Cuban Tree Frog
Cuban tree frogs are a relatively large, somewhat drab-colored, very hearty species. Although they exhibit some variability in patterning, their colors are usually within the white-tan-grey and/or olive hue. They have very large toe pads and are extremely agile climbers/jumpers. Their fecundity, heartiness and longevity have made them one of the least expensive and most readily available frogs in the pet industry. They grow up to five inches long with males significantly smaller—rarely exceeding 3 ½ inches (9 centimeters). They are the largest tree frog native to the North American continent. They can live more than 15 years.
Cuban tree frogs are native to Cuba (no, seriously), the Isle of Pines, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. They have become established in Florida, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and Hawaii. Within these habitats they are found virtually anywhere water or humidity permits. They can also be found near, on or within human habitations, where they will often wait on walls for insects attracted by house lights. Naturally, it is likely they inhabited stagnant and slow moving waters or wherever else there was access to food and a source of standing water.
By their very nature, Cuban tree frogs are quite easy to keep, and, because of this, are often the first frogs beginners are acquainted with. They will thrive in relatively Spartan enclosures, provided that their minimum habitat requirements are met. Generally this means tropical or subtropical temperatures (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit with a 10-15 degree drop in nighttime temps), adequate humidity (at least 60%) and access to food and water. An ideal enclosure would be vertically oriented, incorporate plants, sticks and other decorations facilitating climbing, a standard water bowl and a substrate of mixed soil, gravel and coconut or sphagnum moss. The substrate should remain moist to the touch, but not perpetually soggy. That being said, their only real limiting factor is warmth, and they can survive under a wide variety of conditions provided they have adequate temperatures. As a nocturnal species, UV lighting is not necessary, but will certainly aide in maintaining foliage and ambiance.
Cuban tree frogs are carnivorous and voracious and will eat virtually anything that moves and they can fit in their mouths. This includes almost any insect, worm, arachnid, small mammal, or even other smaller frogs. As always, prey items should be gut-loaded prior to feeding and should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement once or twice a week.
Cuban tree frogs exude a noxious skin secretions as a protection against predation, so extra care should be taken when handling them. Do not handle them if you have open cuts and be careful not to touch your face before washing your hands. Always remember to thoroughly wash your hands after handling or even touching a Cuban tree frog. Due to their voracious and unprejudiced diet, Cuban tree frogs should only be housed with other like-sized animals.
Cuban tree frogs are tough, inexpensive and commonly available. They make an excellent starter frog and do not require elaborate set-ups. Cuban tree frogs grow rapidly and breed easily in captivity.