Gray Tree Frog

Gray Tree Frog

Also known as Tetraploid and Eastern Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

Author: John Wellington

Updated: May 22, 2018

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One of the most popular treefrogs is the Gray Tree Frog; the Hyla versicolor. These beautiful treefrogs have the ability to change colors; from a light gray to green and sometimes a brown coloration. They are easily one of the U.S. and Canada’s best-looking treefrogs and they’re fairly easy to care for. That’s what this page is all about; caring for Gray Treefrogs.

In this guide, I’ll show you the basic items you’ll need to set up their cage, what to feed them, and, if you’re interested, a short husbandry guide for breeding.

In the Wild

Gray Tree Frogs inhabit the Eastern United States and Southeastern Canada. They’re found in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and all the states east of them. Their range extends up to Canada where they’ve been found in Ontario, Quebec, and other regions.

They’re typically found in forests, swamps, and wooded areas with nearby ponds, streams, and other bodies of water. Since this species is arboreal, they spend a great deal of their time in trees. And, as their scientific name (Hyla versicolor) suggests, they change colors to match their environment.

Gray Treefrog

Gray Tree Frogs can change their colors from gray to green and even brown. They do this to blend in with their environment.

Gray Tree Frog Cage Setup

Setting up an enclosure for a Gray Tree Frog is fairly simple. This species isn’t picky but it’s always a good idea to give them the best habitat possible. As such, I suggest using a tall terrarium; something with more vertical space than horizontal space. An aquarium will work, but it lacks the vertical climbing space that treefrogs enjoy.


The size of the terrarium depends on the number of frogs you’re keeping. A 12″ x 12″ x 18″ terrarium will hold 1 – 2 while an 18″ x 18″ x 24″ terrarium will hold 4 or more. You can go larger if you like but it’s not required. Since these frogs are fairly small, a small enclosure works well. Many keepers place them in 10-gallon aquariums, which seems to work fine. If, however, you can give them a tall terrarium, you should; they will appreciate it!

Here is a list of the items you will need:

  1. Terrarium (12″ x 12″ x 18″ recommended)
  2. Branches and vines
  3. Plants (live or fake)
  4. Substrate
  5. Shallow water dish
  6. Spray bottle or misting system
  7. Heater or lamp (if your house is too cold)
  8. Hygrometer thermometer for checking humidity & temperature
Arboreal Frog Terrarium

An example of a simple terrarium setup for arboreal species.

You’ll definitely want to place a bunch of branches and plants around the enclosure. Seeing as this is a treefrog, they will enjoy spending their time in the vertical spaces of their enclosure. Fake vines is also another way to create additional climbing places.

Lighting

This species is nocturnal so a UVB light is not a requirement. You may, however, consider providing them a light under certain conditions. If their enclosure is inside a room which doesn’t have natural light from a window, you should provide a light. Also, if have real plants that require special lighting, you can provide a nice, low-powered grow light. Last but not least, if you need to raise the temperature of your frog’s enclosure to meet their needs, a light or a heat lamp are great options.

Temperature

Gray treefrogs survive in a wide range of temperatures in the wild; anywhere between 50 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit and even freezing temperatures during the winter months. They seem to prefer a nice temperature gradient, ranging between 65 – 80 degrees. So, room temperature is a great starting place.

If your house is anything like mine, we like to keep the temperature between 70 – 72 degrees and slightly cooler at night. These temperatures work great but, with a small heat lamp or incandescent light bulb, it can be made better! Place a small basking light over their enclosure and check the temperature at the top the cage. You’ll want to aim for 77 – 80 ° F at the very top. The bottom of the enclosure should be room temperature, around 70 – 72 degrees. This creates a nice temperature gradient from the top to the bottom, giving your frog the option to move to their preferred temperature spot.

Provide plenty of hiding places, especially if you’re using a bulb to heat the top portion of the enclosure. Hiding places will allow them to escape direct sunlight as they see fit.

Substrate

When choosing a substrate for your treefrog, you have several options. Even though your pet will spend most of their time in the vertical spaces of your enclosure, it’s important to use a substrate that retains moisture and something that won’t be harmful.

Aquarium gravel or sand may look nice but it can be impacted. Impaction occurs when small pieces of substrate are consumed by your pet while eating. The food is digested but the substrate is not. Over time, the build-up of small gravel in your tree frog’s gut will be harmful and often results in death. Due to this, avoid using small gravel, sand, and other particulate substrates.

I suggest using a coconut husk fiber substrate like plantation soil or eco earth. Soil mixed with unfertilized vermiculite and peat moss works great too. Just be sure you’re not using anything with fertilizers or other chemicals which can be harmful to amphibians.

Water Quality

As with all amphibians, Gray treefrogs absorb water through their semi-permeable skin. Because their skin is so delicate, you should do your best to avoid using water with toxins and chemicals. Tap-water, for example, often contains chlorine or chloramine. These chemicals are used to clean water and they’re harmful to frogs.

I’ve found the best solution for providing safe, clean water for amphibians is to invest a few dollars in a water conditioner like ReptiSafe. With a few drops, these water conditioners dechlorinate the water, making it more suitable for amphibians.

With that in mind, place a shallow water dish on the bottom of your frog’s enclosure. It doesn’t need to be very deep. Ensure the water dish is filled with clean water at all times and clean the water every-other-day or as needed.

