Pixie Frog Care (Pyxicephalus adspersus)

Pixie frog care isn’t complicated or difficult. These frogs are known for their insatiable appetites, large size, and inclination to eat virtually anything small enough to fit in their mouth. Overall, they make for very entertaining and lively pet frogs, which is why they are so popular in the reptile hobbyist world.

Thinking of buying a pixie frog of your own? Then you’ll need to know how to care for one of these amphibious eating machines. Continue reading this blog article to find out how we care for ours at the Backwater Reptiles facility.

Pixie Frog Care (Pyxicephalus adspersus)

Pixie Frog Description

Known mainly for their massive size at maturity, pixie frogs are true giants. They are the second largest frog in the world and can reach lengths up to ten inches and weigh approximately two pounds! That might not seem like much, but it’s tremendous for a frog.

The largest frog in the world is the Goliath frog from Cameroon (Africa). It’s basically a huge frog that likes to jump–imagine a normal adult American Bullfrog, except 2-3 times larger.


huge goliath frog
Here’s a Goliath frog in Cameroon.

Goliath frogs are actually illegal to export from Cameroon, and it’s just as well–they don’t fare well in captivity due to their habit of jumping several feet at a time. There just isn’t an enclosure large enough for them.

pixie frog care
Young pixie frogs like this one are not usually as chubby as their adult counterparts. They also have more prominent stripes and spotted markings that will usually fade with age.

It should also be noted that pixie frogs are known by several common monikers. You might hear them referred to as African bull frogs, African burrowing frogs, and sometimes South African Pyxies.

Pixies are usually an olive green color at maturity, but they can also be shades of brown, yellow, and even creamy beige. They have very thick, stocky, hefty bodies and as adults, their bellies tend to protrude, which can give them a somewhat blob-like shape at rest. When they are babies, they tend to be a dark green shade with dark striped accents and cream-colored tummies.

Pixie Frog Habitat

Pixie frogs hail from Africa where they spend most of their time burrowed underground. This means that they will require a substrate that accommodates this behavior. Eco-earth, fertilizer-free, organic potting soil, and even paper towels are all acceptable options.You’ll want the substrate to stay moist and damp, but not wet.

A humid environment is best for pixies. We recommend keeping the enclosure at around eighty percent humidity for best results. Regular misting of the substrate will help keep the moisture level in the proper range. We use a spritzer bottle filled with water and squirt the substrate itself, the glass walls of the tank, and sometimes even the frogs themselves.

It’s also wise to invest in a sturdy water dish that is wide and shallow. You won’t see your pixie drink the water, but it helps maintain humidity levels and also allows your pixie to have itself a soak if it wants to.

young pixie frog
This pixie is approximately four weeks old. The quarter is provided to show scale.

Although most pixies will simply burrow to hide themselves, we definitely recommend placing a hide space or two within your frog’s enclosure. Terra cotta pots, logs, and hides purchased from pet stores are all good options.

We use coconut husk fiber as substrate, at about two-inches deep. We keep the substrate damp throughout, but not dripping wet. If you notice the surface drying out, it’s a signal you’re not keeping the substrate damp enough.

If your frog senses a drier environment, it’ll cover itself in a type of cocoon layer to prevent moisture loss. This really shouldn’t happen in captivity. If you see it, make sure to make adjustments to prevent it from happening again.

Try to keep the tank in the temperature range of 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. We keep them very successfully at room temperature.

Pixie Frog Feeding

If we haven’t already made it clear, pixie frogs love to eat! In the wild, they are ambush predators and will sit around until something comes their way that they can fit into their mouth. This means their prey items range from invertebrates to small birds!

Because they are not active animals, you will have to be careful not to overfeed your pixie frog. In fact, you’ll have to keep a close eye on your frog’s weight because pixies are prone to obesity.

We feed our pixies a staple diet of appropriately-sized insects, depending on the size of the frog. Our babies will eat mostly crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Adults will eat crickets, hornworms, roaches, and wax worms.

Some people will feed their pixies pinkies or fuzzies, but we recommend this only as an occasional treat item. Again, pixies will eat to the point of being unhealthy, and fatty, high calorie items like mice will only contribute to the problem. Moderation is key.

Pixie Frog Disposition

As a general rule, most pet frogs don’t take well to human interaction or handling. We’ve found that with pixies, it tends to be a mixed bag. Some pixies don’t tend to mind being picked up, while others are quite opposed to the idea.

adult pixie frog
Adult pixies can be held, but beware of putting your fingers near their mouth as they can deliver quite a powerful bite.

If you do want to handle your pixie on a regular basis, be sure it is supported fully. A flailing frog is not a happy frog. We also recommend washing your hands before and after picking up your pixie for the safety of both human and frog.

We’d also like to say that pixies have nasty bites. Be sure that when you pick up your frog that you keep wiggling fingers that could be mistaken for food away from its mouth.

However, I’ve picked-up hundreds of Pixie frogs spanning all sizes, and I’ve never had one attempt to bite or put on a threat posture.

These frogs rarely fight with each other, or have territory issues. If you keep more than one in an enclosure, just make sure you’re feeding them well. Don’t keep noticeably different sizes together because, as mentioned, they’ll eat anything they can fit into their mouths–including their own species.

