Other common names: Gray Treefrog; North American Tree Frog
Scientific name: Hyla versicolor
This sizeable, beautiful treefrog has been largely overlooked by keepers, and is rarely bred in captivity. The Gray Tree Frog, however, makes a most personable and fascinating pet, and is now beginning to get the recognition it deserves.
The huge range extends from southern Ontario, Canada to Minnesota, USA, and south to northern Florida and Louisiana. Southern populations are most likely the nearly identical Cope’s Gray Treefrog (H. chrysoscelis) but the area of range overlap is not clear.
The Gray Tree Frog is found in moist woodlands, swamps, suburban yards and city parks.
Appearance / health:
The Gray Tree Frog is stout in build, with an average length of 6 cm (2.4 inches). The body color ranges from pale to dark or greenish-gray, and is marked with dark blotches. The skin is granular, and there is a red or orange colored area on the inner thighs.
Well-cared-for pets may live to 7+ 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:
Gray Tree Frogs are nocturnal, but will readily awaken to feed by day.
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.
Gray Tree Frogs do well in groups if provided enough space and cover. A 20 gallon high-style tank makes a good home for 2-4 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.
Gray Treefrogs fare best when kept at 65-75 F, but can tolerate 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 small roaches, sow bugs, crickets, earthworms, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies, silkworms, and other commercially available insects. Gray Treefrogs are best fed small insects, the size of a ¼ to ½ inch cricket, despite their willingness to tackle larger prey. 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.
Males may be distinguished by their black throat pouches. Gravid females produce 400-2,000+ eggs, which typically hatch within 4-8 days. The tadpoles may be reared on fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, and par-boiled dandelion. Metamorphosis is achieved in 40-60 days.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
perfect pets, Friendly Frogs, fun time, beginners frog
homebuilt terrarium, safe environment, overall care.These frog, gallon aquarium, plants
dechlorinated water, hardwood tree branches, small potted starter, java moss, different bromiliads
gray tree frogs
We had 14 Gray Tree Frogs and 5 little girls. They LOVED the frogs. When we would mist them in their vivarium, they would sing and chirp and the girls would "sing" along with them. Feeding was also another fun time at our house. We would buy 4 dozen crickets every 2 weeks and the girls would help us feed them. The frogs knew when it was time to eat too, and they would each come to the top of the cage and each had their own little spot and we would watch them eat. We also would feed them worms and random bugs that the girls would find around the yard.
They were great pets. Our 3 year old would sit them on her arm, and even fall asleep with them on her, and they would stay right there on her the whole time! And it was nice to have their beautiful singing every night.
They were very low maintanence , we never really had to clean their cage. The way my husband built their vivarium, they had java moss and different bromiliads, and water with fish at the bottom, so it was essetially a self sustaining eco system. The only routine maintenence was cleaning the water pump filter and keeping the moss off the front glass, and of course cleaning of the outside of the glass of little fingerprints and face prints. They did require misting every other day, but that was about it. This is definitely a beginners frog, easy to care for, low maintenence, and great for kids..
From jessicaann00 Apr 14 2015 4:55PM
Difficult to keep in a cage
These frogs belong in the wild. I have had them in a cage before, but it required a lot of time to setup and maintain. The tank had dirt on the bottom, with moss and plants covering most of it. I had a corner of the tank filled with water to give the frogs a place to get wet. The frogs did well in this environment, but were not very active. They would just hang out in the top corners of the tank. I didn't keep these frogs too long as they took a lot of time to care for and did not really do anything. I think these frogs belong in the wild or with experts..
From chrhen2007 Nov 30 2013 11:45AM