Humidity

Much like the temperature, Gray treefrogs tolerate a range of humidity levels too. Try to keep their enclosure around 50% relative humidity with a spike up to 80% each day. To maintain or increase the humidity, mist their cage once or twice each day. I recommend getting a hygrometer thermometer combo; a digital hygrometer reads the relative humidity level, outputting the percentage on a small display.

Gray Tree Frog Diet

Most nocturnal frogs feed at night but with this species, they seem to eat at all times of the day. Having said that, I recommend feeding them just before the lights turn off in their enclosure. Or, if you’re not using a light, during the evening time as the sun is going down.

Crickets Mealworms Waxworms

They eat a variety of insects in the wild. In captivity, it’s not plausible to feed them such a wide variety. Stick to what’s easily available; crickets, mealworms, waxworms, hornworms, etc. Large mealworms are fine, provided your Gray Tree Frog is full-grown. Also, I recommend “gutloading” your crickets before giving them to your frog. Doing this boosts the nutrients within the cricket which, when eaten, helps keep your treefrog happy and healthy.

This small variety of insects won’t be enough to provide your pet with all the nutrition it needs. Due to this, you should dust their food with supplements. Calcium is needed to maintain healthy, strong bones and a vitamin and mineral supplement is needed too.

Reproduction

Gray treefrogs actually hibernate during the winter months, when temperatures drop to freezing. Because of this, it can be difficult to mimic a winter/spring cycle in order to prompt your frogs to breed. Simply having a male and female in the same enclosure rarely leads to reproduction. Hence the reason for cycling or recreating the winter and spring environments.

This species is entirely capable of hibernating. As such, many people actually place them outside during the winter months, only to bring them back inside during springtime. Indoor terrarium setups are typically similar to the conditions of spring; having temperatures in the low 70’s, moderate humidity, and 12 – 14 hour light cycle.

I don’t advise putting your frog outside for the winter, at least not without proper research and planning. Having said that, I won’t be adding a guide for that here; I won’t take responsibility for it because I don’t have the first-hand experience. Instead, I’ll encourage you to first try a method that doesn’t require as much preparation and doesn’t require leaving your frog outside all winter. If you’re not successful in the end, perhaps you should research the method found here.

Sexing

The first step in breeding is to determine if you have a male and female. To do this, inspect your treefrogs for the following traits. Females are larger than the males, growing between 1.75 – 2.5 inches in length. Also, they tend to have a white coloration around their throat and they don’t call or ‘croak’. Males, on the other hand, usually grow between 1.25 – 1.5 inches in length and often call during the mating season. They usually have a dark brown or gray throat.

Breeding

The best method for breeding this species is by ‘cycling’, which is the replication of their normal environment. The goal is to mimic a winter and spring season by manipulating the temperature, humidity, and rainfall.

Decrease the temperature within the enclosure for 10 – 15 degrees for 2 – 4 weeks. During this period, increase their night time to 12 – 14 hours a day and stop misting their enclosure. So long as they have a shallow water dish with clean water, they will be fine.

After 2 – 4 weeks, try to mimic springtime by increasing the temperature in their enclosure. Raise the temperature back to normal or slightly above; 75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the day-light hours to 12 – 14 hours per day, mist their enclosure often, and consider changing their shallow water dish to a large water dish.

With any luck, the change in humidity, temperature, and light will be enough to get your Gray treefrogs to reproduce. You should hear the male(s) start calling and, if you’re successful, you will find them in the amplexus position. In amplexus, the male grasps the female around the torso; eggs are passed through the female’s cloaca and the male fertilized them outside the body.

Tadpoles & Froglets

Once the eggs are laid, they should hatch in 48 – 72 hours. From there, it will take up to 7 days for the newly hatched tadpoles to absorb the yolk around them and begin swimming. Also, I suggest separating the eggs into another container before they hatch, if possible. Putting them into a large storage container with 3 – 4 inches of dechlorinated water at room temperature will suffice.

Once the tadpoles begin moving around, you should start feeding them an aquatic frog & tadpole food, tropical fish food pellets, or whatever you prefer to feed tadpoles. Feed them daily, about as much they will consume in 3 to 4 hours and remove any excess food left over afterward. Perform partial water changes every other day with room-temperature water. Also, splitting the tadpoles into smaller groups in separate containers will prove to be more manageable! Do this as you see fit.

Continue this process until their legs are clearly visible. At this point, it’s recommended that you leave them in a container with very shallow water. Some keepers slightly tilt their enclosure, giving the little froglet access to land.

The metamorphose should take between 3 – 4 months. You can now move the juvenile Gray Tree Frogs into a terrarium and begin feeding them pinhead crickets or fruit flies dusted with supplements.

Handling Gray Tree Frogs

Most frogs don’t like being handled but it’s perfectly fine to transfer your pet from one container to another. After all, you will need to clean their enclosure from time-to-time. Do your best to limit the amount of time spent handling them and when you do, clean your hands first. Leave your hands slightly damp and be very careful not to stress your treefrog!

References

Photo credit: Agape Yojimbo https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green-Treefrog-North-American-Gray-Species-5.JPG
Photo credit: James St. John https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/34038471206

89 Questions & Answers

  • alex

    Hi! I have a gray tree frog that is about 4 months old I got as a tadpole. I was wondering what a good calcium and vitamin powder for her you would recommend?

