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White Lipped Tree Frog: Pictures, Lifespan, Diet, and More

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

White lipped tree frog

The White Lipped Tree Frog is one of the most interesting frogs that you can own. These tree frogs are some of the largest in the world. They are very docile, easy to handle, and can live for over a decade. The result is a robust, exotic pet that has caught the eye of people all around the world. Here is everything you need to know about owning and caring for a White Lipped Tree Frog.

Size: Up to 6 inches long
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Colour: Bright green with a white cream stripe on the lower lip
Suitable for: Experienced reptile owners
Temperament: Docile, peaceful, friendly
Diet:
Primary insectivore (earthworms, crickets, roaches, hornworms, silkworms, and pinkie mice)
Tank Set Up: Solid, moist substrate with artificial plants
Minimum Tank Size: 450x450x600mm (30 gallons)
Suitable Tank Mates: Other White Lipped Tree Frogs

The White Lipped Tree Frog is one of the largest species of tree frog in the world. In fact, the White Lipped Tree Frog is known as the Giant Tree Frog by some people. These frogs are native to Southeast Asia. They live in dense rainforests in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. White Lipped Tree Frogs have become extremely popular as pets due to their large size and docile nature.

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White Lipped Tree Frog Characteristics

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

White Lipped Tree Frog Overview

The White Lipped Tree Frog is most commonly found in Australia. The White Lipped Tree Frog also goes by the New Guinea treefrog, giant tree frog, and Australian giant treefrog. White Lipped Tree Frogs began spreading as lost frogs. They would be transported via produce crates from their native areas in Australia and be found in other places. You need a permit to own a White Lipped Tree Frog in Australia. These frogs are of Least Concern (LC) when it comes to their health and population. White Lipped Tree Frogs have become very popular pets in North America due to their color, temperament, and size.

White Lipped Tree Frog Cost?

White Lipped Tree Frogs are fairly inexpensive to buy. White Lipped Tree Frogs cost anywhere from $15 to $50 for juveniles and young adults. Some frogs can go for as much as $100 in specialty reptile shops. The tank setup can cost quite a bit more. You can spend anywhere from $100 to $500 getting the enclosure set up and configured for a White Lipped Tree Frog. If you are starting from scratch, prepare to pay more upfront to get the tank off the ground.

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Care Guide & Tank Set Up

Tank Size

The ideal tank size for the White Lipped Tree Frog is 30 gallons. The dimensions should be a minimum of 450x450x600mm (1.5 feet by 2 feet.) Since these are tree frogs, verticality is important. You should have room to put climbing stalks within the enclosure. A 30-gallon tank should be large enough to hold two adult White Lipped Tree Frogs. A small or juvenile White Lipped Tree Frog can live in a 15-gallon tank, but you should plan on upgrading them as they grow.

Substrate

White Lipped Tree Frogs need a solid substrate meaning you should not use wood chips, pebbles, or sand. The two most common types of substrate for the White Lipped Tree Frogs are paper towels or natural soil. The paper towel needs to be changed daily and does not look aesthetically pleasing. Soil needs to be changed once a week to prevent fungus or mold from growing due to the warm, humid environment. Both substrates need to be moistened daily and kept moist at all times.

Humidity

White Lipped Tree Frogs need humidity levels that stay between 55% and 75%. Humidity levels should be constantly monitored by a hygrometer and maintained using misters, foggers, or hydrostats. Frogs need to maintain their ideal ambient humidity at all times to remain healthy. Generally, frogs can withstand periods of overly high humidity (<75%) rather than periods of low humidity (>55%).

Lighting

White Lipped Tree Frogs do not have specific or pressing lighting needs. These frogs do best with a typical day-night cycle. White Lipped Tree Frogs do not need basking lights. A simple reptile UV bulb can be used to give the frog a place to absorb UV rays if they so choose. In many cases, these frogs do not need specialty lighting as long as the humidity and substrate is properly compiled.

Heating

White Lipped Tree Frogs should have an ambient tank temperature between 80˚ F and 85˚ F during the day. Temperatures can drop as low as 72 F at night, but ideally, the temperature should never get below 75˚ F. The temperature in the tank should be monitored with a thermometer.

Experts suggest attaching a heating mat to one side of the enclosure. Using a heat mat in this way will allow for some minor temperature variation allowing frogs to move around to become more comfortable in the tank.

