Red eyed tree frogs are native to Southern Mexico, Central American and Northern Colombia which they inhabit in lowland neotropical rainforest where near rivers and ponds. This special amphibian usually has bright green colour skin, blue or purple rib with white side strips, ruby red eyes and orange toes. They are carnivores, eating insects.
Pet Red Eye Tree Frog Facts
Red eyed tree frogs can always be excellent pet. They are medium sized frog, and known as Agalychnis callidryas. With only minimal care is needed, they are doing well, well recommended for beginner pet frog owners. This tropical amphibian is mostly captive bred, inexpensive and can be easily found in pet shops and breeders. They are special in their ruby red eyes and toes. This arboreal hylidae can be great pet for your family.
The red eyed tree frog is a dazzling creature that attracts much attention throughout the world due to its vibrant red eyes, bold green skin and orange legs. It is not only visually amazing, but the red eyed tree frog is a creature of interesting habits. To acquaint you better with the red eyed tree frog, following is a summary of red eyed tree frog information.
The scientific name for the red eyed tree frog is agalychnis callidryas, which in Greek means beautiful tree/wood nymph. The frog was discovered in Panama by Edward D. Cope in 1862. They reside in the rainforests throughout Central America and in northern South America.
The red eyed tree frog is a nocturnal, arboreal amphibian. They spend the day resting or sleeping on the underside of leaves in the rainforest. At night, they awaken and hunt for food. They are relatively small in size, ranging from 1” to 2”, with the female being the largest.
They are bright lime green with blue and yellow flank stripes. Their lower thighs and feet are bright orange. Their eyes, for what they are named, are bright red with elliptical pupils. Their skin is very porous, which allows them to absorb water. They drink through their skin and this also helps with their breathing. They have three eyelids, one of which provides camouflage to their bright red eyes.
Some of the most interesting red eyed tree frog information relates to its innate sense of danger and its incredible natural defenses. The red eyed tree frog’s primary predators are bats, snakes, birds and even other frogs. If a predator approaches the red eyed tree frog during the day, it will encounter a small green frog that almost perfectly blends in with the leave onto which it clings.
However, when the red eyed tree frog senses the predator, it will quickly open its eyes to reveal big, bright red orbs that will startle the predator. Additionally, the frog takes its legs from under its belly to show off its bright blue and yellow side strips and orange feet. The predator pauses, startled by the sudden burst of color. This is known as startle coloration and gives the red eyed tree frog the moment it needs to escape to safety.
The red eyed tree frog feeds at night on flies, moths, crickets and sometimes other frogs. It hunts for prey or just silently waits for prey to approach. Once a tasty tidbit is sighted, the frog flicks it lightning-fast tongue out and catches the unsuspecting prey. The red eyed tree frog must eat relatively small insects because it has no teeth.
This is some of the most interesting red eyed tree frog information. They are a wonderful creature that has had millions of years to adapt to its environment of the rainforests. The threats it faces are the declining rainforests, certain diseases and, of course, natural predators. The red eyed tree frog is the most colorful amphibian and is truly remarkable to observe.
How do I care for my red eyed tree frog?
If you’ve decided to adopt this frog as pet, make sure that you have done your homework, done your research on caring for this frog, preparing the following reptile supplies for proper care, including creating a red eyed tree frog care sheetfor your own reference. As a pet owner, here’s the care sheet that lists every items that you need to prepare for your frog as happy pet.
Tank & Habitat
- A screen top tank or terrarium with sufficient vertical space. 20 gallon tank is good for 2 frogs.
- A low wattage heat bulb is needed to heat up the terrarium during day and night.
- A low UV output florescent to create natural day and night cycle.
- A reptile misting system if your place is dry to maintain tank humidity.
- A water dish should be provided all time.
- A feeding dish or feeding bowl.
- An ideal substrate choice for easy cleaning.
- Several hiding areas for your red eye tree frog.
- Real or artificial plants as hiding areas and natural look.
- Extra reptile supplies that may create more natural look to your tree frog’s vivarium.
Food & Supplements
- Crickets with gut loaded, mealworms, wax worms or small silkworms.
