Green Tree Frog

swimming american bullfrog, shown under GNU Free Documentation License

Green tree frogs refer to the American tree frog or the Australian tree frog. Despite the difference in location and some subtle physical differences, American and Australian tree frogs are essentially the same. Green tree frogs are very popular pet frogs. They are often sold in pet stores across US regions where they are endemic. However, they may also be shipped to other parts of the globe. Because of the shipping, the frogs might be in bad shape even before they are bought from pet stores.

Green tree frogs are named accordingly. They come in different shades of green. The color of their hide range from bright and olive green to yellow green. However, these colors are not absolute and could change depending on the temperature and the condition of light in the area of habitat.

The green tree frog falls under the genus Hyla. Their habitats are usually floodplain sloughs, bald cypress swamps, lake farm ponds and cattail marshes. Green tree frogs are very common in their areas of habitat such as in southern US regions (along with some northern and western parts). green tree frogs are also found in Australia and New Zealand. They could be commonly seen in one's backyard.

The green tree frog is a medium-sized amphibian measuring around 2.5 inches in length. Aside from its green coloring, some gold and / or white patches of frog skin might be present. The underside of the frog is colored light yellow to white. A light-colored (white or cream) line appears running from the jaw of the frog to the groin.

Green tree frogs have smooth and moist green skin, and they have characteristically large toes that set them apart from others. The identifiable marking of the male of the species is its wrinkled throat which contains the vocal chord used for courting. As usual for male animal species, they are smaller than their female counterparts, but not much so since the green tree frog is a small amphibian.

The croak of the green tree frog could sometimes sound like quacking instead of croaking at some point. This quacking could be considered as “rain calls” because it is usually after a downpour or when the air is still moist. Green tree frogs croak so loud they sound like quacks.

When it comes to food, the green tree frog is just like any ordinary frog. It enjoys eating insects such as woodlice, crickets, moths, flies, and small invertebrates such as worms. From mid-April up until mid-August, the green tree frogs mate.

Female green tree frogs are not as big egg-layers as bullfrogs. In fact, the number of eggs they lay is only limited to around 400. These eggs do not stay near the surface of the water like other frog eggs -- they attach to the roots of available plants nearby. After a week, the eggs hatch and embryos emerge. These embryos take approximately 1 and a half to 2 months to transform into mature frogs. Despite the set schedule for mating, it usually occurs after rain falls.

Feeding and Care

If raised in captivity, you need to choose the type of habitat you are going to raise your frog. It is possible to raise one inside a glass tank or an aquarium. When you decide to raise one in a simple glass tank, the tank should have a 10 gallon capacity in order to ensure the safety and health of your frogs. The aquarium should have both water and soil so the frog can bury itself. The water should be clean and devoid of bacteria in order to avoid infections that might be caused by them.

The terrarium is basically an enclosed ecosphere pretty much like an aquarium. However, it is more sophisticated in design. A terrarium tries hard to mimic and emulate natural habitat so the species can grow regularly on its own. Even so, it's still advisable to coat or mix in Calcium with the frog's food around thrice a week for maximal growth.

Tadpoles, when raised in captivity, should be fed either cabbage or lettuce. The temperature levels inside the tank should be around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Also, like other frogs, green tree frog likes humidity. This means you should moisten the inside of the tank every morning or so. You should clean out your frog tank thoroughly around once a week. No soap should be used, only hot water. With regards to lighting, nothing is required because green tree frogs are nocturnal. Heaters are only applicable for terrariums only if it is freezing cold.

Green tree frogs are hardy pets you can get anywhere. Their abundance and resilience, however, should not be used as a basis to forget about properly taking care of them.