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White's Treefrogs (Litoria caerulea)

Australia & Indonesia

Heavy-bodied proportions and an endearing caricatural appearance combined with large size and calm demeanor make White's treefrogs one of the most popular and best of the pet frogs. Captive breeding and imports form Indonesia have made this once hard-to-obtain species standard fare in the pet trade.

Size

Up to 4 inches.

Sexing

Males are smaller, have slightly darker and more loose skinned throats, have small brown nuptial pads and call when in breeding.

Longevity

Longevity: 15 years or more years. The record is 20 years.

Housing and Care

Enclosures

White's treefrogs should be kept in all glass tanks with screen tops. The minimum size for juveniles is a ten gallon tank but adults will require at least a twenty gallon high, preferably a larger enclosure.

Vivarium I: Bare Bones Method

White's treefrogs can be kept in a very simple setup with newsprint (same paper as in newspaper but unprinted, sold for wrapping) as a substrate, a thick branch with horizontal branching, or a large pot of pothos (recommended for juveniles) and a water container. A basking light provides heat.

Vivarium II: Naturalistic Method

For naturalistic display adults of this species can be kept in tanks 29 gallons (30 inches) or larger. A peat moss or coir based potting mix without perlite, fertilizers, or pesticides will work well as substrate. Use cork bark slab or tubes as shelters and climbing areas. Do not overclutter the setup. At least 2/3 should be open space. Only thick stemmed and leaved plants such as dracaenas and some of the Ficus species will survive trampling by this heavy bodied species.

Heat and light

A common indirect cause of ill health and death in White's treefrogs is inadequate heat. Ideally, these frogs should be provided with a heat light and the basking sites closest to the light should reach 85-90° F and daytime ambient temps inside the enclosure should be 76-82° F. In cool areas, an additional subtank reptile heating pad may be required to maintain a warm ground temperature within the enclosure.

Water and Feeding

Water

A water container with a water level about half the height of the frog when at rest should be available at all times. Rinse out the container thoroughly and replace water every other day or whenever water is fouled.

Feeding

Feed these frogs three times a week during the warm months, primarily crickets but also superworms and the occasional pink or fuzzy mouse. Insects should be lightly dusted with a multivitamin/mineral powder such as T-Rex White's Treefrog Dust. Failure to provide supplemental minerals and vitamins can lead to deficiencies that can cause metabolic bone disease and ultimately be fatal. However, excessive supplementation with a calcium/D3 powder may also be harmful. As an alternative, providing a UVB source for 3-4 hours daily and little dietary D3 may be a good course, but no methodical study has been done to confirm this frog's ability to synthesize D3 following exposure to a UVB source.

Winter Care

When subjected to the cooler temperatures of winter, White's Treefrogs will commonly stay in shelters and refuse to feed for a couple of months. Monitor your frogs during this time to assure they continue to appear healthy.