Barking Tree Frog

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Scientific name: Hyla gratiosa

The basics:
The Barking Tree Frog is found in the south-eastern United States. This largest of the USA’s many treefrogs is as attractive, and far hardier and bolder, than many popular tropical species, but has somehow escaped the notice of mainstream amphibian enthusiasts. The Barking Tree Frog is one of the best frog-choices for novices, and, because it is seldom bred in captivity, deserves the attention of pros as well.

The Barking Treefrog’s range extends from southern New Jersey to southern Florida and southern Louisiana, along the USA’s Coastal Plain. It inhabits brushy meadows, pine and deciduous woodlands, swamps, suburban yards, farmland, and riverside brush.

Appearance / health:
The Barking Tree Frog reaches length of 7 cm (2.8 inches) in length, but appears larger to its stocky build and broad head. The granular skin’s color ranges from bright to dark or olive-green, and is marked with dark, black-ringed spots.

Well-cared-for pets may live to 12+ years of age. Nutritional deficiencies and digestive tract blockages that result from feeding overly large or difficult-to-digest insects are the most commonly encountered health problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Barking Tree Frogs are nocturnal, but often change their habits, and readily feed from the hand. As is true for all amphibians, they should be handled only when necessary, and then with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed. Amphibian skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to wounds, eyes, or the mouth.

Barking Tree Frogs do well in groups. A 20 gallon high-style tank makes a good home for 2-3 adults. Sphagnum or carpet moss may be used as the substrate, and the terrarium should be stocked with cork bark rolls, branches, plants and vines.

Barking Treefrogs fare best when kept at 68-75 F, but can tolerate cooler and warmer temperatures. They do not require Ultra-Violet B light, but anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, may be of some benefit.

The terrarium should be misted daily and supplied with a water bowl, which should be changed daily. Chlorine and chloramine must be removed from water via liquid preparations available at pet stores.

A highly-varied diet is essential. Provide your pet with roaches, sow bugs, crickets, earthworms, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies, silkworms, and other commercially available insects. Mealworms should be avoided. Most meals should be coated with powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3, with a vitamin mineral supplement being provided 2-3x weekly.

Breeding may be stimulated by normal fluctuations in room temperature, or a cooling off period of 4-6 weeks at 55 F. A commercial rain chamber, or increased misting, is useful in stimulating breeding behavior.

Gravid females produce 400-4,000+ eggs, which typically hatch within 4-10 days. The tadpoles may be reared on fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, and par-boiled kale. Metamorphosis is achieved in 40-90 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


voracious eaters, household room temperatures, easiest amphibians, low maintenance animal


nighttime color changes, sturdy potted plants, minimal terrarium infrastructure.A

Barking Tree Frog Health Tip

Barking Tree Frog

From bnaqqimanco Jun 18 2013 12:12AM


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