How To Care for White’s Tree Frog

The White’s Tree Frog is a common species that is of Australian origin. They are among the best pet frogs as they bring together the feeling of a foreign pet with easy needs. These frogs have docile personalities. They are more peaceful than other frog species, and this is the reason why they are kept in small groups, and they enjoy handling.  This frog species was named after the surgeon John White who discovered it in the year 1790.  Due to their chubby appearance, these frogs are also known as dumpy tree frogs.  The adult ones have a fatty ridge of tissue that grows on the top of their head.  Since this species was discovered, it has spread all over the world.  These frogs are highly adaptable, and they can comfortably live in different environments.

Bidgee, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 Some wild species live in urban areas, and they are known to prefer living close to people, and during the drought, they will live in bathrooms and kitchens. During these dry months of the year, other species go into hibernation, but for this species, they move to other locations. In captivity, these frogs do not need high temperatures and humidity.  These animals are not territorial, and they will comfortably live with another member of their species.  They are widely loved due to their docile and charming faces.

The Appearance of the White’s Tree Frogs

The white tree frogs usually have large fingers and they also have toe pads with a round belly and legs that are webbed.  At the top and sides of their heads the adult frogs of this species fatty growth. To help these retain their moisture, especially during the dry season, these frogs have a waxy covering over their skin.  They have skin that contains strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It helps in protecting them against fungal infection, which leads to the deaths of most amphibians. These frogs range in color from bright green to light minty blue.

The color varies from one frog to another, and t6is can be determined by the activity level, temperature, and environment.  Your frog may look completely different throughout the year.  During the night, all the frog will change their color from green to gray.  Most of the frogs have white to gold speckles behind the front arms and a white chin and underbelly.


These frogs are medium-sized, and there is a slight difference between males and females.  The males are smaller compared to the females, with an average length of 4 inches. Males stop growing after attaining a length of 3 inches.  The average weight of a fully grown frog is between 2.5 to 3.5 ounces. The young frogs are usually about one inch when they are born, and they take about two years to grow fully.

White’s Tree Frog Lifespan

This is a hardy animal that can live for between 15to 15 years under proper care and maintenance.  The highest individual recorded lived up to 23 years.  There are some of the factors an owner should consider determining whether his pet is healthy or not;

  • Active behavior and vocalizing- A healthy tree frog should always be active and vocal, and in failure to do that, you should consider seeking the help of a vet.
  • Even mouth and jawline
  • Good feeding response – If you find out that your frog pet does not have an appetite for the prey, you should see a vet.
  • Clear skin. – Healthy skin should always be clear with no dents.

The White’s Tree frogs can develop some health problems while in captivity, and some include the attack by internal parasites, injuries, and obesity.

The internal parasites are common in the wild-caught frogs, and they cause loss of weight or watery and the feces that are discolored.  To avoid this problem, it is recommended that you buy a captive-bred Frog from reputable breeders and feed them on commercial insects.

 Obesity can easily be detected in a frog, and this is mainly caused by the food they are feeding on, and you should avoid feeding a lot of protein and sugary food.


The White’s Tree frog mainly feeds on insects such as grasshoppers, cockroaches, moths, and small invertebrates in their natural Habitat of Australia.  The animals do not ambush their prey, but instead, they chase them and grab them using their tongues and front arms.  This species thrives best with a diet of crickets, mealworms, and dubia cockroaches. You can also opt to occasionally fee them on wax worm or hornworm.  The diet of a pet tree frog will depend on its size.

  • A young and small froglet that is up to 1.5 inches in size should be fed as many small crickets as they can, and this should be within a 3o minute duration.
  • The juvenile frogs should be fed two medium-size crickets twice a week.
  • An adult can have four large crickets twice a week, and the pinkie mouse can be used as a supplement once a month.

You should always ensure that any prey item you feed to your pet is not larger than the space between the eyes of the pet. This is to avoid feeding a big prey and end up choking.  It is important to dust the food t you are feeding to the frog with vitamin D3 and calcium supplements once a week. This is because insufficient calcium in the body might cause metabolic bone disease.  It is advisable to always mist the frogs every evening for them to absorb water through their skin. This helps keep your frog pet always hydrated and also helps improve the humidity of the enclosure.

It is advisable to place a  large, shallow water bowl in your frog’s terrarium and always keep topping it up regularly. The water l you have provided should be shallow to allow your frog to rest inside the water comfortably without drowning.  You should opt for a bowl that is easy to clean to avoid the buildup of disease-causing bacteria.  To enable your safe frog to exit from the bowl, you can add some rocks inside the water bowl. Whenever the feeder insects drown inside the water bowl, always ensure you replace it with clean fresh water.  