Conclusion – Pixie frog care

Pixie frogs make excellent, fascinating, long-lived pets. They’re really fun to raise from babies to full-grown chubby adults. Feeding time is always entertaining when you have a pixie–a definite crowd-pleasing event!

If you’re interested in purchasing a pixie frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles sells both captive bred hatchlings and adults. You won’t be disappointed with this behemoth of a species!

Oddest Pet Frogs

At Backwater Reptiles, we love reptiles and amphibians of all shapes and sizes, regardless of whether or not most people would label them as cute. In fact, some of our favorites are the oddballs!

In this article, we’re going to list our favorite odd-looking pet frogs. Although these frogs are not for everyone, each of them is certainly unique.

The Oddest Pet Frogs

Budgett’s Frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis)

This jelly-like frog is also known as the hippo frog and the Freddy Krueger frog. We’re not quite sure where the hippo moniker arises from, but this frog is nicknamed after the infamous horror villain because its long fingers are reminiscent of his knife hands. This frog also packs quite an attitude and is known to be aggressive and mean. It opens its wide mouth as big as possible and emits what is best described as a scream in an effort to scare off threats.

oddest pet frogs
As you can see from this photo, Budgett’s frogs very closely resemble blobs of jelly, making it one of the more odd pet frogs.

In addition to this interesting defense mechanism, Budgett’s frogs are memorable because they are just so strange-looking. Besides having bodies built like blobs, they have tiny protuberant eyes on top of their heads. And because they rarely leave the water, they can appear somewhat soggy to boot.

But we want to stress that even though Budgett’s frogs are unusual, both in appearance and in behavior, they still make rewarding and fascinating pets.

If you are interested in caring for a Budgett’s frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles does sell them. And we even wrote an entire blog article dedicated to their care.

Mozambique Rain Frog (Breviceps mossambicus)

We’re huge fans of the Mozambique rain frog because it is such a comical amphibian. Not only is this an adorably silly-looking frog, it also has some charming behaviors that many people find extremely endearing, albeit weird.

Rain frogs are known as “grumpy frogs” and have several variations of memes circulating around the internet to comment on their squashed, flat, surly little faces. Besides their squashed faces, rain frogs possess somewhat balloon-ish bodies with pigeon-toed feet. They’re almost reminiscent of froggy bulldogs.

mozambique rain frog
Mozambique rain frogs have balloon-like bodies and pigeon-toed feet. We think this makes them look like little bulldog frogs.

Oh, and did we mention that rain frogs squeak rather than croak like a typical frog? Some people say that the rain frog’s call sounds like a kitten’s cry or a tiny squeal. No matter what you think it sounds like, most people agree that the noise is simply adorable.

Because rain frogs are relatively new to the reptile and amphibian pet world, we actually wrote an entire article dedicated to their care.

And if you’re wondering where you can get a pet Mozambique rain frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles can definitely help you out.

Surinam Giant Toad (Pipa pipa)

Everything about the Suriname toad is odd. This toad (which is actually a frog) looks weird, it behaves weird, and it even reproduces weird! We think that they make awesome pets simply because you’ll have so many curious factoids about them to tell to your friends and family.

The first thing you’ll notice when you see a Suriname toad is that it is a flat frog. And we do mean that quite literally. It has a triangular, flat head and its body is also very pancake-like.This is an adaptation to allow the frog to appear like leaf litter or wooden detritus on the bottom of the bodies of water where it resides. It also helps the frog to be stream-lined.

Even if you never get your pet Surinam toad to reproduce, you should be aware that these frogs produce their babies in a very unconventional manner.  After an elaborate mating ritual, the eggs stick to the female’s back and sink into a honeycomb shaped “nest” in her skin. The eggs will stay there on her back in the protective honeycomb until fully formed froglets emerge! Suriname toads don’t go through a tadpole phase.

If you want a pet Suriname toad to call your own, be sure to check out our blog article detailing how to care for them.

pipa pipa
Suriname toads are flat like pancakes. Nobody can deny that these are some strange-looking frogs!


We hope that this article shows you that just because a frog is kind of bizarre-looking, that doesn’t make it a bad pet. In our opinion, being odd just makes these frogs that much more lovable. We hope that you agree, and that you’ve enjoyed perusing our list of the oddest pet frogs in the world!

Fire Bellied Toad Care (Bombina orientalis)

Wondering how to care for your Fire-bellied toad? Although they are commonly called “toads,” they are in fact, frogs. They make excellent pets, particularly for first time amphibian owners and we highly recommend them to herpers of all ages and experience levels.

If you’re wondering how to care for this colorful frog, simply read on as we’ve devoted this article to discussing their care requirements in captivity.

Fire Bellied Toad Care Sheet

Fire Belled Toad Description

The fire bellied toad, which should probably actually be named the “fire bellied frog” gets its common name from its hard to miss red belly speckled with black spots. This red tummy is meant as a warning to potential predators that the frog is toxic and shouldn’t be eaten, although this toxin is so mild that humans don’t have a reaction to it. The frog’s back is also a very bright colored green covered with black splotches and spots. Fire bellied toads are quite striking little amphibians.

fire bellied toad care
Fire bellied toads have green dorsal sides with black spots and bright red undersides with black spots. We’ll describe in detail how to care for this species.

