How to Care for a White's Tree Frog

Three Methods:Setting up the TerrariumMaintaining the HabitatFeeding and Handling Your White’s Tree Frog

White’s tree frogs make for an ideal pet. They’re tame, don’t fear humans, and live 8-16 years on average. They also have cool characteristics, like horizontal pupils and the ability to regulate their body temperature, which set them apart from most other tree frogs. Caring for a White’s tree frog is relatively simple - all you have to do is set up a terrarium, do regular upkeep, and feed your frog.[1]

Method 1
Setting up the Terrarium

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    Buy a large aquarium. The tank should be at least 20-gallons. The taller the better, as White’s tree frogs love to climb and to perch themselves high on branches. You can purchase a tank at a local pet store or online through a company like Exo Terra.[2]
    • Arboreal and terrestrial tanks are your two best bets. The former provides room for climbing, the latter has a wide base.[3]
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    Install a mesh lid. White’s tree frogs love to climb, so this lid should be secure and should ideally latch on to the terrarium to prevent your frog from escaping. A mesh material will allow for proper ventilation as well as for natural light to come through. These are usually sold separately from tanks and are available at most pet stores.
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    Install perches and hiding places. These will satisfy your frog’s instinct for comfort and security. You can buy perches at pet stores. Useful DIY decorations can range from draping a leaf over a perch to creating hiding boxes out of cardboard and moss to strategically placing a few hollowed-out logs.
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    Fill the base of the tank with substrate. You can use moist paper towels, coconut husk fiber, organic mulch, moss, peat bedding, or large reptile bark chips as substrate.[4]
    • Don’t use small substrates like sand, gravel, or pine shavings - your frog could ingest these when they’re diving for prey, and this could lead to death.
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    Equip your terrarium with a clamp lamp. Turn the light on during the day and turn it off at night. This will help establish the appropriate temperature, which should range between 75-85°F (23.9-29.4°C).[5]
    • Use a 2.0 UVB light bulb. These are great for use with live reptiles and amphibians, as they mimic natural light.[6]

Method 2
Maintaining the Habitat

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    Keep humidity at 50-60%. You can measure humidity by using a hygrometer. In the wild, these animals live in moist forested environments and are usually found close to sources of water, so they prefer a humid habitat.[7][8]
    • Keep humidity levels low by making sure the tank stays dry and has a fully exposed mesh lid.[9]
    • Keep humidity levels high by misting the tank, keeping the substrate damp, or covering 2/3 of the mesh lid with plastic.[10]
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    Keep track of the temperature regularly. There should be no sudden rises or drops in tank temperature. Instead, maintain a comfortable average of 75-85°F (23.9-29.4°C) during the day and 65°F (18.3°C) at night.[11]
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    Mist the terrarium frequently. To regulate moisture levels, it helps to lightly mist the tank with water once a day.
    • Don’t mist too much - a soggy tank will be unsuitable for a White’s tree frog.[12]
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    Clean the terrarium thoroughly once a week. Place your frog in a secure location, then scrub the tank, rinse it with hot water, allow it to dry, and install fresh substrate.

Method 3
Feeding and Handling Your White’s Tree Frog

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    Feed your frog small insects. In the wild, White’s tree frogs feed on moths, locusts, crickets, and roaches. You should feed these insects to your adult frog 2-3 times a week and to younger frogs 1-2 times a week. Feed your frog, adult or tadpole, 4-5 insects per feeding.[13]
    • Frogs reach adulthood when they are no longer in the tadpole stage. Your frog will be adult when it has developed legs and its tail has re-absorbed into its body.[14]
    • You can feed your adult White’s tree frog the occasional pinkie mouse as a treat. Mice are high in fat, so refrain from giving pinkie mice to your adult frog too often to avoid health complications.[15]
    • Dust the live food with reptile calcium powder and reptile multivitamin supplements once a week.[16]
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    Change the water daily. The pool should be shallow enough that the water does go over your frog’s head. Use bottled spring water or charcoal-filtered tap water.[17]
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    Wash your hands before and after handling a White’s tree frog. Rinse them thoroughly. Residue or oil on your hands can harm your frog, and your frog secretes toxins that could be harmful to you, so washing your hands is important.[18]
    • You can even wear latex gloves as a protective barrier if you must handle your frog.


  • Identify somebody who could take care of your frog in case you leave on vacation or a compromise comes up.


  • Don’t keep your White’s tree frog in a terrarium with other types of frogs. Toxicity levels differ from frog to frog, so drinking from the same bowl could harm or even kill your frogs. Also beware of adding to your terrarium smaller White’s frogs - your adult frogs may mistakenly eat the smaller ones.[19]
  • If you notice that your frog is acting lethargic, has skin lesions, or is losing appetite or weight, these may be signs for concern. In that case, consider bringing your frog to a qualified veterinarian.[20]

Article Info

Categories: Frogs