- Moths, flies, or other small flying insects.
- Reptile vitamin D3 and mineral supplement such as calcium powder.
Red Eyed Tree Frog Behavioral Characteristics
The highly-recognized red eyed tree frog is a delightful and colorful species that uses many of its natural characteristics to survive in its rain forest habitat. Red eyed tree frog characteristics are what attract us to this special amphibian, making it one of the most photographed and appreciated frogs.
The red eyed tree frog’s colors serve as protection from predators. During the day, this nocturnal frog closes one of its three eyelids to camouflage its eyes while still allowing it to see. The red eyed tree frog sleeps on the underside of leaves with its front legs held close to its flanks to hide its blue and yellow stripes. The feet are tucked away underneath its belly to hide their brilliant orange color.
When a predator comes near, the frog will open its eyes and take its legs out from under its belly, revealing all of its spectacular color in a quick flash. This startles the predator, making it take pause long enough for the red eyed tree frog to escape to safety. This is called startle coloration, for obvious reasons.
Holding on Tight
Among the red eyed tree frog characteristics is its innate ability to cling to the underside of leaves. Their amazing feet form a type of suction that is created with the combination of spaces within their toe pads and natural mucus that is formed therein. The female red eyed tree frog’s amazing grip can hold one or more male suitors who attach to her back during mating.
The red eyed tree frog feeds predominantly on crickets, flies and moths. It sometimes ingests other frogs as well. It is a nocturnal species, so it does its feeding at night. It uses its keen sense of sight and sound to either hunt for prey or wait for it to approach. The red eyed tree frog will spot its prey and flick its tongue quickly out to capture the insect.
Red eyed tree frog characteristics in captivity differ only slightly. They are a social species, thriving in environments with two or more other red eyed tree frogs. They are nocturnal, so they should no be disturbed during the day. They should be fed at night, which is their normal feeding time in the wild. If you place insects in the terrarium, you can watch them “hunt” for their food.
The red eyed tree frog is a species that is highly adept in its environment, employing many natural characteristics for survival and feeding. They are a most colorful frog, invoking images taken from posters representative of their world in the rainforest. The red eyed tree frog is a unique and beautiful frog species.
Food & Supplement
Red eye tree frog are carnivorous and insectivores. They generally consume soft-bodied invertebrates. The most common and commercially available food is crickets. If you supplement your tree frogs with other insects such as worms, flies, moths or grasshoppers, you would have a happy tree frog.
Feed your adult tree frogs about 5 to 6 items every two or three days. Juvenile frogs are fed on daily basis as they have larger appetite.
Crickets are most commonly available and easiest source of red eyed tree frogs food. They are the most acceptable for the tree frogs during all life stages. Remember to feed your crickets with assorted fruits, vegetables or cricket food before 12 hours feeding them to your tree frogs. The gut loaded or dusted crickets will pass the nutrient to the frogs. During the winter season, cricket might be hard to source. It’s suggested that you can breed your own crickets to ensure full supply of various size of cricket all year long. Normally own-bred crickets are clean and out of bacteria. This can make sure that you have healthy tree frogs food supplies all time.
Red eyed tree frogs like eat most of the live insects. Meal worms, wax worms, or silk worms can be used as supplement to crickets. Place these worms into feeding dish to avoid burrowing into the substrate. Tree frogs also eat other insects like fruit flies, curly flies, house flies, spiders, grasshoppers and moths. Gut loaded these insects with reptile supplements before feeding them to your red eyed tree frogs.
Reptile Supplement for Health Frogs
High quality reptile vitamins and mineral supplements are important as diet supplement to your frogs as healthy pets. Food such as crickets and other insects are recommended to be gut loaded with calcium or vitamin D3 regularly before feeding, especially juveniles. Reptile multi-vitamin supplements and calcium powers are recommended to be dusted on the insects once or twice a week.
Water Source for Red Eye Tree Frog
Red eyed tree frogs need water. A dish of shallow fresh water should be provided all time. Make sure the water is chlorine free. You use the bottled spring water or treat the tap water with anti-chlorine. Most of the times red eyed tree frogs do not drink water directly, but they like to soak in the clean water for dehydration. Water should be replaced every day to avoid ammonia and bacteria from building up in the water. If budget allows, try to setup a reptile misting system that will provide appropriate humidity to the cage and frogs. Frogs will drink from the water accumulated on the plants resulting from the misting as well.
