Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosa)
Barking Tree Frogs range in color from green to brown to yellow and may have spots to blend into leaves and tree bark. They can change color as a defense mechanism, but a happy, healthy Barking Tree Frog should be bright green. Their large toe pads help them to be excellent climbers.
Both males and females are small, only growing 2-3 inches long. The throat of mature males darkens during the mating season and they’ll emit a sound like the barking of a small dog. When well cared for, these frogs can live for 8-10 years.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
Barking Tree Frogs are native to East North America and do well with plenty of vegetation and other things for them to climb and hide in, such as wood and rocks. The bottom of the cage should be lined with a moist substrate of soil, moss, crushed bark etc. Barking Tree Frogs like to burrow in this substrate to escape the heat in summer, or just to hide and rest.
Approximately 1/2 of their tank should be water. You can either use an under-gravel filtration system or clean the water every 2-3 days. Use common sense when choosing a filter: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH.
Be sure there are no openings in the tank through which the frog can escape. A hole large enough for a frog to stick its head out of is large enough for it to escape.
Two or three of these frogs can be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank, however, as with all frogs, do not keep different species of frogs in the same tank. There is a risk of disease and parasites being spread between species, even if the carrier frog does not show any symptoms.
The comfortable temperature range for these frogs is 68-78º F during the day and around 68º F at night. They are able to tolerate lower temperatures than many tree frogs, as they hibernate during the winter in their natural habitat. UVA, UVB or florescent lights with a low-wattage work best for maintaining these temperatures.
Tree frogs are insectivorous and will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. They may also eat freeze-dried foods such as blood worms and brine shrimp or pellets, but they prefer live food. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your frog time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress. Barking Tree Frogs tend to be more nervous and shy than other species and don’t like to be handled too much.