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White's Tree Frog

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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The White's Tree Frog is also known as the Dumpy Tree Frog, Smiling Tree Frog, and the Australian Green Tree Frog. White's Tree Frog is also known as the Dumpy Tree Frog, Smiling Tree Frog, and Australian Green Tree Frog. They are relatively inactive and calm frogs, and they are very easy to care for, so they make great pets for new herp owners.

Species Profile: White's Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Litoria caerulea
Natural Environment: Indonesia, New Guinea, Northeastern Australia
Average Size: 3" - 5"; the females are significantly larger than males.
Average Life Span: 15 years.
Appearance: White's Tree Frog tends to look fat and flabby, and it has smooth rubbery skin to help it retain moisture. It can range in color from green to blue to brown. Another rare color is referred to as "piebald," and it is characterized by a green and white mottled appearance.
Size: One frog needs a minimum of a 20-gallon terrarium that is taller than it is wide. Two frogs will need at least a 25-gallon terrarium.
Lighting:White's Tree Frog needs a 12-hour light, 12-hour dark cycle. During the day, use a full spectrum fluorescent light as well as an incandescent spotlight to create a basking area in one end of the enclosure.
Temperature:During the day, the temperature should be between 80° and 87°F. Nighttime temperature should be no lower than 75°F.
Humidity:Moderate to high; mist your frog and the enclosure daily.

The humidity level is very important for White's Tree Frogs, and they can dry out easily, so you must also place a shallow dish of water in the enclosure so your frog can sit in it. Avoid deep water; White's Tree Frogs cannot swim very well. Change the water daily.

Housing:Because White's Tree Frogs are excellent climbers, the terrarium should be tall, not long and low. It will need a secure mesh lid to prevent escape, let light through, and provide proper air circulation.

Place large, sturdy driftwood branches and hollow logs in the terrarium for climbing and hiding. A variety of artificial plants, especially those with large leaves, will also help to provide hiding places and give the terrarium a more natural feel. Many frogs will also prefer to sleep under a ledge of some sort during the day.

Substrate:Organic mulch, large reptile bark chips, peat bedding, moist paper toweling.
Diet/Feeding: White's Tree Frogs are insectivores, and their diet should consist of crickets, mealworms, moths, earthworms, waxworms, and the occasional pinkie mouse for adult frogs. The insects should be gutloaded before you feed them to your frog, and you will have to dust them with a calcium supplement every four or five feedings.

Young frogs should be fed daily, and older frogs should be fed every two to three days to prevent obesity.

Behavior/Interaction: White's Tree Frogs are fairly calm, inactive frogs, so you can handle them regularly. Many will become tame with frequent handling. Be sure to wash your hands both before and after handling them. Because they are nocturnal, the best time to handle them is dusk, night, or around dawn.
Interesting Facts: White's Tree Frogs have pads on their feet that allow them to easily climb smooth surfaces such as glass. These frogs may appear gray when they are stressed, and it is thought that the humidity and temperature levels affect what color they are. A low temperature coupled with a high humidity level gives them a darker or browner color, while a high temperature and a lower humidity level can make them appear brighter and bluer in color.
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