Definitions

american angelica tree

American green tree frog

The American green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) is a common species of New World tree frog belonging to the genus Hyla. It is a popular species of pet frog.

Habitat

The habitat of American green tree frogs is usually near lakes, farm ponds, floodplain sloughs, cattail marshes, or bald cypress swamps. They inhabit the southeastern United States and some areas to the north and west, including all of Florida, southern Georgia, Louisiana, Delaware, eastern Maryland and Virginia, eastern North and South Carolina, eastern Texas, and areas extending along the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinois. They may possibly inhabit northeastern Mexico. They are also known to inhabit Vancouver Island, B.C. (Canada)

This is a common backyard species that can often be seen at porch lights, where they may gather to look for insects to eat. During the day, the green tree frogs may be found resting on the plants beside the pond.

Diet

American Green Tree Frog diet consist on what ever they can catch and swallow.Usually they will eat crickets,moths,flies and many types of worms. Green Tree Frogs can go 2 and 1/2 days without eating.

Characteristics

The frog is medium-sized, up to 6 cm (2.5 inches). Their bodies are usually colored green with shades ranging from bright yellowish olive to lime green. The darkness of the color can change depending on lighting or temperature. There may be some small patches of gold or white. They may also have a white, pale yellow, or cream-colored line running from the jaw or upper lip to the groin. They have smooth skin and large toe pads. The abdomen is pale yellow to white. Males have wrinkled throats (indicating the vocal pouch) and are slightly smaller than females. Like most frogs, they eat a diet of insects (mostly crickets, moths, and flies) and other small invertebrates.

The mating season takes place from mid-April to mid-August. Females lay up to 400 eggs in shallow water, which attach to the roots of aquatic plants. Embryos hatch within a week and tadpoles transform between 55 to 63 days after hatching. Weather conditions influence breeding, which often takes place in rain. Indeed, the frogs are often seen during and after a rainstorm.

Tadpoles in captivity eat boiled vegetables, such as cucumbers or lettuce.

As pets and as state amphibian

The American green tree frog is available in most pet stores and cost between US$10-$20 each. They are relatively easy frogs to take care of. They need a large (at least two-gallon) terrarium and do well with bark, pebbles, or even paper towels on the floor of their terrarium.

The American green tree frog is the state amphibian of Georgia and Louisiana.

As Pets

Sometimes, frogs are domesticated because of their small size, fairly attractive looks, and in many cases, because of the undemanding conditions needed to take care of them; many, such as fully-aquatic Xenopus Laevis and Pipa Pipa, the Surinam toad, do not need heating unlike many reptiles. Since most frogs do not have the dietary needs of mammals, their food often represents a fraction of the expense needed to nourish dogs or cats. Green tree frogs are one of the most popular pet frogs.

Handling

When keeping green tree frogs, it is to remember that the frogs need a roomy, clean terrarium with high humidity. Captive frogs should not be handled any more than necessary. Regular handling is stressful and unhealthy for amphibians, as the chemicals in human skin can be detrimental to them. Anyone keeping tree frogs or other amphibians needs to understand that they are living creatures, not toys. Frogs should be viewed in the same fashion as aquarium fish: they are for display and watching only. If you own a green tree frog, try to handle it with a clean pair of gloves.

Home

A small group of green tree frogs (1-3) can be housed in a 15-gallon tall aquarium set up as a terrarium and covered with a screen lid. Cover the bottom of the terrarium with 2-3 inches of organic potting soil, topsoil or ground coconut fibers. 2-3 inches of sphagnum moss placed over a 1-inch layer of rinsed pea gravel also works well as a substrate for these frogs. Avoid substrates that contain chemical fertilizers, as these can poison the frogs if they come into contact with it. Keep the substrate in the terrarium moist at all times.

The frogs will benefit from having live plants in their terrarium. Pothos are an excellent choice to tree frog terrariums. Pothos can be left in pots, grown in jars of water or planted directly into soil on the bottom of the terrarium. The plants will provide the frogs with places to perch and will help maintain high humidity. Green tree frogs thrive best at humidity levels around 75%; spray the terrarium once or twice a day using a plant mister filled with pure water to help maintain appropriate humidity levels. Do not use water containing chlorine or heavy metals, as these chemicals can soak into the frogs and kill them. Water should be provided in a shallow non-metal bowl on the bottom of the terrarium. Water in this bowl should be changed often. The frog is very sensitive.

Temperature

Green tree frogs thrive in a temperature range of 68-75°F. Do not allow the terrarium to get too hot. If supplemental heating is required, a low-wattage incandescent light can be placed over one end of the terrarium to provide heat (the 25-watt colored light bulbs sold in department stores are ideal). Use a thermometer to measure the temperature inside the terrarium. Full-spectrum fluorescent lights can be placed over the terrarium to provide light for plants. Ultraviolet lighting is not needed.

Diet

Captive green tree frogs should be offered small crickets, waxworms and silkworms, and mealworms. If offering crickets, feed them chicken mash or dry rodent food to ensure the crickets' bodies are rich in nutrients. This should be done at least 12 hours before offering the crickets to the frogs. Adult green tree frogs will eat 2-4 small crickets every other day; young animals should be fed pinhead crickets and other tiny insects on a daily basis. It may be helpful to dust the insects with a vitamin/mineral supplement at every other feeding. Green tree frogs may or may not eat flies depending on the size of the frog.

References

  • Database entry includes a range map and brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  • Betten, Jane. "Hyla cinerea (green treefrog)." Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan.
  • "Green Treefrog, Hyla cinerea." Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Department of the Interior.

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