Vivarium & Habitat
Red eye tree frog needs plenty of space. An all-glass large vivarium with spacious vertical room is recommended as they are arboreal; plenty of height space is needed. Typically a 20 gallon tank is needed for 2 to 3 frogs, the larger the better if you plan to house more tree frogs. The vivarium should be topped with a screened to prevent the frogs from escaping.
Lights & Temperature Control
This pet do not need any specific light or heat emitter, they are doing well at room temperature. However, to be safe, you should make sure that the tank temperature is within the range of 26C to 28C during day time and 20C to22C at night. This can be achieved using an underneath heat mat controlled by thermostat. You should setup a low UV lamp to create a natural day and night cycle. This UV bulb as serve as light source for the plant inside the tank as well.
Red eyed tree frog needs substrate. The substrate used should be to support high level of humidity, easy to clean, and resistant to fungus growth. This coconut husk fiber, safe soil, cypress mulch, orchid bark, moist form rubber or moist paper towel with 2 to 5 inches depth. However, the ideal choice is coconut husk fiber that is available in different forms. At the bottom of vivarium, aquarium gravel can be used for drainage purpose.
There should be several perches and hiding places for red eye tree frog. Hiding spots can be created using live plants or artificial plants with large, broad, sturdy and green leaves for sheltering and sleeping. These arboreal tree frogs require climbing places. Branchy sticks, driftwood, slabs of cork bark, vines, and bamboo poles are decors to be used to create comfortable and natural perches and climbing areas. Tank background should be covered by dark poster to make the frogs feel secure.
Red eyed tree frog environment should have the high level of humidity all time, at about 70 is a must. A large shallow water dish needed time. You need to mist the vivarium on regular basis to maintain the moist habitat for red eyed tree frogs, about twice a day should be sufficient. An automatic reptile misting system is recommended.
It’s very important to clean the vivarium as the red eye tree frog have sensitive skin. The vivarum should be inspected daily. Dirty items should be removed and replace to prevent mold from growing. Fresh water should be replaced daily. Every 2 weeks, the vivarium should be clean and sterilized using reptile safe disinfectant or amphibian safe cleaner. Rinse the vivarium thoroughly after disinfecting.
Care for Red Eyed Tree Frog Health
Red eyed tree frogs are generally healthy, less stress and easy to care, especially captive bred frogs. They are commonly have little health problems. However, even with clean environment, proper care and good nutrient, your pet may get sick. The best approach is to find a veterinarian if serious illness occurs.
There are many health problems associated with amphibian. Here’s the list of common illness that may affect your red eye tree frog.
Oodinium is the most common disease that happens with the little white dots appear on red eyed tree frogs. You need to look close to diagnose as because red eyed naturally have little white pigmentations on their skins. If oodinium happens, you should place your frogs in a new container with clean shallow water and a little of chamomile. Rinse it and let it stay in about one hour. Clean your existing vivarium thoroughly.
Red Leg Disease
Red leg disease may be noticed if your tree frogs become lazy and inactive, with abdomen and inner thighs have noticeably red signs. Red leg disease is caused by parasites. Best way to prevent this disease is to keep your vivarium clean all time, provide fresh water daily. If the red eye tree frog are affected with red leg disease, then separate it from the current vivarium and place them into a new clean container. Rinse the frogs occasionally with water and sulfamethiazine.
Metabolic Bone Disease
If you notice that your tree frog has the limbs distorted, most probably it is the metabolic bone disease. This is due to insufficient mineral and calcium in the diet, hence affecting the bone structure. If metabolic bone disease happens, it is recommended to seek your veterinarian for advice. As prevention, you need to gut loaded the preys with reptile calcium and mineral 2 to 3 times a week.
There might be injuries to your frogs with the scratches and cut by sharp objects or decors in the vivarium. Make sure that the decors are without sharp edges and placed stably.