Pacific Tree Frog

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Other common names: Pacific Treefrog; Pacific Chorus Frog

Scientific name: Pseudacris regilla

The basics:
This very attractive creature has become adapted to an amazingly-wide range of habitats and temperature zones. It is not often kept as a pet, but does quite well when provided proper care. Given the threats facing wild populations, Pacific Treefrogs need the attentions of serious frog breeders.

The huge range extends from southern Alaska to southern Baja California, Mexico. Some populations are at home in alpine forests over 2,250 meters (7,370 ft) above sea level, while others squeak by in the scant vegetation near desert pools. Pacific Treefrogs are also found in temperate rainforests, thorn scrub, agricultural areas, city parks, cliff-side thickets, brushy grasslands and many other habitats. They rarely climb very high, and are often found on the ground or upon rocks.

Appearance / health:
The Pacific Tree Frog is slender in build, with an average length of 2-5 cm (0.75-2 in). The body color, which can be changed rapidly, may be green, brown, tan, gray or black, and a black stripe runs along the side of the head and body.

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:
Pacific Tree Frogs are nocturnal, but will usually feed by day. 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.

A 10 gallon 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.

Pacific Treefrogs fare best when kept at 65-72 F, but can tolerate warmer and cooler 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 species. Pacific Treefrogs are best fed small insects, the size of a ¼ inch cricket. 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 50 F. A commercial rain chamber, or increased misting, is useful in stimulating breeding behavior.

Gravid females produce 400-1,000+ 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 2-4 months.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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