Fire bellies are small frogs which makes them ideal for pet owners who have limited space. A mature frog will usually get to be between one and two inches long. They have average life spans of anywhere from seven to fifteen years in captivity.

Unlike many frog species, fire bellies are diurnal and therefore awake and active during the day. This means that as a pet owner, you actually get to see your frog go about its every day activities. It’s especially nice to not have to wait for the sun to go down to hear your frog’s calls or to watch it eat.

Fire Bellied Toad Habitat

As we’ve already mentioned, fire bellied toads are actually frogs and therefore require a more aquatic habitat. A typical enclosure for a fire belly should actually be half aquatic. Most owners will set up a tank that has water in half with a slope of substrate that terminates in a solid ground area. This is because fire bellied toads are extremely happy when they can float in water with their back legs and toes just barely touching something solid underneath.

These small frogs don’t require a lot of space to be happy. You can comfortably house up to three fire bellies in a ten gallon aquarium and up to six in a twenty gallon tank.

fire bellied toad
This photo shows off the red and black underside of the fire bellied toad.

It’s not necessary to provide a basking area for fire bellied toads. However, you will want to maintain a reasonable ambient temperature. During the day, the tank should be kept at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and at night, the tank can drop to 60 to 68 degrees. You should monitor the temperature with a heat gun, which is a tool that every reptile or amphibian owner needs to keep handy.

Fire Bellied Toad Feeding

Despite their small size, fire bellied toads have rather fierce appetites. They are ambush predators and will lunge at any sign of movement that involves an item they think will fit in their mouth.

Fire bellied toads will readily consume virtually any insect. At Backwater Reptiles, our frogs are offered a staple diet of vitamin dusted crickets combined with aquatic worms. We supplement with small larvae and even cut up earth worms. Fire bellied toads will see virtually any invertebrate as food so long as they detect movement.

Fire Bellied Toad Temperament

Even though their red bellies scream “toxic” to potential predators, owners of fire bellied toads need not be concerned. The toxin produced by the frog is not harmful to people. So as long as you wash your hands after touching the frog and don’t put your fingers in your mouth after handling, the frog’s toxin is harmless.

Fire bellied toads are not at all aggressive towards people. However, we should say that being held is not one of their favorite activities. They won’t object much to being held aside from a little bit of squirming, but it’s best for all parties involved if you mostly allow your frog to be seen and not touched.

bombina orientalis
Fire bellied toads make awesome pets for beginning herp hobbyists and experienced reptile parents alike.


We’ve seen experienced herp hobbyists dismiss fire bellied toads as “common” pets simply because they are so widely available.If this species was rare, it would be one of the most sought-after amphibians in the world.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Fire bellied toad care sheet. We think that these cute little frogs are excellent pets for beginners and experts alike. Ready for a fire bellied toad of your own? Backwater Reptiles has got you covered!


Most Popular Poisonous or Venomous Pets

Not everyone is intimidated or afraid of keeping a venomous or poisonous exotic pet. In fact, many people feel exactly the opposite. They love showing off their scorpions, spiders, and other critters to friends and family alike.

In this article, we’ll list the most popular venomous or poisonous pets sold at Backwater Reptiles.

Most Popular Poisonous or Venomous Pets

Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi)

Mexican redknee tarantulas are a very docile and calm species of spider, which makes them very popular pets. If you want a pet spider that you can interact with safely, our recommendation would be a Mexican redknee.

As far as temperament is concerned, Mexican redknees would much rather run away from you than be aggressive towards you. In most cases, you’d be hard-pressed to get one to bite you and inject you with venom. This spider’s preferred defense mechanism is actually to brush its irritating urticating hairs on you. However, we’d like to mention that even if a redknee did happen to bite you, its venom is not fatal and it’s been said that the pain it causes is equivalent to a bee or wasp sting.

most popular poisonous/venomous pets
Mexican redknee tarantulas are known for the docile temperaments and orange legs, although they are venomous.

Mexican redknee tarantulas are excellent pets for first time spider owners. They eat crickets, meal worms, roaches, and other insects and it’s always fascinating to watch them undergo the molting process. They are especially great animals to keep in kids’ classrooms, although we don’t necessarily recommend the children handle the spider without supervision.

If you are ready to become a parent to a Mexican redknee tarantula, Backwater Reptiles has got you covered!

Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus)

Asian forest scorpions are fairly large scorpions with stocky builds, black or very dark brown bodies, and somewhat defensive personalities. They will grow to be approximately four to five inches in length and can live up to seven years in captivity.

Although they are not as large as their cousin the Emperor scorpion, Asian forest scorpions do look very similar and many people often confuse the two species.

asian forest scorpion
It is certainly possible to hold your Asian forest scorpion when you do so with care and proper technique.

As far as temperament is concerned, if you want a docile invertebrate, an Asian forest scorpion might not be the best choice for you. These scorpions are not known for being overly aggressive, but at the same time, they are not hesitant to sting if provoked.

Asian forest scorpions are not known to be especially toxic to people if you do happen to be stung, but their sting is certainly painful. We recommend handling your scorpion only if you are experienced at reading their behavior and are confident in your capabilities as a scorpion wrangler.

