Welcome to the Hyla cinerea keeping guide, the common name for this tree frog is the USA green tree frog. Here’s the classification if you’re really in to it!
Animalia > Chordata > Lissamphibia > Anura > Hylidae > Hyla > Hyla cinerea !
Amercian Green Tree Frog Care Sheet (Hyla cinerea)
This tree frog inhabits a vast area of the United States from inland Illinois to Virginia right around the coastal counies through to Mexico.
Although they are generally green like the ones illustrated here, they can also be paler and even yellow or dark green/olive coloured.
This colour change can be due to localised populations, mating season or temperature fluctuations.
|The frog on the right is a typical example of they colour you are likely to come across and is a pea green with two white/cream markings from the corner of the mouth extending to just above the first armpit although it may continue almost to the back of the frog.
There is also a white line down the outer side of the hind legs.
They have little round suction cups on the end of each digit and have a horizontal pupil set in to a sort of metallic gold coloured eye.
The males make a loud croaking noise which sounds like grp, grp, grp in fast succession. Click here to hear one calling
These frogs are very similar in appearance to the white lipped tree frog but are much smaller, usually they get to around 2.5 inches long
Housing Hyla Cinerea
As mentioned in the introduction this tree frog covers a large area of the US which in turn means it covers a large range of temperatures and habitats.
This is good news for you and me as it suggests that the frog is very resilient and adaptable to various conditions.
|In captivity you need not spend a great deal of money on large tanks, heating systems and humidity controls. In fact a plastic tank of 18 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches will be quite large enough for up to 3 adults or 6 juveniles.
This information and the equipment suggested is a basic set up for these frogs, if you are wanting to go deeper in to their keeping and would like to try and breed them you will need a more complex set up.
Take a look at the Red Eye Tree Frog page for an indication as in many respects they require similar conditions.
Hyla cinerea is a resilient frog but it can not withstand long periods of cold weather, in your tank you will need some form of heating to raise the temperature to around 20C – 24C during the day and 18C at night.
|The simplest method of achieving this temperature is to use a small heating mat under the tank.
A 5 x 4 heating mat placed at one end of the tank will be quite adequate and will heat the living quarters without the need for a thermostat.
These heaters come complete with a fitted plug and a 6 foot electric cable. Please use a thermostat to set the right temperature
The substrate for these frogs needs to be moisture retentive but not wet, they need moisture to prevent their delicate skins from drying out but too much water or too high a humidity level will cause problems for them and can lead to rapid fungal and bacterial outbreaks.
|The bottom 2 inches of the tank should be covered with small pebbles or gravel to which 10% activated charcoal can be added. Make sure to wash the gravel before using it to remove any chemicals which may be sticking to it.
This base layer should be topped with a further 2 inches of fresh sphagnum moss.
Humidity control is taken care of by the under tank heater. As it warms up it will in turn heat the substrate which will release its moisture in to the air.
As you’ve only covered a 5 x 4 inch patch of the tank floor this will release just the right amount of moisture to keep the relative humidity at around 40% – 50%
A dish of water should always be available to the frogs, this should be at least 4 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep.
It is a good idea to create a ramp of some sort leading out of the water, this is not for the frogs but for the crickets you will be feeding them – they ALWAYS fall in the water!
The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply trail a small artificial plant in to the water dish. The water MUST be changed on a daily basis as the frogs sometimes defecate in the water.
|Green Tree Frogs are carnivores (insectivores) and will need a supply of fresh insects of a suitable size. The basis for your frogs diet will probably be crickets as these are readily available, inexpensive and nutritious. Medium sized brown crickets are the best size to select for large juveniles and adult tree frogs.
You can purchase live food from our other site Global Live Food (UK only)
|Crickets alone though will not be sufficient and other food insects like waxworms, mealworms (heads removed), small locusts and earth worms should all be offered.
Whatever food you do use it should be dusted with a good quality multivitamin supplement to add other trace elements and calcium which may be lacking in the insects alone.
The tree frogs will spend most of the time stuck to the tank walls near the top or tucked in to one of the corners of the lid.
Since they don’t have a requirement for any specific lighting it is not a good idea to use living plants in the tank but artificial ones will not only make the tank more pleasing to look at but will provide additional hiding places for the frogs.
These frogs will often defecate on the walls of the tank so it will become dirty quite quickly depending on how many frogs you have in the tank.
It is advisable to clean the tank every week and remove the moss and gravel for cleaning. If the moss is clean it can be re used and the gravel should be washed before replacing it.
Any droppings on the tank should be removed and the tank itself thoroughly cleaned to prevent mould from growing on it.
During the cleaning process the frogs should be kept in a plastic container with a secure fitting ventilated lid. Put some wetted kitchen paper in the container with them to keep them moist.