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Things to Know When Owning a White Lipped Tree Frog

Food & Diet Requirements

White Lipped Tree Frog are insectivores. They can eat a variety of insects. Small frogs (less than 3 inches) should be fed every other day. Large frogs (over 3 inches) should be fed every three days. Overfeeding your frog can lead to obesity. Calcium supplements should be added to the food once per week. Multivitamins formulated for frogs should be added every 2 to 3 weeks to maintain optimal health.

Water/Liquid Requirements

White Lipped Tree Frogs require multiple types of water in their enclosure. First, they need to have a water dish from which to drink. This dish should be shallow enough to let the frog soak its belly if it desires but not deep enough for it to accidentally drown, as tree frogs are actually poor swimmers. White Lipped Tree Frogs also need humidity in the air. Some people use misters to increase humidity and ambient liquid. White Lipped Tree Frogs also need to maintain a moist substrate at all times. You should not let the substrate dry out at any point. You should change the water dish and keep the substrate wet at least once per day, every day.

You should never use distilled water for your frogs. Distilled water can be risky or dangerous. You can use tap water as long as it is dechlorinated tap water (i.e., from a well). Using the proper water for your frog’s drinking and moisture needs is very important to their overall health and well-being.

Size and Growth Rate

The average size of an adult White Lipped Tree Frog is 3.5 to 5.5 inches. Females are larger than males. The largest example of the White Lipped Tree Frog can reach 6 inches. Juvenile White Lipped Tree Frogs start their lives very small, but they quickly grow to maturity. White Lipped Tree Frogs usually reach full size by 6 months of age.

Varieties

There are no varieties of White Lipped Tree Frogs. White Lipped Tree Frogs are fairly standard and ubiquitous in their appearance and behavior. The White Lipped Tree Frog is a part of the Australian Tree Frog family and is closely related to other tree frogs from this region. However, there is little noticeable variation in color or size in typical White Lipped Tree Frogs.

Lifespan and Health Conditions

White Lipped Tree Frogs are largely healthy. Obesity is one of the biggest problems that these frogs can face. Frogs like the White Lipped Tree Frog are prone to obesity. You have to be careful with their diets and make sure not to overfeed them. If you feed your frog too often, it will get fat which can have huge implications for its long-term health.

Most other health issues stem from environmental problems. Not providing the right amount of heat or humidity can cause your frog to suffer and become lethargic.

Minor Conditions
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Temperature
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Dehydration
  • Parasitic infection

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Male vs. Female

Female White Lipped Tree Frogs are larger than their male counterparts. If you are looking for the largest White Lipped Tree Frog possible, you want to try and get a female. Females also have thicker skin and brighter coloring than males. Males are slightly slimmer and smaller than females. Males can be more vocal than females, especially when they are looking for a mate.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the White Lipped Tree Frog

1. White Lipped Tree Frogs Are Considered to Be the Largest Tree Frogs in the World

The White Lipped Tree Frog is known as the Giant Tree Frog for a reason. It is the largest species of tree frog in the world. The fact that some White Lipped Tree Frogs can reach 6 inches in length makes them larger than the Cuban Tree Frog, which is considered to be the second largest tree frog in the world. The size of the White Lipped Tree Frog is one of the reasons why people prize them as pets.


2. White Lipped Tree Frogs Can Live for a Very Long Time

White Lipped Tree Frogs have a very long lifespan. In the wild, they can live between 10 and 12 years. In captivity, these frogs can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years. In some isolated incidents, White Lipped Tree Frogs have been found to live between 15 and 20 years in captivity. That means that a White Lipped Tree Frog can be considered a long-lasting pet.


3. White Lipped Tree Frogs Make a Meowing Sound

White Lipped Tree Frogs can make a variety of unique sounds. People who do not know about the vocalization of the White Lipped Tree Frog can become startled by them. White Lipped Tree Frogs can make mewing sounds that are similar to that of a cat. They can also make a barking sound that is similar to that of a dog. In the wild, if you find yourself in an area that is densely populated by White Lipped Tree Frogs, you can become frightened by the cacophony of sounds that they make.

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Final Thoughts

The White Lipped Tree Frog makes a great pet. These frogs are relatively simple to care for. They can get very large, they are easy to handle, and they can live for up to 20 years in ideal situations. These frogs eat typical insects, have low lighting requirements, and are inexpensive to buy. These frogs make a great exotic pet on a budget. This guide covers everything you need to know about properly caring for these amazing frogs. Using this as a baseline will provide you with all of the information you need to know about getting started as a White Lipped Tree Frog owner.


Featured Image Credit: Connie Kerr, Shutterstock

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