Common Names: Golden tree frog, golden foam-nest frog, four-lined tree frog, Asian flying frog, golden flying frog, common tree frog, Asian tree frog
Size: Golden tree frogs range in size from 1.5 to 3.5 inches (3.8 to 8.9 cm) as adults. Males are smaller than females and have a loud call.
Appearance: A typical tree frog body structure, their color and pattern are variable and range from a solid tan to a lightly-striped gray. Some may have a dark outline around the face; others are highly patterned in tan, beige, brown and gray, sometimes with four dark stripes descending from the head down the back. Their ventral side is solid white or cream in color. The golden tree frog is a complex of undescribed species and some of the variation in the trade could be due to frogs imported from different areas actually consisting of different species.
Distribution, Habitat and Behavior: They are native to tropical Asia and have a large range that extends from India to the Philippines through much of Southeast Asia. They have been introduced to Japan and Papua New Guinea. Highly adaptable, they can be found near natural forest, disturbed areas, and even around villages and towns. They breed in foam nests which are laid on vegetation around small pools often before rains, and as rains arrive the tadpoles emerge and enter the water.
Availability: Sporadically available in the pet trade. At certain times it can be quite common and encountered at pet stores, other times they are difficult to find for sale. Almost all are wild-caught but breeding success is had in captivity on occasion. It is always best to try and find a breeder rather than purchasing wild-caught tree frogs.
Housing: Golden tree frogs belong to a group of tree frogs that contains some species that glide from tree to tree in the wild. Although golden tree frogs don’t fly like their closely related counterparts, they do jump long distances and need room to do so in captivity. A standard 20 gallon high aquarium that measures 24 inches long by 12 inches wide by 16 inches high (61 cm by 30 cm by 40 cm) is large enough for a trio of golden tree frogs, although more room is recommended. Use a screen cover rather than glass to allow for adequate ventilation. Attaching an aquarium background or black poster board to three sides of the aquarium will help the frogs feel secure and make the cage more attractive.
The main components of the enclosure include a substrate, perches, and cover. Moist paper towels, foam rubber, moist sphagnum moss, coconut husk fiber or other safe soils are all good substrate options. Simple substrates, such as paper towels or foam rubber, may need to be cleaned 2-3 times a week, while more natural substrates like soil mixtures, generally last longer. Gravel, small bark pieces, and abrasive reptile carpeting should be avoided. Suitable perches include driftwood, cork bark tubes, PVC pipe segments, and vines. Fake plants can be wrapped around perches to provide hiding areas for the frogs, and large broad-leaved plants can be used throughout the cage to give the frogs cover.
Water: Provide a large bowl of clean water. This should be changed daily. If tap water is used it should be treated with tap water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals.
Temperature and Humidity: The temperature during the day should range from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C) and can drop to between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C) at night. It may be helpful to use a low wattage reptile heat light to achieve the proper temperatures, and an infra-red heat light may be needed to heat the cage during the night in cooler climates.
Golden tree frogs are native to humid regions in Asia, and the humidity level in their enclosure should reflect this. Keeping it above 60% most of the time is best. This can be accomplished by misting the cage with water several times a day as needed.
Food: Golden tree frogs are insectivores, and in captivity a good portion of their diet can consist of live crickets. Crickets should be fed two to three times a week in quantities ranging from two to eight or so per frog depending on the size of the cricket and the size of the frog being fed. Juvenile golden tree frogs should be fed daily as much as they can eat. Several times a month or more other food items, such as wax worms, meal worms, silk worms, moths, flies, or other insects, should be substituted for crickets.
Golden tree frogs are nocturnal and generally prefer to be fed at night, although if a feeder insect catches the attention of a tree frog during the day they won’t hesitate to wake up and catch it. Adult frogs should have their food coated with high quality reptile vitamin and mineral supplements once every other feeding. Juveniles should have their food supplemented every time.