Waxy Monkey Tree Frog

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Other common names: Waxy Monkey Leaf Frog; Painted Bellied Leaf Frog; Chacoan Tree Frog

Scientific name: Phyllomedusa sauvagi

The basics:
About as calm as a frog can be, the Waxy Monkey Treefrog’s unusual appearance and hand-over-hand manner of walking endears it to amphibian fans both new and experienced. Although differing from most other frogsin care requirements, it can make a hearty pet for folks with a bit of experience.

This highly arboreal frog is found in the Gran Chaco region of eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and northern Argentina, a seasonally flooded, otherwise arid habitat of thorn scrub and brushy grasslands.

Appearance / health:
The Waxy Monkey Treefrog has a noticeably large head, and reaches 8-10 cm (3-4 in) in length. Fatty ridges top the eyes, the snout appears to “protrude” from the face and, uniquely for a frog, the first toe is opposable. The smooth skin is lime or dark green in color, and marked with bright white spots. Protective lipids impart a waxy feel to the skin (they often perch in full sunlight).

Well-cared-for pets may live to 10+ years of age. Metabolic bone disease invariably develops if a calcium-poor diet is provided, and possibly if UVB is not available.

Behavior / temperament:
Waxy Monkey Treefrogs are nocturnal, and unlike other frogs rarely awaken to feed by day. They are among the calmest of all amphibians, seemingly completely at ease with human company.

While they will readily walk (hopping is not in their locomotive repertoire!) onto the hand for a meal, these abiding creatures should be handled only when necessary, and then with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus and waxy covering is not removed. Amphibian skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to their owner’s wounds, eyes, or the mouth.

High-style aquariums that allow climbing space are ideal. A 20-30 gallon tank makes a good home for 2 adults. Sphagnum or carpet moss may be used as the substrate. Smooth branches and stout live plants in pots (i.e. Snake Plants, Cast Iron Plants) will be well-used.

These hardy survivors fare best when kept at a temperature gradient of 85-92 F, with a dip to 70-75 F at night. Anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of UVB, along with UVA, are beneficial. Humidity should be kept at 30-40%. 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.

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

Captive reproduction is, so far, not common. A commercial rain chamber, used following a 2 month-long dry, cool period (70-75 F) is useful in stimulating breeding behavior. Gravid females produce 100-700+ eggs, which are deposited on leaves overhanging water bowls or pools. Sturdy live plants should be used, as the leaf is rolled over the eggs after deposition. The tadpoles may be reared on a diet of fish food flakes, commercial tadpole pellets, algae tablets, and par-boiled kale.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


coolest frog


fungal infections, uric acid, unusually warm environment, beginning herp owner


arid frogs

Waxy Monkey Tree Frog Health Tip

Waxy Monkey Tree Frog

From ekccritters Nov 15 2015 10:40AM


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