  • Angela Seidel

    About 2 weeks ago I noticed we still had tadpoles in one of my plant bases that were empty but filled with water. I’ve got 11 of them. 3 have now turned into little baby frogs smaller than the size of a dime. They are all sprouting limbs like crazy. I’m pretty low on money for the next 2 weeks but after that I can get them what they need to live through the winter and then I’ll let them go. Right now I have them in a fish tank half full of water and I have some fake plants along with some branches so they can climb as well. Should I get another tank for the ones that are already frogs? And when should I let them go since it’s really cold out right now? I’m guessing in the spring close to 70 degrees outside. Trying to do my homework on these guys to keep them alive until spring. I’m planning on getting a heating lamp and all the other suggestions and asking my pet store what to do but for now I have them fed but not the frogs. I’m gonna go tomorrow and get some fruit flys or meal worms. My question is out of the 3 baby frogs that I have I have one grey one and 2 light green ones and I read your post but they were in the same planter. The gray one is smaller than the green ones but not to much smaller. What should I do? Or are they still tree frogs? They all look the same as tadpoles and still do.

    • John Wellington

      It may be hard to tell what they are until they get a bit bigger. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing. As froglets, they may only be able to eat wingless fruit flies or pinheaded crickets. Keep them on this diet until they’re large enough to eat small crickets. Feed them live insects no bigger than the width of their mouth! I recommend another tank for the ones with legs. It should have a substrate but also a dish of water. Oh, as for the water, see if you can get some ReptiSafe or other water conditioner to treat tap water. Otherwise, use bottled spring water or similar. As for releasing them… wait until you start hearing frogs in the spring time. Late spring or early summer! If you have any more questions I’m here to help! Good luck!

  • Jeffery albert

    I have grey tree frogs and I’ve had them close 2 1/2 years . The tank enclosure that I keep them in is a 60 high gal tank a quarter of the tank is used for fish and the rest of it is for my grey tree frogs . I writing to you to ask with concerns . I haven’t changed anything about my tank and how it is set up and every one has been happy and healthy, until as of recently I noticed that they have been making a different sound and seen the possibility of them breeding. Now a few days has pasted and two of my grey tree frogs have died with in days of each other and I’m just not sure why .

    • John Wellington

      Wow I’m sorry to hear that. You say nothing has changed at all? No possibility of a spike in temperature?

  • Bruce

    Hello John,
    We acquired frog eggs over 4 years ago from a friend who found them in the horse trough on their farm. We hatched them out, let them grow into tiny frogs, then set all but 4 free. We still have those 4 and they are eastern grey tree frogs. All are healthy.
    My question is how can I get them to mate and lay eggs? I believe one smaller frog is a male, and the other 3 female. They occasionally make croaking noises, but I haven’t heard them in a while now. We keep their tank outdoors in the warmer weather, and bring them in for the winter. We’re in NJ, and I let them stay outside a bit longer this year in order for them to experience a few weeks of chillier temps. Any thoughts?

    • John Wellington

      Well it may not be wise to have the male and females mate from the same clutch of eggs! At any rate, frogs tend to breed during the rainy season when there is more water (rainfall), warmer weather, and an abundance of food after a season of cooler weather, less water, and less food. I recommend doing some research on a rain chamber – check YouTube. It’s pretty interesting.

    • katie Wilsey

      Hi! I have a cute little gray tree frog that snuck in on my lime tree plant 3 weeks ago and we just noticed it today.. do you think he is okay to keep on it through the winter months or should we put him outside. We put a water dish in there and he has alot of gnats in the soil and around the soil to eat.. id hate to take him out of his home.. he seems pretty content. He sleeps on the leafs all day and we find him on a new leaf or barrierd in the soil the next morning.

  • Jerry

    Hi, so I work in a plant nursery and I’m an experienced frog owner. I’ve had one for 17 years and have raised and rehomed various tree frogs. Today at work, we found a gray tree frog that wasn’t hibernating but was mostly frozen. Its snowed a few times this week and she was just totally lethargic and stiff. We warmed her up and I got her a full set up with plants (live and fake), moss, a tall terrarium, worms, two soaking spots, and I’m disinfecting some other stuff for her for tomorrow. Is it safe to keep her? She has a small injury on her skin that I cleaned with warm, purified water. She seems to be doing really well and is super active, eating, and soaking now that she’s warmed up. I care about her safety and just want to see her doing well.

    • John Wellington

      I usually recommend not taking frogs from the wild. Hibernation is something frogs are equipped for in certain areas of the world. Since the frog is out of hibernation now, it may be difficult to set it free into the cold. It should be safe to keep the frog or, if you choose, you could return it to the wild during the spring! So long as their enclosure is set up right and the humidity/temperature is good, the frog should be fine!

  • Cclark

    I too have a three legger ! Doing fine, eats crickets and mealworms. How does one gut-load a cricket, and with what?

    • John Wellington

      By feeding the crickets nutrient-rich foods for 1 – 2 days before feeding them to your frog! Vegetables and Fruits. A slice of orange, dark leafy greens, carrots, etc. There are also “gut load” powders for crickets but you don’t need to do that. I would opt for feeding the crickets some nice fruits and veggies for a couple days and then dusting them with your calcium/vitamin supplements before feeding them to your frogs.

  • Kaylin Berry

    Hello!! I am in Northern Georgia, and I have a little gray tree frog situation from a local neighbor! They had a little baby frog(size of a nickel) with a messed up hind leg, staying in the same spot all year pretty much, but staying alive and well! With winter coming, I’m planning to take him in and try to care for him, since he can’t hop, but is there anything I should know about caring for a little handicapped baby tree frog? Any feeding tips? Thanks !!

