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White's Tree Frog

Litoria caerulea

 

 

 

Temperature

80-86F daytime, 72-78F nighttime.  Never below 70F

Humidity

About 60% humidity.  However skin must not be allowed to dry.

Cage Setup

Large Arboreal cage, with plenty of climbing opportunity.

Characteristics

A very laid-back species, prefect as a "first frog" since they can be handled a little more than most.  Very lively when hunting.

Geographic Location:

The White's (or Dumpy) Tree frog is native to Australia and southern New Guinea and can be found both in the northern and eastern parts of Australia. Mainly from the coast to the drier interior of north western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, SA, and NSW. They can now be found in all kinds of habitats, frequently near homes, around water tanks and cisterns.

Appearance:

The general appearance of a White's tree frog is unforgettable. They tend to be fat, with permanent placid smiles that make them look vaguely like Buddhas; at rest, they sit in an immobile greenish lump, legs folded beneath them, while in times of activity they leap about and climb dexterously with startlingly long and slender limbs.  They tend to be very still during the day, even when disturbed and can easily be mistaken for porcelain frogs and not the real thing!

There are two main subgroups: (both may have scattered white or gold spots on the side and occasionally on the back from the angle of the mouth to the base of the forearms.

  • Australian (Coloration: bright green, blue green, turquoise blue)

  • Indonesian (Coloration: dull green)

The White's is a large tree frog in general, ranging in length from 3 to 4.5 inches (7 to 11.5 cm). Females are usually slightly bigger than the males. An average female frog is about four inches in length, whereas a male would be in the 3 inch range.

Lifespan:

White's easily live 10-15 years in captivity, under moderately maintained conditions.  They are known to often reach around 20 years with good care and diet.  Their lifespan in the wild is much shorter due to predation.

Housing:

These are a larger species of frog and so require a large cage both in ground area and in height for climbing.  The seem to thrive in captivity when given a moderate amount of care and are excellent as a beginner species as they are much hardier than many species.  Provide plenty of branches and bushy plants.

Feeding:

Try not to over-feed your White's. It is recommended that adult White's be fed once about every two to three days. Over-feeding can cause the White's to become obese. And in some extreme cases, they can become so obese that their supratympanic ridges become so large that they cover the frogs eyes, rendering them blind.  (The supratympanic ridges are the area above the eardrum and eye of the frog.)
 

- For Juveniles (1/2 to 1 1/2 inch):
Feed 2-3 week old crickets daily (crickets should be no longer than the width of the froglet's head). A coating of calcium/vitamin supplement is strongly recommended. Young White's need these additives to grow up healthy. Many White's available in pet stores are beyond the "juvenile" age, so this feeding may not apply to most "new" White's owners.
- Young Adults (1 1/2 to 3 inch):

Offer 3-4 week old crickets about every two or three days (coating less frequently- maybe once or twice a week).
- Adults:
Feed large crickets two to three times weekly. You should reduce calcium/vitamin intake
to once a week. An excess of calcium and vitamins may cause a non-reversible kidney
disease in White's.

  • Find additional feeding information in the feeding section of frog care.

 

Notes:

White's are nocturnal, but can be active during the day.  They come alive at night, when the lights are out, and this is the best time to watch them.

White's seem to be able to change color according tot their mood, from a emerald green to brown.  This is probably more due to humidity and temperature than the frog feeling happy or sad, but stress can also be a factor.

White's seem very maid back frogs and don't seem at all bothered by humans, both in the wild and in captivity.  They make the perfect pet frog, in my opinion, as they can be handled occasionally and although can seem very inactive, the come alive when prey (crickets) are introduced.

 

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Updated: 2/20/03
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