The frogs are sensitive to chemicals such as chlorine, and therefore it is important to avoid any chemical but rather use clean and fresh water.  The best way to do this is to use bottled water or charcoal filtered water.


To optimize the nutrition of a white tree frog, you need to supplement its diet with calcium, vitamins, and minerals.  These components are available in powder form.  Any live food for these frogs should be gut-loaded with an insect’s food. This involves feeding live food a nutrient-rich diet before they are fed on by the frog. Most of the reputable breeders provide live food that is already gut-loaded, and this should continue even when it gets home.

The White’s Tree Frogs’ Habitat

While in the wild, the white tree frogs love climbing, and they spend most of their time climbing on trees; and therefore, its enclosure should have a lot of climbing enrichments. The ideal tank should be at least 15 gallons to comfortably house an adult.  It is impotency to have a tight-fitting rod for the tank since these frogs have sanctioning footpads that will let them easily scale the glass walls of the aquarium.  These frogs are not territorial, and therefore you can keep more than one frog in one enclosure as long as they are of the same size since the nigger ones may attempt to eat the smaller ones.

To help the frogs who may tend to rub their nose on the glass in an attempt to wander beyond the Habitat, you can place a small paper along with the height of the tank at the bottom side. They do so because they do not understand the transparent barriers as much as you would, but they understand the black walls. You should provide many branches, large pieces of cork barks, and foliage for climbing, keeping in mind that these surfaces need to be quite sturdy to support the weight of the frogs.  It is preferable you use live plants that are hefty and strong stemmed.  You should ensure these plants are free of pesticides and fertilizers.  These live plants should be kept in small moveable pots to make the cleaning of the enclosure easy.

To help the tree frog sleep during the daylight hours, you should cover the back surface of the tank with dark paper since it helps the frog to find an isolated and dark area. You should also place a big piece of bark across the cage diagonally a few inches from the back of the wall to allow the frog to cling on the back of the tank under a bark’s cover and sleep.  You should always ensure your cage is spotless clean every day by wiping any large bit of water matter from the plant leaves and the bottom of the tank. The floor of the cage should have a substrate, and the most preferred one is the coconut fiber since it mimics its natural Habitat.


The average temperatures of the enclosure can be between 76 to 85 degrees F during the day. You should ensure you keep the gradient between the warm and cooler regions. A 15-gallon tank will need a 40-watt heat bulb to maintain n the warmth provided it is placed near the top of the tank.  During the night, you can let the temperatures drop to a range of 65 to 80 degrees F. These frogs do not need UVB lighting bit some owners find it important to include a low output UVB bulb, and this increases the activity level of their frogs.  The tanks should be cleaned daily to remove any uneaten d food and droppings, but a deep clean should be carried out every two weeks. You should avoid using any sprays or soaps inside the enclosure since these frogs are very sensitive to chemicals.  The White’s Tree frogs need humidity that is high to prevent their skins from drying out.  The humidity levels of the enclosure should be maintained at 70 to 90 percent, and you will need to mist daily to maintain this level.


It is crucial to have a hygrometer inside the enclosure to measure the relative humidity since the humidity levels keep changing with time, and they should be calibrated annually.  The humidity of the enclosure should be maintained at a range of 70 to 90 percent by misting daily using fresh or distilled water.  You should also avail a bowl of the same water for drinking. To off-gas any dissolved gases in the water, you should allow the water to first stay in an open container for between 24 to 48 hours at room temperature.


It is important to provide a good substrate to your frog so as to provide an environment that is similar to that of its natural Habitat.  The natural environment of a white’s tree frog is warm and tropical, and this means the enclosure should have similar features.  You should build the foundation of the enclosure with large-sized washed gravel that is covered by chemical-free soil. Cover all the exposed soil with moss to help retain the moisture that will provide the humidity that is needed by these animals.  You should avoid the gravel that is small in size or the shaving s of the bark that those frogs might ingest.  However, some pet owners prefer a barer approach for temporary tanks by lining the tank with paper or paper towels to facilitate cleaning, but it is somehow difficult to maintain the appropriate humidity with t6his minimal floor covering.