    • John Wellington

      Well, you might not want to hear this but I recommend leaving him where he is at. I’ve seen a Gray Tree Frog missing a leg do just fine! And they’re well equipped with the ability to enter a state of torpor during the winter (like hibernation).

  • Apryl

    hello there! my kids found a frog outside and would not leave it alone and kept insisting that we keep it. after some research, i found out that is is a gray tree frog! i have put him in a tank that my daughter has previously used as a fish tank and i have no idea what to put in it, i have some water at the bottom with some pebbles, and it looks like the frog is doing well, what should i put in there for the frog?

    • John Wellington

      I would recommend reading this article from top to bottom. There is a lot that goes into caring for frogs. Also, I’d recommend some branches, plants (real or fake), and other hiding places.

    • Hi

      Hello!! I am living in Northern Georgia, and I have a little try frog situation from a local neighbor! They had a little baby gray tree frog(size of a nickel) with a messed up hind leg, staying in the same spot all year pretty much, but staying alive and well! With winter coming, I’m planning to take him in and care for him, but is there anything I should know about caring for a little handicapped baby tree frog? Feeding tips? Thanks !!

  • Kelly

    We live in southern ontario and have had what I think is a gray tree frog living in a small planter on our back deck. I am concerned with winter coming what will happen and wondered if we should build some sort of habitat for it. We don’t want to make it into a pet but wondered if we should do something outside and if so what would be best. We enjoy watching the little guy and named him/her Ferdie and would like it to hang around. Thanks!

    • John Wellington

      Frogs in your local area are well equipped for hibernation! It may be sad that you won’t see him/her for a while but its usually best to let them do what they do. Since you do like watching your little friend, it may be worth while making your deck more frog friendly to attract more during the spring/summer months!

  • Nora

    Hi, about 2 months ago a nearby pond dried up leaving all the tadpoles just flopping in the mud. I rescued as many as I could and relocated them into a new pond. I decided to keep a few to see what they would turn into. They became grey tree frogs. I’ve had the frogs for about a month now and I’ve been hand feeding them this whole time. I plan on releasing them this weekend. Will they be okay even trough they’ve never caught their own food?

    • John Wellington

      I did the same thing this spring as a way to teach my kids about tadpoles! I ended up with toads but that’s besides the point. Yes, they will likely be fine. Find a safe place to put them near a body of water and set them free during the evening (around sunset).

  • Danielle C.

    Hello,
    My Husband was doing some yard work around our house, and had a juvenile tree frog hip onto his shoe (I’m thinking Cope’s Grey due to the color changes andbtree bark like Mimicking) he only has three legs 😢 not sure if it’s a birth defect or prior injury, but it cuts off at the knee. I bought an 12x12x18 vivarium. It has real wood branches, fake and real plants, eco soil substrate with sphagnum moss (spelling?) A water dish with Reptisafe treated water and Reptivite dusted crickets and flightless fruit flies. I have a front glass opening vivarium with a screened top and a UV 60W Daylamp for heat and natural light replacement as my room is pretty dark and our room stays on the cooler side. I turn the light off at night. He/she seems to be eating really well stalking and pouncing on crickets. Just a wondering if I’m doing everything right and is it fair to keep him/her due to disability? I’m scared if I let it go it won’t survive 🙁 again it’s a Juvenile about 3/4″ long… Tiny lil thing, perched on my nail when holding and it is VERY calm. No attempts to escape while holding. 😊.

    • John Wellington

      I found one almost exactly like that a couple years ago. While I usually don’t recommend keeping wild frogs, I know people do. And it’s hard not to when they’re injured. At any rate, I think you’re doing a great job! Sounds like you’ve done your research!

  • Serena

    I live in North Western Ontario, Canada. On occasion, when bringing in my plants in fall for overwintering, I have inadvertently brought in a tree frog tucked under their leaves. We keep our house quite cool and the frog spends the winter hibernating amongst my plants. It sits pretty much motionless in one spot. Come April, it starts moving around, eating the bugs (I don’t use any insecticides on anything and we have many spiders in the house) and hopping in the tray of water o leave out. Once it is warm enough outside (May) I set the fellow outside to enjoy life outside. Pretty cool!

  • Cynthia

    Hello, we bought a house with a neglected pool and inherited a bunch of tadpoles. From the frogs I saw in the spring and the singing I believe they’re cope’s grey tree frogs. I bought a critter tank to bring a few inside to watch grow and to release. I need to save money so I’ve been feeding them my old aquarium food from my old beloved beta fish. They get algae wafers (from previous algae sucker fish) and because there’s usually some at different stages including legs I also drop in either some dried worm variety or beta pellets once a day for those needing protein. I bought unglazed larger rocks from dollar tree, rinsed thoroughly, no soap on anything that comes into contact with the tadpoles. I put in a little stick from outside that goes from the bottom of the tank all the way to the top out of the water. There’s a large rock from the yard inside that goes halfway up to the surface they hang out on. I also have two beta fish leaves suction cupped at the surface. I also collect rainwater and keep it in the mud room (not air conditioned in there) so it’s the same temperature as their tank. I use a turkey baster to suck up water and poop and pour the rainwater in over the big rock to help aerate the water. Forgive this lengthy description but I’ve had 5 adorable baby frogs I’ve released back outdoors and 3 baby frogs that have died. I don’t know if that’s natural in nature or if I’m doing something wrong. I’ve read a lot of people have slanted tanks with part underwater and part above but I figured since these are tree frogs and they’ve been surviving outside in the pool and been fine coming out of the pool and hanging on the sides that the tree frogs I brought inside would do the same. And they have been happy clinging to and walking along the walls, occasionally sitting on the leaves. But the three that I have lost were fully transformed with tiny tail stubs left and sitting on and moving along the walls. I had been waiting a day or two after this to bring them outside since it seems like an exhausting transition and they don’t eat while they’re absorbing their tails. Am I waiting too long? Should they go outside as soon as they leave the water? I lost two yesterday, I went to go release one baby frog and it was back in the water floating deceased and the next tadpole in line to come out of the water had finished absorbing its tail already in under two hours since I last checked in on them and was also floating deceased. I was devastated and upset and have been hoping to help them not hurt them. I don’t know if these numbers are normal for nature but any advice would be appreciated. We’ve been hoping to help have happy tree frogs outside singing and eating bugs and the baby frogs I’ve released outside have been twice as big as the ones coming from the pool so I had hoped I was helping. Thanks for your time!

