Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted Nov 15, 2015
Waxy monkey frogs are an incredibly cute and entertaining frog, with many unique aspects.
To be clear, I am referring to /Phyllomedusa sauvagii/, one of the smaller species of waxy tree frogs.
The care requirements for this frog are not simple, but far from unattainable. Not being large frogs, their space requirements are modest (albeit certainly greater than your average aquarium), and they eat readily and with enthusiasm; I'd worry more about overweight frogs than picky eaters.
Their environmental requirements are about average for herpetofauna, but I would not recommend them to a first time herp owner; they do have stringent heat and humidity requirements, as well as nutritional requirements for supplementation.
One of the unique aspects is the fact that these are one of fairly few species of arid frogs, meaning that they thrive in a warm environment, and love to bask in the sun--which is great if you like your frogs to be visible! Their waxy appearance is actually due to a secretion they spread over themselves to prevent water loss in their unusually warm environment. Additionally, they climb with their fingers, rather than using sticky pads to jump from branch to branch, hence..."monkey" frog!
As frogs go, they have a jolly temperament, and while (like all frogs) they should not be handled excessively, they are quite happy to walk around on your hand a bit.
Lest I sing the praises of these frogs too loudly, there is one very common health issue; these frogs produce uric acid, a highly concentrated form of nitrogenous waste, and if given too much calcium in their diets, they are prone to develop calcified stones which cause "uric blocks"--large lumps of uric acid that the frog cannot excrete. This process is irreversible, so it is important to watch your frog's diet carefully.
Overall, while I would not recommend waxy monkey frogs to a beginning herp owner, I find them to be a fantastic and fun frog for the experienced!