Backwater Reptiles has baby Asian forest scorpions and full-grown scorpions for sale at very affordable prices.

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio)

We’ve put the Strawberry dart frog on our list, however in truth, we have to say that this species of dart frog, and all species of dart frog for that matter, are actually not poisonous when kept in captivity.

In the wild, poison dart frog are able to ingest insects and other food sources that allow them to produce their special namesake toxin. They secrete this toxin through their skin and it protects them from predators. However, because captive dart frogs are fed a speciality diet of gut-loaded insects, they are unable to produce this toxin.

strawberry poison dart frog
Strawberry poison dart frogs are known for their red and blue/black two-tone color combo. However, poison dart frogs are actually available in many different color schemes.

This means that although poison dart frogs might seem intimidating to people who don’t know better, in reality, they are just really colorful little frogs who make great pets. We’re huge fans of them because their habitats don’t take up a lot of space!

If you are interested in a tiny, boldly colored pet frog, we recommend purchasing a strawberry dart frog. There are also many other colors of poison dart frogs on the market that have the same care requirements.

Conclusion – Most Popular Poisonous or Venomous Pets

Although each of the animals on this list is technically venomous or poisonous, we think they are also misunderstood.

With proper care and proper technique, even stinging invertebrates like scorpions can be picked up and handled. Just make sure that you are aware of the dangers associated with this practice and also be aware that it can cause the animal stress if you do it incorrectly.

Frog and Toad Myths Debunked

At Backwater Reptiles, we love exotic critters of all types – arachnids, amphibians, and reptiles alike! However, some people are not so fond of our amphibious friends, frogs and toads. This could be because frogs and toads are not traditionally “cute” like most pets, or maybe it’s due to lack of education on the species.

No matter what reason someone might have for disliking frogs and toads, in this article, we’ll set out to explain some of the more popular frog and toad myths. Hopefully a little knowledge will help some people see frogs and toads in a new light.

Myth #1 – Frogs and toads cause warts

First off, let us say that through years of experience handling toads and frogs on pretty much a daily basis, this myth is just NOT true. Let us state that again – frogs and toads DO NOT cause warts! You can safely pick up any frog or toad no matter how wet, sticky, or dirty it appears to be and you can rest easy knowing that your hands and face will be free of warts.

frog and toad myths debunked
As you can see, this baby Pixie frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) is not giving this handler warts of any kind. Another amphibian myth debunked.

Warts are actually caused by a virus. Frogs and toads are not capable of transmitting this virus. So, essentially, you could get warts by interacting with another human being, but interacting with an amphibian will not give them to you.

Myth #2 – Frogs and toads are slimy

This myth is only partially false. Toads tend to be “dryer” than frogs and this is because frogs live closer to bodies of water and are usually moister than toads. Toads have bumpier, rougher skin and tend to stay out of the water for the most part. So, the bottom line is that you might encounter a wet frog, but you’ll probably only encounter a moist toad.

We also want to mention that even though frogs are wetter than toads, that does not make them slimy. They are not sticky and don’t leave mucous behind on your hands if you hold them.

smooth sided toad
This Smooth Sided Toad (Bufo guttatus) is not slimy and not leaving residue on its handler. Frogs and toads might be moist or wet, but they are not mucous-y like a snail.

So, the takeaway from this myth debunking is: frogs and toads might be moist or wet due to the nature of their skin, but they won’t be slimy. No residue will be left on your skin.

Myth #3 – Toads and frogs are associated with witch craft

While frogs and toads might hold certain places of honor in the world of Harry Potter, in real life, toads and frogs are just like any other creature that has a bad reputation. Take for instance black cats. We all know that it’s just a superstition that a black cat crossing your path means bad luck. The same principle holds true for frogs and toads.

In fact, in some cultures frogs and toads are actually good omens or signs of good luck! Just goes to show you that it depends on your upbringing and belief system and not the animal itself.

Myth #4 – Licking a toad will cause you to hallucinate

This myth actually has a somewhat factual basis. Both frogs and toads can be deadly if handled improperly due to poisons secreted through their skins.

For example, the poison dart frog is very aptly named. This group of frog species secretes a poison through its skin that is toxic to all kinds of animals if ingested or allowed to get into the bloodstream.

However, it’s not a hallucinogen, so licking a poison dart frog will more than likely kill you or make you very ill instead of make you high.

strawberry dart frog
Although dart frogs are poisonous in the wild, in captivity they lose this trait. We definitely do not recommend licking a frog or toad regardless of whether or not the animal is poisonous.

On the other hand, many species of toads actually secrete a substance called bufotoxin through glands behind their eyes when they are stressed or threatened.

This toxin is deadly when “raw” and many family pets are actually killed each year from accidentally ingesting bufotoxins from Cane toads. What can happen is, the toad will actually try to eat the dry dog or cat food from their outside dishes (yes, these toads will eat dog food), and the dog or cat will then defend its food by biting the toad. Bad move.

However, bufotoxins can technically be processed scientifically and are then considered hallucinogens, so this myth is partially true. Colorado River toads are notorious for their bufotoxins and are actually banned in some states.