    • John Wellington

      If the pool you’re releasing them into is chlorinated, that may be the reason for them dying. Though, I think you said that’s where you found the tadpoles to begin with? I’ve always released froglets 1 – 2 days after they absorbed their tails. I’m not sure how they did unfortunately because I released them near a creek in the evening. I’ve had a couple die in the whole process and I’m not entirely sure what caused it as most of them survive. I hope this helps. You might want to consider releasing them near a body of natural water.

  • Kelly

    Hi we’ve had a gray tree frog living on our deck and for the last few weeks have enjoyed his chirping each night as he would go out looking for a mate. We’ve been keeping an eye on a fountain we have on the deck and yesterday there were fertilized eggs yay! Today some of the tadpoles started to hatch. We have a very healthy water lily in the fountain (which is a large-ish plastic ‘barrel’ about 12- 15 gallons or so). What food would you recommend I provide for them and is there anything else I should consider to help them be successful?

    • John Wellington

      Boiled spinach leaves will provide a great source of food for them! When they absorb their tails they will a way to climb out of the water.

  • Oleta Burney

    We had a large group of gray tree frogs set up house in our broken hot tub. Temp was in 102 range and we were removing the hot tub. To save them because no water source and one had already died under the hot tub cover. We have everything set up and the love being held. When they start jumping we put them away. Shortage of live crickets and mealworms. How is the best way to feed them freeze dried insects until we can get live food again?

    • John Wellington

      They probably won’t eat dead insects. Some reptiles can be tricked into thinking a dead insect is alive, by moving it around in your hand. Its more tricky with frogs. Can you get a hold of fruit flies or anything similar?

  • Beth

    In May my neighbor was excavating for a new driveway. There were some delays and the low spots gathered water. Some tadpoles started growing there. I think they are gray treefrogs based on the calling I heard when they were being made.

    I saved about 20 of the tadpoles. I am not keeping them as pets. I just wanted to give them a chance and I thought it would be fun to watch them grow. They are in a tub that has rocks and small branches for them to breach the water. I also added a plant.

    They are getting big now and I have seen some with legs and about two weeks ago I saw one with arms, but I haven’t found any little frogs hanging around.

    Are they hopping off in the middle of the night?

    • John Wellington

      They might! So long as they have a way to climb out. That’s awesome what you did, btw! Very kind of you!

  • Erica

    My preschool classroom now has 2 tree frogs in the same habitat. They seem to be doing great, eating plenty of crickets and climbing the plants and sides of the tank. But I have read that it is nearly impossible to distinguish between a Gray tree frog and a Copes gray tree frog. I know you should keep species separate, but would these two be ok together if I cannot tell which of the two species they would be?

    • John Wellington

      That’s a good question! Chances are they’re the same species if you got them from around the same area.

  • Danielle

    Hi , We have an American bullfrog I just got a gray tree frog can I put them in the same tank ?

    • John Wellington

      I do not recommend putting different species in the same enclosure. They secrete different toxins which can be harmful to one another. Also, they will probably end up fighting and most likely the Gray tree frog will get hurt.

  • Angel

    I found a wild grey tree frog in my house, about a week ago I decided to keep him, since i already had everything I need to house a frog. My question is, how do I know he’s happy and healthy I keep seeing him in the same spot but he might just be going back there before I wake up. he’s still making noise and chirping, is this a good sign? How would I know if he’s not eating or if he isn’t healthy?

    • Tara W.

      If he not eating, the food you give him will still be there the next morning. Wild frogs have a very hard time adapting to captivity. Losing weight or not eating could be a sign that something is wrong. He also needs extra vitamins and calcium in captivity. This stuff can be dusted on live crickets before feeding.

