White’s Tree Frog
- In the wild, White’s tree frogs eat mostly insects and spiders, although they will also take small frogs and small mammals, as long as they will fit inside their mouths.
- In captivity, they are fed crickets.
- Though gut-loaded crickets dusted with calcium and vitamins are their preferred food, they can be given earthworms, wax worms, and horned worms to add variety and nutrients. They can also have have pinkie mice occasionally. Do not give them meal worms.
Notes on Enrichment & Training
Colony or Breeding Management
Notes species is housed or managed socially or for breeding purposes.
Dimorphism or practiced ways to individually mark species (such as those in colonies, like giant millipedes).
Tips on Presentation
Tips on Handling
- Amphibians must be handled with care and not too frequently. Always use gloves when handling, either vinyl or latex gloves rinsed thoroughly with aged or RO water to prevent chemicals found the the powder used in latex gloves from getting absorbed through the frogs skin.
- Philadelphia Zoo staff have found that some frogs get very stressed with handling and will present frogs in a display tank rather than taking them in hand for program use. Color change is a possible indicator of stress with this species. However, color change can also indicate other things so should not be solely used as an interpretation of stress. Handling also increases the chances that an animal will injury itself fleeing.
Comments from the Rating System
Natural History Information
Range and Habitat
White’s tree frogs are found in northern and eastern Australia, the islands in Torres Straits, New Guinea, and have been introduced to New Zealand. They prefer to live in trees in moist climates, but have adapted to drier environments as well.
Its color depends on the temperature, humidity, and color of the surrounding environment, and could vary from bright green to olive green or brown, to bluish or gray. Females have white throats while males have larger gray vocal sacs under their throats. Both sexes have large toe pads for climbing, with webbing between the toes and fingers.
They are generally 3 to 5 inches in length, with females being slightly larger than the males.
White’s tree frogs reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age. Mating occurs in the rainy summer season and in very moist areas. The female will shoot her eggs into the male’s sperm cloud with such force that they can land up to 18 inches away. She can expel 150 to 300 eggs at once.
Hatching occurs between 28 and 36 days after laying. Metamorphosis occurs between 2 and 3 weeks after hatching. Lifespan in captivity is about 16 years, although the oldest recorded White’s tree frog was 21. Lifespan in the wild is much shorter due to predation.
White’s tree frogs are nocturnal, but they can also be active during the day. They are very tame, even when wild-born, and are not afraid of humans.
The males will call from the tops of trees during the day, and then come down at night to call from rocks on the ground. When threatened, they will emit a piercing distress call.
Threats and Conservation Status
Common predators include native snakes, birds, and some lizards. Cats and dogs can also catch and kill these frogs. That said, they are not threatened in the wild and hold no special conservation status.
Did you know…
- The skin secretions of these frogs have antibacterial and antiviral properties. They have been studied as potential treatment options for high blood pressure, herpes simplex cold sore infections, and staphylococcus.
- This is one of the most popular pet frog species throughout the world because of their tame nature and long lifespan.
- Some scientists believe that this species can control how much water is evaporated through the skin, and thus have the ability to control their body temperature.
Any Documents to attach, species spotlights, etc.
- Check out sample animal policies, handling sheets, and fact sheets on our Example Policies & Guidelines page
- View past issues of Program Animal SAG Newsletters
Contributors and Citations
- The Philadelphia Zoo