With its easy-going nature and docile demeanour, the Australian Green Tree frog makes the ideal native pet, as Kristie Bradfield discovers.
The Australian Green Tree frog is not your average pet. Unlike its furrier competition, it doesn’t enjoy vigorous play or long walks; it won’t fetch a ball or learn new tricks, either. If you’re after a companion to cuddle with on the couch, this is not the animal for you. But if you’re looking for a pet that is long-lived, easy to maintain and is comfortable in confined spaces, look no further.
Getting to know you Litoria caerulea, or the Australian Green Tree frog, is Australia’s best-known frog. It’s a popular and common choice for a pet because it is docile and doesn’t mind being handled. It’s one of the largest Australian frogs, with adults reaching around 10cm in length. As the name suggests, Green Tree frogs have smooth, bright green skin with a cream-coloured underbelly and a scattering of white spots on their backs. They have strong, robust limbs with adhesive discs at the end of their digits to help them keep their grip on wet, smooth and rough surfaces. Green Tree frogs are found in the northern and eastern parts of Australia, particularly in locations with warm and wet tropical climates. They are found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia through to the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. They favour different types of habitat, from tropical rainforest to swamps, and will happily enter houses to find shelter and food.
Protecting the species
The Green Tree frog is indigenous to Australia and in most parts of the country you need a permit or license to keep one as a pet. You can never keep a frog you find in the wild. Find out more at frogs.org.au.
The original article was published in PETS issue 62. Click here to subscribe to our magazine.