  • Vinnie Borello

    Good afternoon, I’ve been dying to look for some help on this, but just can’t find anything.
    Well, I found a gray tree frog near my pool the other day and I mean, it saves me the trouble of buying one. Well I have it in a nice tall and roomy 20 gal tank with a water dish, a food dish with some small meal worms in it, and plenty of branches from outside. I’ll be getting a uvb lamp and bioactive kit soon so the tank’ll be redone with plenty of store bought alive plants and branches, so all this home made stuff’ll be replaced.
    Now that you have the background, the actual question are; should I keep this wild tree frog? And the biggest question is, is it normal for the frog to sit in one place? This frog has been on the highest branch which reaches up to the ceiling of the tank and is away from the lamp, for a little bit more then a day, it hasn’t moved a inch. When I first put her in the tank, she climbed the wall and onto the thermometer. I also tried feeding her a meal worm but she was not interest, didn’t move at all. Then I accidentally dropped the worm behind the thermometer and tried getting it out, which resulted with her jumping onto the branch she sits on now. She has been breathing rather fast, as I can from the throat and her back. I assume it’s a female due to the flaps over her ears, but she’s also did loud calls which I thought were for males only. And the temp in the tank is around 60-75 with a humidity of 50-80, as I spray her tank once a day and turn the lights off at night, the temp barely goes down since the room is about the same temp, 60-65. The light is also not right on top of her, she’s in the top corner of the tank on the highest branch.
    Sorry for the long post! Just want to make sure I include all the details for the best answer.

    • John

      I don’t recommend keeping wild frogs as pets. They have a hard time adjusting to captivity. A captive-bred frog doesn’t know anything different and tends to get along just fine. Buying a frog is usually pretty easy too. You can try doing a quick Facebook search for local breeders. Many species go for $20 – $50. I hope this didn’t sound discouraging. I know how tempting it is to take a wild frog. Ultimately it’s up to you! Just know the general consensus is that wild frogs have a difficult time adjusting to captivity. Thank you for your comment btw 🙂 I would be happy to search for a breeder in your state if you need some help!

      • Vinnie Borello

        Thanks so much for the quick response!
        And don’t worry about sounding discouraged, I completely understand. I’ve gotten rather attached to her so I’d love to keep her, but super worried about her since she’s been sitting in the same spot for more then a day. Want to make sure she’s as happy and comfortable as I can, so is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable, and how long do you think it’ll take for her to get comfortable?
        And I do want more frogs, maybe 1 – 2 more since it is a big tank, would it be okay if I put a captive-bred frog in there with her? I don’t think I can have a different species of frog in there though, right?

      • John

        Hey no problem! Right – only put the same species together. The best thing you can do is make sure the temperature, humidity, and lighting are right. Her food should be live crickets dusted with calcium and vitamin powder. This care sheet should explain the most of it! Make sure she has clean water and probably just leave her alone for a little while. Oh, make sure she has plenty of hiding places. Use plants and leaves whether they’re real or fake. Lots of sticks and branches, etc.

      • Emily

        I can’t seem to find any local breeders and very few online (Josh’s Frogs, Backwater Reptiles). I’m from the Northeast where gray treefrogs are everywhere, but have moved out to western CO and still can’t stop thinking about keeping these guys! I would definitely rather get a captive-bred frog, even if I still had access to wild ones. Do you have any tips on a)how to find local breeders other than just Googling, since I haven’t been able to find anyone that way and b)who is a good online supplier if it comes to that? The only online sources I have been able to turn up are the two I mentioned above, and it seems like Josh’s Frogs has a better reputation than Backwater Reptiles but I’m not sure whether that means Josh’s is a *good* source.

      • John Wellington

        Check Facebook! Search for reptile/amphibian breeders or groups. Another option is to look up reptile/amphibian conventions and see what all they’ve got to offer. Check out ReptiCon for Colorado events. Sometimes these conventions will have a list of their vendors. Many of the vendors are breeders who have websites or Facebook pages. Oh btw, most reptile conventions have breeders with amphibians. Start there!

  • Shaun

    I have my frogs in a temporary tank and I am only 13 and have little experience with frogs and I wanted to know if I could use out side materials like dirt and sticks to make a small terrarium for the 2 grey tree frogs I have. Right now they are up against the side of the tank perched there and make noises every once in a while. I have about 4 cups of water in the tank with 3 stick and leaves in the tank with food pellets in the tank with them.

    • John

      Normally I would suggest getting sticks and decorations from a pet store. They’re clean, safe, and don’t carry any type of bacterias that a frog isn’t adapted to. If you live in an area where there are gray tree frogs, they’re already adapted to the surrounding area. Using some safe, clean sticks and plants would probably be okay. You’ll need to feed them live crickets, however. They more than likely will not eat pellets.

    • Luke Parker

      Ya, just wash the sticks and plants before putting them in the tank. Try and feed the frogs crickets, mealworms, or most small insects will do fine.

      • John

        I recommend dusting the live inspects with reptile calcium and multi-vitamins. It will definitely help them stay healthy!

  • janice

    Hi, My daughter rescued some tadpoles from a pothole near a creek and they have now become frogs! I have raised toads before and these do not look like them. I transferred the three that are now frogs to a different aquarium and they have climbed to the very top of the aquarium. Two are huddled together. They are TINY! The pet store suggested I feed them fruit flys an continue with the tadpole food. I have not seen them eat anything as of yet. They literally just came from the water(nursery) There is some moss in some shallow water at the bottom of the tank and wood and moss in the middle. They seem to want to be at the very top of he tank near the top of the lid. Should I add more twigs leading up to the top? Do they eat at night

    • John

      Hi Janice! Sorry for the late reply. The fruit flies are a great idea. You can also try “pinhead crickets” as they get a bit bigger. A good rule is to keep your frog’s food no bigger than the width of their mouth. Yes, a lot of frogs eat at night. Feeding them just before lights out is common practice. Also, if they’re for sure Gray Tree Frogs, they will enjoy a terrarium with more vertical space. Tree frogs like to climb and they find comfort in hiding in and around leaves.

