supplemented insects in captivity. Juveniles can eat ⅛” crickets while adults will do well with ¼” crickets. These frogs will also eat house flies as an entertaining treat.
Appearance and Size
Similar to their relatives the Red Eye Tree Frogs, Agalychnis callidryas, Lemur Leaf Frogs exhibit metachrosis, or the ability to change color. During the day their somewhat granular skin is a brilliant green with brown flecks but at night it changes to various shades of reddish brown, lavender brown, or orange tan.
They have large eyes with a striking silvery white iris. It should be noted that these frogs are extremely slender and often appear to lack musculature in their limbs. Handling should be kept to a minimum and done so with care.
They are a small to medium-sized tree frog with males reaching 4 cm/ 1.5 inches SVL and females growing a little larger at 5 cm/ 2 inches SVL.
Lemur Leaf frogs do well in groups and are generally not aggressive other than defending territory during mating season.
With proper care these frogs can be expected to live 5+ years.
Adult females will be slightly larger than males. Males will also make a series of “plick” sounds when trying to attract the attention of females.
Agalychnis lemur is a tropical frog capable of breeding year round but most spawning events in the wild take place during the wetter spring and summer months. In captivity it has been found that a decrease in humidity to 50-75% during winter months followed by heavy misting and introduction to a rain chamber with lots of foliage can stimulate successful breeding.
Lemur leaf frogs are capable of reaching sexual maturity at around one year old but reliable breeding often takes a little longer. Clutches of 10-20 pale greenish blue eggs will be laid on or under leaves above the water and tadpoles will hatch and drop into the water within seven days.
Newly hatched larva are fed Serra Micro followed by flake food after approximately 2 weeks. With regular water changes and regular feeding, metamorphosis should take place between 69-98 days.
Recent metamorphs will not need to be offered food until they have absorbed their tail. At this time they can be offered pinhead crickets or drosophila melanogaster.
Natural History and Range
Lemur leaf frogs are native to Humid forests of Costa Rica, Panama, and Northern Colombia. This species has become uncommon in the wild and is listed as critically endangered (Cr) by the IUCN. Its population is impacted by habitat destruction and Chytridiomycosis.