You can lick a toad or frog in an attempt to get high and hallucinate, but more than likely you’ll just end up in the hospital. Lesson: don’t lick toads.

Conclusion – Frog and Toad Myths

We think that frogs and toads make awesome pets, so we hope that this blog article has helped shed some light on common myths surrounding them.

Frogs and toads are just amphibians trying to survive like any other animal. We don’t think they deserve to be shunned or avoided just because someone once told you that touching them gives you warts!




Most Colorful Pet Frogs

Frogs of all shapes and sizes make fun and unique pets. But since many people can find some type of frog in their local neighborhood, the most popular frogs are the ones that are not as common and that attract attention. In our experience, this means the colorful frogs are the biggest hits with hobbyists.

In this article, we will discuss our most popular, most colorful pet frogs sold at Backwater Reptiles.

Painted Mantella (Mantella madagascariensis)

The painted mantella is a small frog that packs a colorful punch. Their dark black bodies are decorated with orange blocks on their hind legs and bright green on their front legs and face. The overall effect is quite beautiful. No wonder these little frogs are called “painted.”

most colorful pet frogs
Painted mantellas are a memorable species of pet frog known for both their tiny size and bold color combinations.

Like most frogs that are kept as pets, painted mantellas are “look not touch” animals. Due to their delicate size, mantellas will see human hands as predators and are therefore skittish. You are likely to drop the frog or accidentally injure it if you attempt to interact with your mantella often. We recommend handling them only to clean their cage or on special occasions.

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio)

Dart frogs come in a variety of colors. The strawberry dart frog has a strawberry red body (hence its common name) with dark blue/black limbs. Its torso is often speckled with dark spots as well.

strawberry dart frog
As this photo demonstrates, strawberry dart frogs are not usually larger than a quarter!

Although they are dubbed poisonous, dart frogs in captivity actually lose their toxicity. Because they are eating a different diet, they are unable to synthesize the toxins that they secrete through their skin in the wild, making them harmless to people.

It might seem that a frog species this small would be tough to feed, but we find that ours will accept a diet of fruit flies and pinhead crickets quite readily.

Clown Tree Frog (Hyla leucophyllata)

The common phase of clown tree frogs found in the pet herp industry is a dark red/orange/dusky brown color with white/cream colored accent blotches. The body of this morph tends to be the darker tone while the extremities are more of a cherry red tone.

pet clown tree frog
Clown tree frogs are moderately-sized tree frogs with hardy dispositions.

Of all the species on this list, we feel that the clown tree frog is probably the most interactive pet frog. It is a hardy and common frog in its native habitat and this translates well to captive bred animals. Like nearly all frog species, we wouldn’t go so far as to say that clown tree frogs enjoy being held, per se, but they tolerate it well. This species is not so delicate that you will risk harming the animal if you pick it up. They are also probably the least skittish of all the species on this list, although they are still fast and can jump far when they want to, so take special care when you do handle your clown tree frog.

Tiger Leg Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis)

Tiger leg tree frogs hail from the Amazonian rain forest and make spectacular tropical pets that will surely impress your friends and family.

These beautiful frogs have green bodies with orange sides flecked with black speckles. They also have cream-colored bellies and eyes with cat-like vertical pupils. They are quite remarkable in appearance.

Tiger leg tree frogs will grow to a moderate size. It’s common for them to be anywhere from one and half to two and half inches long. Females are also usually larger than males.

handling a tiger leg tree frog
Tiger leg tree frogs are sleepy during the day, which makes them easier than most frogs to handle. However, they do have fairly delicate dispositions, so we don’t recommend holding them too often.

If you are a night owl, a tiger leg tree frog might just be the perfect pet frog for you. They are distinctly nocturnal by habit, so they will be active at night. During the day, it’s likely your tiger leg tree frog will attach itself to a leaf and happily snooze the day away.

If you are interested in a pet tiger leg tree frog and want to learn more about their care requirements in captivity, feel free to check out the blog article we wrote detailing how to take care of them.


While all herp species make good pets for different types of people, we’re willing to bet that the colorful frogs on our list will be popular hits with nearly anyone.

If you are interested in creating a habitat for a colorful pet frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles sells painted mantellas, strawberry dart frogs, clown tree frogs, and tiger leg tree frogs. We’ll help get you started with any of these species.

Tiger Leg Tree Frog Care (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis)

Looking for a Tiger leg tree frog care sheet? Many species of tree frogs are visually striking and colorful, but in our opinion, one of the neatest looking tree frogs is the Tiger leg tree frog (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis).

We recommend tiger leg tree frogs as a pet for anyone who wants a flashy frog that they can show off to friends and family.

Read on to find out more about how to care for this tropical tree frog.

Tiger Leg Tree Frog Care

Tiger Leg Tree Frog Description

As we’ve already established, tiger leg tree frogs are definitely dazzling when you first see them. They have long, lean, lanky bodies and limbs with arresting, cat-like eyes with vertical pupils. But of course, the most stand-out feature of this tree frog is its bright orange sides and feet complete with black tiger-esque stripes or bars. Overall, the appearance of the tiger leg tree frog is impressive and memorable. We guarantee your friends will be amazed by this frog’s unique physical traits.