    • John

      What are you trying to feed it? Appropriately-sized live crickets is a good place to start. Also, how long has it been since it had something to eat?

  • Amanda

    Are there any animals that you can keep with Gray Tree Frogs. I was thinking other species of frogs or small anoles. I’ve been looking online, but haven’t really found much information. Do you have any ideas?

    • John

      This is kind of a tricky subject. In the wild, Gray Tree Frogs live around many different species of frogs, reptiles, bugs, etc. This is no problem, of course. In close quarters, however, it can be a problem. Not only do you have to worry about fighting but you also have to worry about toxins. Frogs secrete mild toxins which can irritate or be harmful to other animals. This is why most people don’t keep different species of frogs together.

  • Mary

    I have two grey tree frogs, four days ago one of them seemed off, I first noticed it’s toes twitching, and it seemed like it’s movements were tense.. I have had her in a separate tank since then and have been giving her electrolyte bathes along with soaking her in water mixed with turtle fix (supposedly it helps treat bacteria infections in reptiles and amphibians) last night I thought she was going to die, she wouldn’t eat, she could hardly move her legs/arms and then turned a very dark color and seemed hunched over.. all I could think of doing at that point was putting the tank on a heating pad, about 30 mins later I saw her literally snap out of it turning light green and hopped right on the side of the tank and since then had been doing pretty good.. she ate tonight with no problem.. have you ever experienced anything like that before? lol do you have any suggestions? The other frog in the tank hasn’t had any issues so far.. when I first removed her from the tank I disinfected then entire tank in case it could spread to the other frog..

    • John

      What’s the temperature and humidity like in their enclosure? Also, what are you feeding them and are you using supplements? I haven’t experienced anything quite like this. It sounds like the temperature was the main issue. Gray tree frogs can hibernate. I’m not saying it was attempting to hibernate but it’s hard to make any suggestions without knowing their setup.

  • Beth

    I think my gray tree frog is hibernating. It is burrowed down in the substrate with just a little of its head/eye protruding. How do I care for it while it is in this state and how can I tell if something is wrong with it?

      • Beth

        (Sorry for the delay here) The temperature has been holding steady around 65. I turn the light on during the day, mist the enclosure and change out the water. No sign of the frog, though.

      • John

        Hmmm… I wouldn’t imagine your frog would go into hibernation at that temperature. It could be the case if it gets much colder during the night but I’m assuming the enclosure is inside your house?

      • Beth

        Yes it’s in the house. I’m not sure what I should do.

      • John

        Make sure the temperature is high enough and that it has enough food (gut loaded/dusted crickets, for example) and water.

      • Beth

        He (or she) is back! I got a little impatient and this past weekend, after keeping the temp at 70 degrees for a few days, I coaxed him back from under the substrate. He looked very pale and bloated at first but returned to normal within several minutes. I had crickets waiting for him and he feasted that night. Seems to be normal since then. Crazy!

      • John

        Awesome! Sounds like he or she is back to normal then? I’m glad to hear it is eating now 🙂

  • Kersten

    I live in Wisconsin & yesterday we found an injured gray tree frog. His back foot is almost ripped off & hanging. You can see the bone in his leg sticking out. There was a bit of red blood so the injury looks very recent. We put him into a clean aquarium with paper towels on the bottom, & a shallow water dish. I put a bit of Regular Neosporin on his wound. I brought the aquarium into our house to keep him from being in the cold outside. This morning, he is sitting in his water dish with his injured leg propped out. Do you have any suggestions of what I should do for him? I’m not sure if I can find a vet that will work on a tree frog. What’s left of his foot looks like it should be amputated. To further complicate things, it is getting cold at night here & he should be hibernating soon. Please help.

    • John

      Sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you sooner. So his leg is broken but not completely ripped off? Part of it is still attached and the rest needs to be removed? You could call around and see any vets would be willing to work on him – at least for the amputation. I know they can live without a leg. I actually found a three-legged gray tree frog on my window a few months ago. It had healed up and was completely healthy.

      My recommendation is to call a veterinarian and see what they suggest – even if they’re not willing to work on him. I would hate to offer advice here that could end up harming the frog even more.

      I wish I could be more help. Please keep us updated on your little friend.

      • Kersten

        It’s been a week & the frog is doing ok. I amputated his foot that was barely attached By a tiny bit of skin with a sharp, sterilized scissors 5 days ago. He is healing slowly, but ate 4 small crickets last night. I’ve discontinued the Neosporin so the wound can dry & heal. There is a lot of skin missing from his upper leg so it will take a long time to heal. I’ve been misting him & his cage & change the paper towel & shallow water dish daily.

      • John

        Nice! Glad to hear the frog is doing well. I definitely recommend dusting the crickets with reptile supplements. Calcium with D3 on every feeding (this will help keep his bones strong) and Vitamin powder once or twice a week. Thanks for the update, btw! I love this 🙂 keep us updated and good luck!

    • Kersten

      Just wanted to give an update to let you know the frog is still doing great. Wound is healed up nicely. He eats well. I mist his cage daily with water. Planning to keep him until Spring & release him back into the wild once it warms up.

      • John

        That’s so cool! I’m glad to hear your little tree frog is healing nicely! Thank you very much for keeping us updated! Are you looking forward to spring or will you miss your new friend?

