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Whites Tree Frog care
Our goal is to continually learn by furthering our knowledge and improving our care practices. We have spent many years engaging with veterinarians, researchers, biologists, breeders, hobbyists and students to gain access to valuable data and seek input where appropriate. We have also learned a lot about the husbandry and behavior of our personal collection of Whites Tree Frogs. We are active members of the Whites Tree Frog Lovers Facebook group and follow their care guidelines. Below are some basic care suggestions.
Scientific name: Ranoidea caerulea
Distribution: Northern and eastern Australia; islands in the Torres Straits; New Guinea and New Zealand
Size: Females can reach snout-to-vent length of 4 inches (10.2 cm); males are usually smaller
Longevity: Average lifespan in captivty is about 16 years
Difficulty: Easy; beginner
Fun fact: Whites Tree Frog skin secretions have antibacterial and antiviral properties
Conservation status: least concern (International Union for Conservation of Nature); protected status under Australia law (Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)
Nocturnal: They come out in the early evenings to hunt for food
Calling: Males are known for calling in the evening and at night; females also can vocalize in response to a male's call; both sexes vocalize when scared or threatened
Daytime habits: In the wild, they can be found in cool, dark and moist places; in captivity they can be found basking on a high perch under a light or heat source
Bigger the better: tall, all glass vivaria with secure screen top is the standard
Gallons per frog: 20 gallons for the first frog and 10 gallons for each additional frog
Daytime: 75-85 degrees F
Create a heat gradient, with the highest temperature nearest the top (heat source) at 85 degrees with a gradual decline in temperature closer to the bottom
Nighttime: Drop in temperature down to 65 degrees F can be safely tolerated
At Sticky Toes Oasis, we drop our temperatures 10 degrees at nights for our adults. We only drop the temperature a few degress at night for our juveniles and subadults.
Adults: low humidity 30-50%
Juveniles (under 1 year): 50-60%
Day/night cycle: Achieve a day and night cycle through incandescent bulbs (this can double as a heat source too) - 12 hours on and 12 hours off
Full spectrum: For maintaining plants and showcasing your frog's bright, natural colors, full-spectrum lighting is recommended
UVB: 5% UVB lighting is recommended (12 hours on and 12 hours off); UVB does not pass through glass so should be placed at the top of tank above the mesh, screen lid
Day: Low wattage incandescent light bulbs or ceramic heat emitters
Night: Low wattage blue moonlight bulbs or LEDs help with added heat and nighttime viewing
Warning: heat mats (under tank heaters) and direct sunlight can be deadly
Tip: Connect your heat source to a thermostat so you can easily control the temperature. Monitor using digital temperature gauges.
Soaking: White's should have clean water available at all times
Bowl: Large porcelain or glass dish (or reptile bowl)
Depth: No higher than the height of your frog at rest with legs folded; make sure they can safely climb out (especially important for younger frogs).
Type of water: Dechlorinate tap water using standard dechlorinators sold in the fish trade or bottled spring water
Tips: White's do best in water that is slightly alkaline and moderately hard. Never use distilled water.
At the Sticky Toes Oasis, we only use natural Texas spring water to raise our tadpoles and juveniles.
Proper feeding and vitamin/mineral supplementation is critical for the long-term survival of White's Tree Frogs. Our juveniles have high calcium requirements to meet the demands of their rapidly growing skeletal system.
Juveniles (1/2 to 1 1/2 inches): feed daily; food can be crickets that are about two to three weeks old (they should be no longer than the length of a froglet's head). Twice a week, coat with a multivitamin supplement and calcium carbonate (1 part supplement and 3 parts calcium).
Subadults to adults (1 1/2 to 3 inches): Feed every two to three days; food can be crickets that are three to four weeks old and coated as mentioned above once a week. You can also offer small dubia roaches and young silkworms at this age.
Adults: Feed two to three times per week; food should be a variety and can include appropriately sized dubia roaches, crickets, silkworms, locusts, butterworms, hornworms and moths. To prevent problems associated with excessive calcium intake, coat food once per week.
Tip: White's have a tendency for obesity, so watch for extensive supratympanic glandular development (these look like excess fat folds around their heads where ears would be).
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