Australian White’s Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)
A.K.A. Smiling Frog, Dumpy Frog Description: Australian White’s Tree Frogs are green to aqua-colored and have characteristically chubby bodies, giving them the nickname Dumpy Frogs. Males grow to about 4 inches long, females up to 5 inches. Females tend to have rounder bodies than males. Males have nuptial pads (a small swelling on the forearm, absent in females) and may chirp or croak at night. Because of their docile nature, hardy constitution, and long life expectancy, they’re an excellent choice for first-time frog owners. A well cared for White’s Tree Frog can live from 15-20 years. Habitat and Tank Requirements: As their name implies, these frogs are native to Northern Australia and New Guinea and do well with plenty of vegetation and other things for them to climb, such as wood and rocks. Approximately 1/3 to 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 Australian White’s Tree Frogs can be kept in a 25 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 83-86º F during the day and a drop to around 68º F at night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. Diet: 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. You can also feed them freeze-dried foods such as brine shrimp, though they prefer live food. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening. Handling: 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.