  • Felecia

    I saved an adult female grey tree frog from my cat and she has taken to captivity really well. She is eating and climbing in her aquarium, which is temporary, but she has been spending most of her time on the bottom and not up in the branches. Is this normal or should I be concerned? I am getting all the things you recommended for her habitat and moving her from the short aquarium to the 18″ tall terrarium tomorrow. I just want to make sure she is okay when I move her if she continues to hang out on the bottom of her habitat. Also I am feeding her meal worms and she seems to really like them. How many should I be feeding her and how often? I want to care for her the best I can and give her a safe happy life from my cat, who would eat her if I turned her lose.

    • John

      Hey Felecia! Okay, don’t be too worried about where she is spending most of her time right now. She may be towards the bottom of the enclosure because of temperature, humidity, or lighting. Do your best to provide enough humidity and the recommended temperature range. Make sure she has plenty of hiding places (leaves, branches, etc).

      As for her diet, I recommend crickets as her main food. Mealworms are absolutely fine, but they’re more of a treat. Crickets dusted with vitamins and calcium is essential to keeping her healthy. Try feeding her 3 or 4 appropriately-sized crickets every 2 – 3 days. If she doesn’t eat all the crickets that night, you might be over-feeding her. If she eats them all, try adding an extra cricket until you find the right amount. The crickets should be no bigger than the width of your frog’s mouth btw.

      I hope this helped! Please keep us updated on your little Gray Tree Frog and let us know if you have any more questions! Good luck!

    • Stacey Kassel

      My son has a gray tree frog and wants to find him a friend. I know your really not supposed to mix species but… Can you add a frog in of the same size? Like a Leopard frog? He thinks those are cool. 🐸

      • John Wellington

        I wouldn’t advise it due to the mild toxins each frog produces. It can cause problems within a small enclosure.

  • Jacqueline Daikeler

    I thought I had a bird somewhere in my home because of the chirping sound I was hearing. Upon many unsuccessful hours of searching for a bird I came across a grey frog sitting on a plant in my sunroom. I need to know if the bird noise is actually coming from the frog , as im not yet convinced .

    • John

      Here is a video with Gray Tree Frogs croaking. Does this sound like the chirping noise you’re talking about? I hope this helps.

  • Barbara Welker Griggs

    Last fall a tree frog was moved into my sun-room in a large plant that I moved indoors to prevent it from dying due to frost. It sang all winter long about sunset time. I did not feed it. It stopped singing last March. This year I moved the same plant indoors for the same reason and I hear the same song. I think I should try to feed this frog wax or meal worms. I will go to the pet shop to try to buy some. What do you thinks about the whole situation?

    • John

      Hi Barbara! That’s interesting. They must really like hiding in your plants! You could try giving them some mealworms. I’m curious whether or not they would eat them. Are there bugs of any kind living in your sun-room? Chances are, they would feed on them but I imagine the temperature gets too cold for insects? Please keep us filled in on what happens 🙂

  • Penny

    We have a gray tree frog that had been hanging out on the table on our back porch for a few days. Should we be concerned or is it even possible to bring him/her in and set up a habitat & keep alive & happy? He/she is roughly an inch from nose to tail end. Thanks.

    • John

      My recommendation is to enjoy looking at them! Taking a frog from the wild is very stressful for them! They should be just fine outside. If, however, you do you want a pet frog – you may check into buying one from a breeder or reptile/amphibian convention. Captive-bred frogs make better pets because they’re born into captivity. They’re not stressed out (so long as you’re caring for them properly).

      Funny Story – I’ve watched a bunch of Gray Tree Frogs grow-up this summer. They hang out on my back porch and eat bugs that fly around the porch light. Sometimes they sleep on the windows. Anyway, one of the tree frogs is missing his frog leg! He’s a 3-legged tree frog. But he’s doing fine! I just like watching them – especially the one missing a leg.

  • Jenn

    I have a tiny baby tree frog that is about the size of a nickel. What insect would u feed?

  • Suzi

    How often should I feed. A lot of google sites say everyday but people that have them say once or twice a week?

    • John

      A lot of it depends on the size/age of frog. Most adult tree frogs do great being fed twice per week. My RETFs are both adults and I feed them 2 – 3 times per week – they’re actually getting a bit overweight, too. When frogs are little/young, you need to feed them every day or every other day. As they get older they don’t require being fed as often. Just pay attention to their health – if they’re a bit overweight, maybe feed them a bit less. If they’re skinny, try adding an extra cricket or two and see if your frog eats them. I hope this was helpful!

      • Mary Price

        I also have a grey tree frog and had no idea on how many crickets to feed mine. My frog is about 3 months old now. He just had his first cricket two days ago. I tried him on crickets about a month ago but they scared him. Lol But not anymore. How many should I give him a day. I know nothing about frogs so I’m on line all the time trying to learn all I can. I saved this guy when he was a tadpole on my pool cover after a frost. Now I just love him to pieces. So I worry about him all the time. At my age ( almost 70 ) never thought I would own a frog. But he is my baby now. I made him a Vivarium and he loves it. I have had him for about six months now, so I don’t want to lose him now. I named him Tada. Thanks for any help you can give me. Tada’s mom

      • John

        Hey there! That’s a great story about how you acquired your frog Tada. The first thing is – make sure to feed Tada appropriately-sized crickets. The crickets should be no larger than the size of Tada’s mouth. Also, I’d try feeding 2 – 3 every other day. If he/she is getting overweight, cut back on the crickets. Otherwise, you may try adding an extra cricket. Do you know how to gutload and dust crickets with vitamins/minerals?

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