The Beginners Guide To The Red Eyed Tree Frog

Red Eyed Tree Frog

If you are interested in amphibians, you should consider frog keeping. It can be a relaxing part of life. There are a lot of excellent kinds that you can choose from. The red-eyed tree frog can be a perfect choice even for newbies. They can be slightly demanding pets, but having them is fun.

The red-eyed tree frog is trendy. This type of frog is an excellent pet for people who do not plan to handle their pet so much. They do not need a lot of human contacts. After all, they can get skittish when being held because they are used to many predators in the wild.

Similar to many other frogs, they are nocturnal. Even if they are most active at night, it is still relaxing to gaze upon their terrariums during the day. Before you hop into being a frog owner, we have gathered the information you need to know to benefit your red-eyed pet.


The red-eyed tree frog’s latin name is Agalychnis callidryas. These cute frogs were first identified in the 1860s by a herpetologist named Edward Cope. They got their name because of their crimson red eyes and arboreal nature.

The red-eyed tree frog has vertical pupils like many other frog breeds. They’re usually black. However, male red-eyed tree frogs have smaller pupils compared to females. They can grow to around 1.5-2.75 inches, about the size of a teacup. To further distinguish the sex of your pets, the forelimb of the male develops a brown nuptial pad as they mature.

While they are juveniles, red-eyed tree frogs look brownish. As they mature, their color turns into a bright shade of green. Their bellies are blue, and their toes are golden yellow. These toes are structured to have suction cups that help them stick to leaves. These toes are webbed, making them great climbers, which is beneficial to their arboreal lifestyle. Aside from assisting them in climbing efficiently, their toes and tiny bodies make them excellent swimmers.

These frogs’ tongues are long relative to their bodies. Their tongues’ length is a third of their entire body. They can also enjoy using the full length of their tongues because it is attached right in the front of their mouths. 

Habitat (where from in the wild, temperatures, conditions, etc.)

In the wild, red-eyed tree frogs prefer to live in tropical climates. They like to live in the lowlands. You can find them hiding in canopies in the rainforests. Red-eyed tree frogs live in the south of Mexico. Huge groups also live in Central America. There are sightings of these frogs in Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica, among many others. Red-eyed tree frogs have also been found in the northern part of Southern America. They also live in a massive portion of eastern Australia.

The population of the red-eyed tree frogs remains okay. However, the area of their natural habitats is decreasing. If you want to get a red-eyed tree frog as a pet, it is possible to find one locally. Breeders have been able to bring these cute frogs to the United States. These captive breeds are not too hard to care for. They can be a great first pet or an excellent addition to what you already have.

What they eat

Red-eyed tree frogs are nocturnal carnivores. As mentioned earlier, they like to hide in canopies found in rainforests. They do this to camouflage and attack insects by surprise. These cute frogs like to munch on unsuspecting crickets and other insects in the wild. They also enjoy eating a lot of flies that can be found in their habitat. Red-eyed tree frogs would also eat grasshoppers. Because they are nocturnal, they can also feast on moths. There are times that these frogs would eat smaller frogs and tadpoles. Meanwhile, the younger red-eyed tree frogs eat smaller insects like pinhead crickets and small flies. 

In captivity, you must ensure your pet’s diet remains varied. It is vital for their health. If your pet is a juvenile, you must always give them access to food. This will help them thrive. Their diet consists mainly of flies, but you should feed them other small insects too. Small cockroaches, along with tiny moths and crickets, can be an excellent choice. 

Even in adulthood, red-eyed tree frogs need a varied diet to be healthy. They also need a lot of food, amounting to about 20% of their body size per week. This should be separated into about three feedings a week. While they are carnivores, mammalian protein does not work well for them. While mealworms are common among pet keepers, their exoskeleton can cause problems for your pet’s gut. Moreover, the fat content of mealworms is unhealthy for your pet. 

Red-eye tree frogs in captivity need to eat varied insects, and crickets are a great go-to. These frogs will eat anything that can fit their mouth. However, if you cannot provide them with a diverse diet, you can contact your local vet to ask about supplementation.

How long do they live

Red-eye tree frogs are not challenging to keep, but they require a long-time commitment. In the wild, their lives are relatively short. They can only live up to five years in the wild. But this is just because of their challenging lifestyle. While they get to prey on smaller animals, they are also prey to others. Like other frogs, they commonly fall prey to snakes in their habitat. Further, they are food to other nocturnal animals such as bats and owls. The abundance of threats shortens their lives to five years.

However, these cuties can live for so much longer in captivity. Well-kept red-eyed tree frogs can live between 8-12 years, but it can only be achieved if you properly take care of your pet. You need to make sure they have a nice enclosure. It would be best if you also ensure they get the proper nutrients from their food. If you want these cute frogs as pets, you need to be willing to do these things for a long time.

Type of enclosure

The enclosure is a vital part of taking care of these cute frogs. The recommended size for your pet’s enclosure is 24 inches long by 16 inches high by 16 inches deep. Red-eyed tree frogs are tiny but need taller enclosures because they are arboreal. Your frog will feel better if you get an even bigger enclosure because they love to be active at night.

It would be best if you were careful when selecting the place for your pet’s enclosure. If you place it directly under the sunlight, the enclosure could overheat, and your pet might die. These frogs are better indoors. Keeping them indoors provides more weather protection. 

Despite being nocturnal, red-eyed tree frogs need sufficient lighting to be healthy. They need UVA to help maintain their natural behavior and UVB to synthesize vitamin D, which is vital for calcium absorption. These lights need to last 10-12 hours to simulate the length of the day.

For the substrate, the materials should be inert and nondraining. It is essential to use a nondraining substrate so you can easily flush out your pet’s waste. The bottom layer of the substrate should be coarse gravel or similar materials. The next layer should be a piece of shade cloth to avoid other layers blending with gravel. For the third layer, you can use a mixture of coco-peat and sand. To complete the enclosure, you can add furnishings like plants, rocks, and imitation rocks.


Red-eyed tree frogs naturally breed in October-March. These frogs sexually mature at around three years old, and they can keep producing yearly for the rest of their lives. The red-eyed tree frogs need a lot of food before they start breeding. It mimics their activity in the wild. They prey on a bunch of insects before breeding.

Breeding in captivity is conducted in the chamber. You can have several pieces of furnishings together with plants and throw in some submerged plants above the lake. It will enable the breeding frogs to remain afloat. The breeding chamber must be in a quiet, secluded place to ensure that the frogs will be from any disturbance. 

In the wild, parents leave the egg after spawning them. In captivity, adults are immediately removed to avoid damaging the spawn when they swim. These eggs are fragile because amphibian eggs do not have an outer shell.

Final Thoughts

Red-eyed tree frogs can be challenging pets. However, with proper preparations, anyone can take care of these cute frogs. Many aspiring pet owners pick red-eyed tree frogs because they look cute. However, it would be best to consider your readiness before getting one.

There is a wide range of pets to choose from, but if you decide to keep a red-eyed tree frog, you should be fully committed. While it might sound daunting, you will certainly get the hang of it.

While keeping red-eyed tree frogs can be challenging, it can also be gratifying. It is a fun and relaxing hobby. It can also make your home look livelier and more enjoyable. Red-eyed tree frogs are adorable and excellent pets.

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