The White’s Tree Frog Behaviors

These frogs live alone while they are in the wild.  They prefer to spend most of their time climbing trees as they hunt for insects and nest in crevices to prevent water loss, especially during the dry season.  In captivity, these amphibians spend most of their time high up in the enclosure, and they only come down to soak in water inside the bowl or to catch their prey.  The juveniles are more active than the adults, but all the frogs, despite their age, will become more active during the evening. 

The White’s Tree frogs only become social with other individuals during the mating season, and this happens during the wet season from November to April. The males usually gather groups near the sources of water and emit a repetitive croaking call to attract their female counterparts.  The other time when these frogs vocalize is whenever they are distressed.  These frogs are never aggressive to each other, and they show little in the way of dominance. Both the males and females can live together as long as there is no overcrowding.  They are naturally very docile, and this makes them the ideal choice for beginners.

 When handling this frog species, you should ensure you:

  • Hold out a flat hand in front of your frog
  • Make sure you support its weight and never allow it to hang freely
  • Gently push on its backside to encourage it to hop forward onto your palm.
  • Whenever you are holding your frog, keep your hands close to the door since they can easily jump.

As a keeper, you should always ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after holding the frog. Despite the fact that your frog pet might be healthy, they can also carry some other bacteria’s that can infect humans.  Humans can also have some harmful oil that is contaminated, and they can end up damaging the skin of the frog.

Common Heathy Problems

  • Bacterial Infection

The White Tree frogs are mostly exposed to bacterial, but this is mainly fought by the immune system. However, if the frog is depressed and the immune system is depressed, it might not work efficiently, and the bacterial might be powerful and invade.  Stressful conditions such as dirty water inside the enclosure, improper temperatures, and overcrowding can stress the immune system of a frog.  There are different signs of bacteria infection in frogs, but the common ones include loss of appetite, cloudy eyes, redness on the belly and thighs, and frequent shedding of the skin.  There is a common infection that affects most frogs, and it is called the Red Leg Disease.  It appears as dark reddening on the skin, particularly on the skin and the underside of the thighs.  Once the frog has been infected with this disease, it starts acting pathetic and lazy, and when this is realized easily, it can be treated, but if it becomes so severe t leads to death.

  • Impaction

The White’s Tree Frogs sometimes have a feeding response that is strong, and due to this, they might end up swallowing items which cannot be digested, such as the gravel or chunks of bark. This can lead to impaction in the gut, which can cause constipation, loss of appetite, and sometimes death.

  • Obesity

Due to their size, the White’s Tree Frogs need a relatively small amount of food to maintain a healthy weight.  The adults should not be fed as the juveniles since they do not need a lot of food to support their growth. However, some owners feed the adults as they were feeding them when they were juveniles. This can lead to obesity since they just need food to maintain the body and not for development.  The adults should not be fed more than once a week, and you should avoid feeding them fatty items such as waxworms.

Breeding White’s Tree Frogs

As an owner, if you already have a group of adult frogs and they are in good health then you, might consider breeding them.  The process of breeding these frogs can be rewarding and interesting, watching them increase from an egg to tadpoles and morphing into adult frogs. Breeding is important, but before doing so, you should ensure that you can be able to house all the babies securely and you have all the resources to feed them and keep them healthy.

While in the wild, these frogs will be competing to breed in groups, and therefore keeping many males and females at the same place will make everyone to be more competitive and inclined to breed.  During the rainy season, they will travel to the bottom of the rainforest floor to breed in or near a pool of water, and therefore you will make sure you have a bowl of water big enough to house all the frogs in your enclosure comfortably. One of the hardest parts of breeding in captivity is to create a rainy season.

In order to get your fogs to breed in captivity, you need to place them in a rain chamber.  Again chamber is a special setup that resembles rainfall.  Some owners build them using water pumps and PVC pipes to circulate the water from the bottom of the tank to the top.  Once the water is at the top of the chamber, it drips down at a rate similar to that of the rain. This is because the aim is to create something that exactly resembles rainfall and encourage the frogs to breed. During this season, the temperatures are a bit higher as it rains and there is plenty of food, and this means you may have to feed them more.

Two or three months of lower humidity and less water that is accompanied by lower temperatures and less food is also a great way to mimic the winter season. Once the winter month is over, ensure that you do your best to mimic the rainy season. There is, however, a problem in using the normal enclosure as a rain chamber since the substrate might become waterlogged since you want the rain to occur for around 15 minutes every 4 hours, which is a long duration.  These frogs lay eggs on vegetation in the water a few days after a successful breeding, and therefore putting more plants in the water can encourage these frogs to lay more eggs. You can either remove the frog from the rain chamber if you have had eggs there, or you can remove the eggs from the tank if you are using a water bowl in your regular tank. A single female Tree frog can lay between 800 to 2000 eggs, and each of the eggs can turn into a tadpole.


