Scientific name: Hyla gratiosa
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
James and the Barking Frog
Some boys have HotWheels, some have giant peaches, and some have barking frogs. My autistic brother is obsessed with amphibians, so when he caught a couple of bright green frogs, how would we even have said no? They're just frogs, right? It couldn't be that hard to care for them. What we ended up with was a pair of little slimy green Chihuahuas. They literally sound like an injured dog, and bark at the most random times. But if you can learn to deal with that (as we did) the only other downside is the number of crickets they eat every week. It's a LOT, think upwards of 200. But they're also very visible frogs, easy to tame, and fun to look at. It's a great adventure for anyone who likes quirky pets. James loved them, and even spiced up the terrarium with live plants and shrimp to clean the water portion. We eventually released them, and every time we see this type of frog, James talks on and on about how much fun they are. I'd say this is on the top 10 list for kid-friendly pets, no doubt about it..
From daphoenodon Dec 15 2015 8:20PM
Barking Tree Frog
Barking treefrogs originate in the United States but have an exotic appearance. They are somewhat chubby as treefrogs go.
I found this one of the easiest amphibians to keep. They are voracious eaters in captivity and require only minimal terrarium infrastructure.
A 10-20 gallon aquarium with a fully-closed hood will suffice. I kept mine with a shallow layer of water on the tank floor (changed every other day), and several sturdy potted plants (Aglaonema or Philodendron) and some cut vines of golden pothos for their hiding places. A few sturdy branches across the terrarium or some driftwood can be of use to them as well. A deeper bowl of water, changed daily, also is needed. Most household room temperatures will suffice, but 74-78 is ideal.
Feed 1-2 times per week with gut-loaded crickets and earthworms. They will also happily take moths. Mine regularly fed from my hand.
Barking treefrogs get their name from the mating call produced by the males, which can be nothing short of obnoxious. The volume is surprising considering the size of the frog. They tend to sing before and during summer thunderstorms, but a heavy misting of the terrarium will also encourage them to sing. They are found in a striking variety of colour morphs and patterns and do change their tone slightly.
Handling is not recommended -- despite being chubby and dumpy looking, they are quite agile and are strong jumpers. Wash hands before and after handling. Using a small plastic container to move the frogs is preferable to a grasping hand..
From bnaqqimanco Jun 18 2013 12:12AM