Due to their noctural lifestyle, tiger leg tree frogs sleep during the day. However, at night, they are quite active and you will be able to observe your frog eating, soaking in its water dish or bowl, and climbing around its enclosure. If you’re lucky enough to get a male tiger leg tree frog, you will also likely hear your frog vocalize at night.

tiger leg tree frog care
Tiger leg tree frogs are nocturnal and therefore will be sleepy during the day like the frog pictured. We reveal their care requirements in this blog article.

Tiger leg tree frogs are slow movers and tend to amble along rather than jump, although when they do, it’s with quite a powerful force and they can go quite far. This means that you will likely be safe to handle your frog during the day since it will be sleepy and more than likely just sit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Keep in mind though that frequent interaction with humans for any species of frog can prove stressful, so even if your tiger leg tree frog is friendly, we do recommend keeping the handling to a minimum just for the safety of this delicate frog species.

Tiger Leg Tree Frog Care: Habitat

Tiger leg tree frogs hail from the Amazonian rainforest and therefore require a tropical habitat.

When keeping a single frog, we recommend starting off with a standard glass tank with a screen top lid. Unless you are keeping more than six frogs, a twenty gallon tank will suffice. Your substrate can be as simple as moist paper towels, which will need to be changed regularly, or you can go with something more aesthetically pleasing like padded down sphagnum moss.

Your frog will enjoy having itself a nice little soak from time to time, so provide a water dish that is large enough to accomodate this behavior. In addition, you will want to make sure there are plenty of perches and/or plants to climb on inside the tank. Tiger leg tree frogs are arboreal, so they will spend quite a bit of time in the foliage or perches provided, especially during the day when they will be sleeping.

tiger leg tree frog
This photo shows off the brilliant orange sides and black stripes that give the tiger leg tree frog its common name.

Because they are nocturnal and have clear schedules, you should provide a photo period that replicates natural daylight hours. Keep a low strength light over one side of the enclosure that stays lit for ten to twelve hours daily.

The ambient temperature in the enclosure should stay between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need to mist the enclosure at least once per day to keep the substrate moist and the humidity level around 50 to 80%.

Tiger Leg Tree Frog Care: Feeding

Like a typical tree frog, the tiger leg tree frog is an insectivore and will gladly eat virtually any insect you give it.

At Backwater Reptiles, we feed our tiger leg tree frogs gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, roaches, and sometimes wax worms for treats.

Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis
Tiger leg tree frogs are insectivores and will enjoy a diet of various insects.

Make sure that you offer your frog food at night when it will be active and ready to eat.

Juveniles should eat every day whereas adults can eat a few insects every other day.

Conclusion – Tiger leg tree frog care

Tiger leg tree frogs are fascinating and colorful pets. If you want a frog that you can enjoy showing off, a tiger leg tree frog just might be for you! We did our best detailing the care requirements of this tropical beauty, and we hope you found it useful.

Best Small Pet Frogs

Have you always wanted a pet frog but feel you don’t have the room to keep a semi-aquatic animal? Well, we’ve got good news for you because not all the best pet frogs need a ton of space or large tanks full of water to thrive.

In fact, we’ve got some recommendations for frog species that don’t require enclosures larger than a shoe box. Read on to find out our top picks for the best small pet frogs and how you can get your hands on one.

The Best Small Pet Frogs: A Review

Painted Mantella (Mantella madagascariensis)

Painted mantellas are certainly attractive pet frogs. They hail from Madagascar and are available in a variety of gorgeous color combinations. They have rich, black bodies and eyes with yellow, orange, green, and red accents. These tiny frogs are so colorful in fact, that people often confuse them for poison dart frogs.

Best pet frogs list
This painted mantella has contrasting green and orange coloration. What a beauty, and a great pet frog as well!

These little frogs can get up to one and a half inches long, but most will stay around an inch long on average. Their small size means they only need a home that is around five gallons, at least if you’re only keeping a single frog. Pairs should be kept in a ten gallon tank.

Most mantellas can be shy, so we recommend providing a substrate that retains moisture well but also allows the frog to hide. Another option is to provide several hide spaces.

Backwater Reptiles has colorful painted mantella frogs  for sale.

Strawberry Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio)

It’s a common misconception that poison dart frogs are dangerous and can harm you if you touch them. In the wild, this might be true, but in captivity, the frogs actually lose their potency. It is believed that the poison secreted through their skin is manufactured through insects the frogs eat in their wild habitats, so when we humans feed them captive bred insects, the frogs don’t create the poison any more. So, the bottom line is that you can actually hold and handle your dart frog, but due to their somewhat delicate nature, we don’t recommend handling them a lot.

strawberry dart frog
Dart frogs come in many color variations. Strawberry dart frogs are bright red with dark blue or black legs.

Strawberry dart frogs usually don’t get bigger than a large grape. This is usually around an inch to an inch and half long. A typical life span for a strawberry dart frog is anywhere from four to eight years in captivity.

Because these frogs are so small, we feed ours pinhead crickets and fruit flies. Sometimes they will even eat small mealworms.

If you are in the market for a healthy strawberry dart frog, we do sell them on our website.

Glass Tree Frog (Mantidactylus sp. / Hyalinobatrachium sp. / Boophis sp.)

