Glass Frog: The Ultimate Guide

You may be looking for distinct and stunning pets for your collection and if it’s the case, then a glass frog is best for you!

Glass frogs are excellent animals with peculiar characteristics. They are exotic and are really gaining popularity in the market because of their remarkable traits and behavior. They are visually appealing and not poisonous as well. 

Hyalinobatrachium ruedai or glass frogs are amphibians or small vertebrates which constantly need water and a moist environment in order to survive. It belongs to the family of centrolenidae which is well distributed in Central America. 

It was first described by Marcos Espada in 1872, after he has obtained a sample of the species from Ecuador. The first was a Centrolene geckoideum in its giant form. It was in 1945 that a few species of glass frogs were discovered in Panama and  Costa Rica as pioneered by Julia Taylor and Jay Savage. 

The species which originated from South America was disseminated to the Central American region and has resulted in the complex evolution of this species.


Glass frogs are classified by their distinct coloration and transparent skin. This animal has a see-through abdomen  which allows you to visualize its internal parts. It is also fascinating to look at the animal’s heart, liver, guts and gastrointestinal organs through their abdomen. Their skin is transparent and that is where they got their name.

Basically, the skin of the glass frog is lime green and clear at the same time. The reason, as of now, is without a scientific basis. However, new and relevant researches conducted suggest that this is their natural adaptation or mechanism to avoid predators. Through their clear skin, they are able to blend with their environment which makes them invincible to predators.  


Glass frogs are tree-dwelling or arboreal animals. They solely live in trees or branches within the mountainous and humid forests of South and Central America. They love to climb the trees where there are surrounding water sources because of the high concentration of humidity. Since they are also nocturnal animals, they can be hardly spotted by their predators. During the daytime, they usually hide on trees or on the substrate where they can’t be seen by bigger animals.

What they eat

Glass frogs are carnivorous. They mainly feed on small insects such as flies, spiders, crickets, moths, worms, fruit flies and other smaller frogs. Their digestive system is very sophisticated so they should only be fed with soft insects.

Glass frogs can feed crickets of appropriate sizes. Once these insects are close enough, they eagerly eat them. 

How long do they live

Glass frog has an expected lifespan of 5 to 8 years but there are also other individuals who live longer because of meticulous care provided by the owner. 

In their natural environment, they survived by hiding from their predators and using a defence mechanism which blends them with nature.In the wild, glass frogs who are able to survive from their predators live up to 14 years.

A clean environment is also significant in making your pet last longer. This is due to the fact that problems may arise whenever their environment is unhygienic. Bacteria, fungi and other pathogens are attracted to dirty environments. They also carry illness and other diseases which is detrimental to your glass frogs.

Supplements may also be added to make them more healthy. However, when the same is not available, you can always gut-load the insect feeder to make them more nutritious for your pets. There’s a lot of recommended food for your insects which is available in local pet stores or online shops.

Type of enclosure

Glass frogs in captivity are usually housed in tanks or enclosures. Since they loved to climb, the tank must be of considerable length. The suggested size of the enclosure is 20 galloon or  18’’ by 18’’ by 24’’. Of course, bigger tanks are more convenient since they need enough space to move and exercise their muscles. 

The enclosure or vivarium must have vegetation and branches to climb on. This will encourage your pet to be active and healthy inside its tank.It also provides them with a more conducive and comfortable environment  

To provide proper humidity, place a water bowl inside the tank. Remember that humidity is essential for their survival.  It has to be maintained within 70-80%. Misting can also make the tank humid or within the acceptable range. You can also add a rain chamber to imitate the effects of rain thus allowing your pet to enjoy high humidity.

Substrate makes the enclosure more comfortable for your pets. This is essential to make the enclosure resemble its natural habitat. Soil may be used as a substrate since it allows retention of moisture. This can also be covered with sphagnum moss. In addition, soil is good for breaking down waste.  This can provide nutrients for plants which are potted inside the vivarium. Substrate makes the tank natural and attractive.

The ideal temperature for glass frog

Daytime Night Time
75 to 85 Degrees Fahrenheit  65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit 


Right condition of the enclosure and of the animal itself is essential for successful breeding. Prior to the breeding period, provide your pet with reasonable conditions to thrive well. The vivarium must be similar or if not, closely the same to the conditions in the wild. Humidity and proper diet greatly contribute to reproduction. 

Healthy glass frog easily develops healthy eggs and they will later hatch into healthy babies once fertilized by an adult male. In captivity, they lay their eggs on the surfaces of their tanks and their survival depends on how healthy their parents are. The maximum number of eggs laid can be 30.

Once the eggs are already deposited in the tank, you can choose to let them there or transfer the same to an incubator. This can be a small plastic or container with a substrate. Increase the humidity by placing a water container near the eggs and make sure to prevent dryness.

You can even place a plastic covering to make sure that the moisture is properly locked. However, holes must be made to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria which may damage the eggs. Eggs will develop after 7 to 15 days but this also depends on the temperature. 

Once the eggs hatch, place the larva in a separate tank or container. The larval stage may take up to 10 months. Also, make sure that the container is free from chemicals since it can also damage the eggs.

After the larva has reached the metamorphosis stage, there will an appearance of frontal limbs. In this stage, they have to be transferred to another enclosure which has to contain 50% terrestrial settings and 50% water environment. 

It will take time for them to absorb their tails and it makes them lose their appetite. Once the tail is fully absorbed, provide them with a stable supply of food for their continued growth. 

Final Thoughts

Glass frogs are fragile animals so extra care in handling must be observed. Make sure that your hands are clean and free from salt and other solutions since will remain on their skin and may cause irritation on their delicate skin. 

Glass frogs are rarely seen in the wild because of the massive destruction of our forest areas. This animal is also an indicator of a healthy environment. Their presence indicates the richness of such an area. Sadly, their habitat in wild is becoming less suitable because of the threat of global warming. 

In all,  glass frogs are excellent animals because of their peculiar characteristics. They are also essential in maintaining a balanced ecosystem since they tend to control the number of insects in the ecosystem. Aside from these benefits, they also look great and make a good pet!

To above interesting facts on Glass Frog, you can check here.

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