Green Treefrog. Hyla cinerea

Green Treefrog Hyla cinerea

Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea

Other Common Names: Carolina Treefrog, Cinereous Frog

Total Length: 1.25-2.5 inches

Range: Southern and southeastern U.S.

Habitat: They may be found wherever it is wet and damp such as ditches and on the bottom of large leaves. They are also seen on large-leaved water plants along the banks of lakes, ponds, swamps, streams, and brooks. Sometimes they may be found on trees and bushes not far from water or in a southern garden. At night they are often drawn to a window where insects are attracted by the lights inside.

Sex Determination: Only males can call and have nuptial pads.

[snip left][/snip] Reproduction: The males’ mating call is a loud “quack” which is done repeatedly (from far away it sounds like a cow bell). The calls are first heard in March and mating occurs from April-August (a little later in the northern parts of their range). They call just before dusk.

The male grips the female by the armpits (an axillary amplexus) during mating. The female will lay up to 1000 black/brownish and white/cream colored eggs in small clumps of 1-1.5 inches in diameter. They are laid at or near the surface of the water and are attached to floating vegetation.

Breeding is unlikely in a terrarium but possible in a greenhouse if a pool with plants is provided.

Metamorphosis: The tadpoles transform in about two months. They are quite large at metamorphosis measuring 3/8-5/8 of an inch. As a tadpole, they are bright green with yellowish stripes on the sides of thier heads.

Care In Captivity:

  • Tank Size: A maximum of four treefrogs in a 10 gallon tank would be alright.
  • Substrate: Zoo Med’s Repti-Bark is our favorite substrate because it is easy to clean, creates more humidity, and is natural looking. Other substrates you can use are gravel, stones, and soil.
  • Decorations: You can have a log, bark, sticks, rocks, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die.
  • Water Bowl: You can use a plastic lid from a plastic jar. Any shallow container can be used.
  • Tank Lid: You can have a flip top lid, a screen, or any other type of lid on the tank. There should be good ventilation.
  • Heating: If you are using a flip top lid, you can use two incandescent heat bulbs. In the summer, if it gets too hot, you should use only one bulb. If you are using a screen lid, the best thing to get is a heat lamp that rests on top of the screen. Also use a heat rock so that when you turn the incandescent heat bulbs off at night, the treefrogs will still have heat. If you don’t have a heat rock you may use a heating pad or an electric blanket.
  • Lighting: No additional lighting is needed but you may use a bulb with ultraviolet radiation if you want.
  • Temperature/Humidity: The temperature should be 80 degrees F in the day and 68 degrees F at night. In the winter, two months at 50 degrees F will stimulate hibernation. Doing this makes them healthier and encourages them to breed. You should have an air thermometer in the tank. It should be fairly humid. You can create more humidity by spraying the tank with warm water everyday with a spray bottle. You may use a humidity gauge which will show you how much humidity is in the tank.
  • Feeding: The diet should have variety. Feed them crickets, flies, moths, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They should all be sprinkled with vitamin and calcium supplements.
  • Maintenance: Keep the tank clean and change the water bowl at least every other day. Also, spray the terrarium with warm water everyday with a spray bottle.
  • Other Information: These treefrogs are mainly nocturnal and are more aquatic than other Hylas.

    When the weather is cool they may be a yellow, a greenish-yellow, a dull greenish, or a dark brownish-green. They are usually brown when calling at night.

    The Barking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) is known to mate with the Green Treefrog. The resulting offspring is known as a hybrid. The hybrid’s size is likely to be in between that of the parents, but looks much more like the Green Treefrog. They are often found calling with a group of all Barking Treefrogs.
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