Both the eggs and hatched tadpole need to be moved to a separate container since the adult frogs might eat them.  You should be careful as you move them since they need time to acclimate to the water in the new enclosure.

Water Quality and Temperatures

Before transferring the tadpoles into a new enclosure, you should ensure the temperatures range from 82 to 85 degrees F. The temperature of the water should be maintained constant throughout the duration. The quality of water is also crucial, and it should be clean and pure with no chlorine and chloramines from tap water.  You should use the water conditioner to purify the water, or you can use the bottled water.  Once you have provided the required water, you can now transfer your tadpoles. Place them in a bag filled with water from the rain chamber, and placing the bag inside the water in the new tank is the most preferred. This will allow them to acclimate.

Feeding the Tadpoles

At this point, you need to feed your tadpoles at least 2 to 3 times a day.  After each feeding, you should allow the tadpole you feed for between 45 minutes to one hour, and then you can remove any leftovers. This will prevent the water from getting polluted.        There are a variety of things to feed the tadpoles, but most owners prefer boiled lettuce, frozen worms, commercial tadpole food, and hard-boiled eggs.


As the tadpole metamorphoses into tailless baby frogs, you should provide them with a climbing surface.  Once the tail has been absorbed, they are ready to move into a terrarium.  At this point, you can feed the flog lets with appropriately sized feeder insects.  Some of the preferred insects include wingless fruit flies and pinhead crickets, and they should be small enough to provide a healthy meal for a small frog.

Where to buy White’s Tree Frogs

It is important to be cautious about where you are buying your frog from.  These frogs are commonly sold at pet stores, reptile, and amphibian shows and by specialist breeders. They ate typically bred in captivity, but they still can be wild-caught.

It is advisable to avoid buying wild-caught animals as much as possible, and in some countries, this is prohibited.  One of the reasons why this is discouraged is because they may contain some diseases. A frog that is below two inches is mainly captivity bred since most of the wild-caught are sold as adults. The pet stores usually buy their frogs in bulk from reputable breeders, and they sell them alongside a range of other animals.  Sometimes the pet stores may fail to provide the necessary requirement for the frogs, and this may lead to health problems which sometimes lead to deaths.  It is therefore important to make sure you do a thorough investigation on the pet you are buying to ensure it does not have any health issues.

Although they also have healthy pets, they will always have a few cases of unhealthy ones because they stock in bulk which may lead to maybe injuries or malnourishment as a result of competition for food.  This keeping animal in bulk is also dangerous since it might lead to the easy spread of diseases. I.e., if one frog gets infected by a disease, it will easily pass it to others.  The best way is always to buy directly from a reputable breeder.  The breeders also offer some advice on care, and they are usually willing to answer questions you may want to ask before buying.

One of the best places to meet the specialist breeders from your locality is attending the reptile and amphibian shows.  They also provide an opportunity to meet rare and unusual morphs.  Whenever you are buying a white tree frog, you should check the signs of a healthy frog, such as bright eyes and moist skin.  You should never buy a frog that is kept in a dirty and overcrowded enclosure that exhibits signs of disease.

A normal or a wild-caught tree frog costs range from 35 to 50 dollars. There are some rare morphs, such as the blue-eyed honey morphs, which are a bit expensive and they can cost over 100 dollars. A healthy frog should always be active with no visible signs of illness such as loss of appetite.  They also should be well fed and not obese. An obese frog should be avoided since it has a higher probability of getting health problems in the future.  After you have bought your frog and brought it home, it will take a few days to adapt to the new environment.  It will be more active during the first few days as it explores the new home.  You should give it at least 48 hours without being handled or interfered with so as to give it enough time to familiarize yourself with the new environment.


The White’s Tree Frog is one of the best pet frogs for beginners. They have a chubby look that makes them easy to recognize.  The adults are green, and they have round bellies with a fatty ridge of tissues that grow on top of their heads.  They have a docile personality and are easy to handle and take care of.   They are readily available in most local pet stores. They are most suitable for gentle adults, and they are not good for children to handle since they have skin that is delicate and soft bodies.  Generally, they make great pet frogs, and the whole experience of hanging one for yourselves is great since they also have a long lifespan which means their bond will last for a long.

Leave a Reply