There are many species of glass tree frogs available through breeders, but they all have one thing in common – their translucent skin and visible organs. The degree of transparency of the frog varies from species to species. Some are nearly clear on top and bottom, while other species are only faintly see-through on their tummies.

As far as size is concerned, most glass frogs will range in size from 20 to 30 millimeters.

These fascinating and unique-looking frogs are not the easiest species to come by in captivity. In the wild, they are arboreal, riparian (living in streams), and nocturnal, which means that wild-caught frogs are tough to obtain and captive breeding efforts are not that successful.

glass tree frog underside
This is the under belly of a glass tree frog. As you can see, the frog’s innards are clearly visible.

If you do decide to keep a glass frog, keep in mind that they are delicate and shy. You will need to have an arboreal set up with more vertical space than horizontal space, although for a single frog, that tank still need not be bigger than a five gallon enclosure.

Although glass tree frogs are one of the rarer frog species sold on this list, Backwater Reptiles does have them for sale.

Clown Tree Frog (Hyla leucophyllata)

Of all the frogs on this list, we’d say that the clown tree frog is probably the largest on average. Because it’s a tree frog, this species will also tend to appear longer in general because its limbs and toes are very pronounced in order to support its arboreal life style. But, even being the largest on this list, the clown tree frog still only maxes out at around four centimeters on average.

Clown tree frogs are not only small, but they are very attractive little frogs too. Most are dark brown or red in base color with lighter white, yellow, or beige markings or splotches. They really are quite striking little amphibians.

clown tree frog
Clown tree frogs are known for their night time calls which sound like laughter.

Due to its arboreal nature, your pet clown tree frog will require a home that is taller, rather than flatter. It still doesn’t require a large enclosure, but just make sure that the frog has a bit of room to climb. We recommend a ten gallon tank with a screen top lid and plenty of foliage, either real or fake.

Luckily, clown tree frogs are readily available. Not only are they fairly common frogs in the pet trade, but they are also relatively inexpensive.

Conclusion – The Best Small Pet Frogs

All of the small pet frogs on our list are somewhat delicate due to their small size. This means that they are not ideal pets for someone who wants to take their frog out of its enclosure and handle it a lot. The small frogs on this list are best for pet owners with limited space to house their amphibian who enjoy looking at and admiring their frog rather than playing with it.

Best Pet Frogs for Beginners

Frogs are fun, entertaining, cute, and overall extremely rewarding amphibians that make great pets. However, if you’re new to the reptile and amphibian hobbyist world, we recommend starting out with a species that is easy to care for, at least until you get used to your pet frog and fully understand meeting its needs.

Below you will find our list of the four best pet frogs for beginners. We chose these species for a variety of reasons, but mainly for their great track record as pets in captivity.

Budgetts Frog AKA Freddy Krueger Frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis)

Budgetts frogs are also commonly known by the nickname “Freddy Krueger frog” because they have unusually long fingers and can emit what is best described as a scream when stressed or provoked. However, we want you to know that this nickname shouldn’t intimidate you. Budgetts frogs are overall very calm, lazy, squishy frogs and they’d much rather be left to their own devices than scream at you.

Lepidobatrachus laevis
Although its legs make it appear stumpy, the Budgetts Frog is actually a really good swimmer.

Due to their highly aquatic nature, keeping a Budgetts frog is a lot like keeping a fish. This frog species will rarely emerge from water and is overall fairly secretive. We’d say that Budgetts are great pets for people who enjoy watching their pet frog and don’t plan on handling it or taking it out to play with. Budgetts are solidly built, but very awkward and blob-like on solid ground, so we recommend removing them from their enclosure only when necessary.

If you think a jelly-like Budgetts frog is for you, Backwater Reptiles has them for sale.

White’s Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)

White’s Tree Frogs, which are also commonly referred to as “Dumpy Frogs” due to their pudgy, wrinkled, and somewhat sleepy appearance, are very docile pet frogs.

Originating from Australia, Dumpies can be green or blueish in color. Some also have white spots. But all of them tend to be calm frogs that don’t mind being handled.

Dumpy frog
White’s tree frogs make amusing pet frogs.

Your dumpy frog shouldn’t grow larger than five inches long and can live anywhere from seven to twenty years! Frogs of a similar size can also be housed together as dumpy frogs are generally friendly toward one another.

A large part of the reason we’ve included White’s tree frog on our list is because they are very forgiving when it comes to their conditions in captivity. They don’t require much in terms of cage decor, but keep in mind that they are tree frogs, so be sure to provide them something to climb on and cling to. They also thrive in temperatures around 80 degrees, which means all they need in terms of heat is a small light or heat pad. They’re also not known to be picky eaters, so feeding time should never be a hassle as they’ll consume everything from crickets to roaches.

Interested in a pet Dumpy frog? We have blue-phase White’s tree frogs and normal White’s tree frogs for sale on our website.

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

We recommend bullfrogs as pets if you want to keep your frogs outdoors in a pond-like environment. Not only are bullfrogs very common North American frogs, but they are extremely adaptable and can thrive in an outdoor set up with little to no management.

