Red-Eyed Tree Frog

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Other common names: RETF; Red-eyed Treefrog; Red Eye Tree Frog; Red Eye Leaf Frog

Scientific name: Agalychnis callidryas

The Basics:
The translation of this attractively-colored frog’s scientific name says it all – “Beautiful Tree Nymph”! The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is an extremely popular pet and the “poster child” for rain forest conservation - appearing on more calendars, book covers and travel brochures than any other amphibian.

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog’s natural range extends from Yucatan, Mexico to Panama, where it inhabits moist and wet lowland and hillside forests.

Appearance / Health:
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is slender in build, with an average length of 2-3 inches. The back color ranges from light to brilliant green, and is sometimes flecked with white spots. White or cream colored bands mark the blue, purple, and brown flanks. The upper arms and thighs are blue and orange, the hands and feet are orange, and protruding red eyes adorn the head…a true “living jewel”!

Well-cared-for pets may reach 5-7 years of age. Nutritional deficiencies (caused by an improperly-varied diet) and digestive tract blockages that result from feeding overly large or difficult-to-digest insects, are the most commonly encountered health problems.

Behavior / Temperament:
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are nocturnal, but may 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 their owner’s wounds, eyes, or the mouth. They remain rather shy in captivity and should not be disturbed.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs do well in groups. High-style aquariums that allow climbing space make the best homes for these strictly arboreal frogs. A 20 gallon tank can house 2-4 adults.

A sphagnum/peat moss mix or carpet moss may be used as the substrate. Shy and retiring, they are best provided with numerous cork bark rolls, branches, plants, and vines. Live plants are their preferred daytime resting places…Snake Plants, Pothos, Philodendron and Peace Lilies will be appreciated by these little gymnasts.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs fare best when kept at a temperature gradient of 75-85 F, with a dip to 70 F at night. Treefrogs do not require Ultra-Violet B light, but anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, may be of some benefit.

Moderately high humidity levels and ample air circulation is essential. The terrarium should be misted at least twice daily. They need only a simple water bowl, which should be changed daily. Chlorine and chloramine must be removed from water via liquid preparations available at pet stores.

Alternatively, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs can be housed in terrariums decorated with live plants and branches overhanging several inches of water. Undergravel or submersible turtle filters may be used in the water sections of treefrog terrariums.

A highly-varied diet is essential. Crickets alone, even if powdered with supplements, are not an adequate diet. Provide your pet with small roaches, crickets, butterworms, calciworms, cultured houseflies (an excellent food for most treefrogs), silkworms, and other commercially available insects. Burrowing species should be offered in cups suspended above-ground. Insects should be offered a healthful diet for several days before use. Soft-bodied flying insects such as moths and crane flies are especially favored.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs do best when fed small insects, the size of a ½ inch cricket, despite their willingness to tackle larger prey. Mealworms may be too much for this species’ digestive system to handle, and should be avoided.

Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin/mineral supplement should be used 2-3x weekly.

Females may be distinguished from males by their larger size and stouter build. Males in breeding condition develop rough, brown nuptial pads along the inner arms. Breeding may be stimulated by a month long drop in temperature of 5-7 F, during which time misting should be reduced significantly. Once temperatures are returned to normal, a commercial rain-system or rain chamber, or increased misting, should be employed.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are bred most successfully in groups. Potential breeders should be placed in an aquarium containing 4 inches of water and stocked with potted broad-leafed live plants. Eggs are deposited on leaves over-hanging water or the aquarium’s sides. Gravid females produce multiple clutches of 20-50 eggs, and may breed 2 or more times each year. The tadpoles may be reared on a diet of fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, and freeze-dried Daphnia. At 78 F, metamorphosis is achieved in 8-10 weeks. The tiny froglets should be offered flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, aphids and other tiny insects.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


scarlet eyd, bright orange feet, neon green bodies, stunning, neon frog, wonderful terrarium subjects


right conditions, proper care, humid tank, real skiddish


philodendron, inch cricket, natural cycles, Central America, supplements

Red-Eyed Tree Frog Health Tip

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

From mattolsen Jul 26 2012 11:13AM


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