Bullfrogs will do equally well indoors too, provided you give them a large enough enclosure. Most people tend to keep multiple frogs, so if this is the case, we recommend at least a 55 gallon tank. However, for a single frog, a 20 gallon will do just fine. Your bullfrog’s home will need to be set up for both aquatic and terrestrial living, which means a pond or swimming area coupled with a dry land area where the frog can emerge if it so chooses.

Bullfrogs are “classic” looking frogs – green with long jumping legs and round eyes.

Bullfrogs also have hearty appetites and will grow quite large if you let them. We feed ours a staple diet of crickets and mealworms, but they’re also fond of night crawlers, roaches, and reptiworms.

If you’re ready to start your own backyard frog pond, head to our website to purchase some healthy bullfrogs of your own.

Pixie Frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus)

The Pixie frog or Giant African Bullfrog tops our list of best pet frogs for beginners because it is one hefty beast of a frog. These gigantic frogs might start out tiny (think around the size of a quarter), but they are ravenous eaters and can attain weights of up to two pounds!

Pixie frog 2 weeks old
This baby Pixie frog is approximately two weeks old. It will grow rapidly and double its size in about two weeks!

Pixies tend to adapt to human interaction and handling relatively well. We’ve even heard that you can teach your Pixie to eat from your hand, although we recommend proceeding with caution if you attempt this feat because pixies can pack a punch when it comes to eating.

Of all the frog species on this list, Pixies are probably the most entertaining. Meal time for a pet Pixie is just fascinating and watching these piggy little frogs eat never gets old. Pixies will virtually never refuse food, so be prepared to watch your Pixie’s diet as they can and will get fat if you let them.

Want your own beastie Pixie frog? Backwater Reptiles sells captive bred babies ranging in size from two inches up.


We think that frogs make awesome pets and if you’re just venturing into the world of herpetoculture, we recommend starting with one of the frogs on this list.

Are you more of an experienced herper? Backwater Reptiles has all sorts of pet frogs for sale on our website.

Do Cuban Tree Frogs Make Good Pets?

Are you considering a pet frog but you’re unsure what species to go with? Do you want a large, hardy, and entertaining species? If you answered yes to these questions, we think a Cuban tree frog would make a great pet for you.

In this article, we’ll lay out the care guidelines for Cuban tree frogs as well as go into more detail on why we think these frogs are great for herp enthusiasts of all ages and levels of experience.

cuban tree frogs are good pets
We think Cuban tree frogs make great pets for herp hobbyists of all levels of experience.

Cuban tree frogs as pets

Originally, Cuban tree frogs come from Cuba, but nowadays, they are commonplace in states like Florida. Because they adapt so well, eat ravenously, grow to quite large sizes, and are so prevalent, they have come to be seen by many as an invasive species. These traits that make Cuban tree frogs so successful in the wild are also what make them very well suited to captivity.

Cuban Tree Frogs are actually the largest species of tree frog living in North America. Females can grow to be nearly six inches in length, while males will stay a bit smaller. Although they are long frogs, they stay quite slender with powerful hind legs designed for long jumps.

In general, Cuban tree frogs are a light brown, beige, or grey color, but can also be a darker brown or whitish color. They also possess the capability to slightly alter their color depending on their surroundings and temperament.

If you keep a Cuban tree frog for a pet, be prepared to feed it…lots. They have immense appetites and seem to prefer crickets in captivity. In addition to crickets, roaches, night crawlers, hornworms, and reptiworms make great treats and supplements. Fully matured, adult frogs have also been known to eat pinkie mice on occasion. We advise feeding pinkies in moderation because if consumed in excess or too frequently, your frog will become overweight. But the bottom line is – you will definitely enjoy watching your Cuban tree frog pig out at mealtime.

cuban tree frog
This photo shows that although Cuban tree frogs are large, they are still very slender of frame with long, powerful hind legs.

A single Cuban tree frog will thrive in a 15 or 20 gallon tank with plenty of foliage to climb on and hide in. You can keep males and females together, but make sure the frogs are of comparable size to one another. Larger Cuban tree frogs have been reported to eat smaller ones, so you don’t want them to cannibalize each other.

Good substrates for Cuban tree frogs are peat moss, potting soil, and coconut fiber. These all hold moisture well, but won’t necessarily become soggy. In addition to the plants (both real and fake are acceptable), you should provide a hide space such as a log or a coconut half that stays on the ground in the cage. While Cuban tree frogs are mostly arboreal, they do at times come down to the ground of their enclosure.

A water dish that is large enough for your frog to comfortably submerge itself should also be provided on the bottom of the cage. You can also put a small rock or platform inside the water dish so that it’s easier for the frog to get in and out of the water pool. Make sure that the water stays fresh because stagnant water can make your frog ill.

If you decide to keep a male with a female or two, expect to hear loud, barking noises during the mating season at night time. Cuban tree frogs are known for their noisy mating calls which have been described as sounding like small dog barks. If successful mating occurs, the female will deposit her eggs in the water dish.

Osteopilus septentrionalis
Cuban tree frogs have quite impressive appetites.


If you want a large frog with lots of personality and heart, we recommend getting a pet Cuban tree frog. Not only are these frogs large, but they are pretty easy to keep and will provide lots of entertainment at feeding time.

If you think you are ready to welcome a Cuban tree frog into your home, you can buy one (or a pair!) from Backwater Reptiles.