Five Things You Didn’t Know About Mossy Tree Frogs (Theloderma corticale)

Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs (Theloderma corticale) are fascinating and unique animals. They are not common pet frogs, so we wanted to let them shine a little this week. So read on and maybe you’ll discover something new about these neat little frogs.

1. Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs get their common name from their camouflage habits. Whether trying to blend in with moss on a tree, rock, or log, the texture of this frog’s skin combined with its green, brown, and black color palette makes it appear very moss-like to potential predators.

mossy tree frog facts
Notice the knobby texture of the frog’s skin. What a great camouflage tactic!

2. Because they are nocturnal and semi-aquatic, mossy frogs are active at night and should always have access to a pool of water in which they can fully submerge. 

Naturally found in flooded caves and mountain streams in Vietnam, these frogs can be shy and secretive. Excessive handling is therefore not recommended.

mossy tree frog
This picture was taken at our facility and we can’t get enough of it!

3. When full-grown, mossy frogs will reach lengths of up to three and a half inches. The females are larger than the males.

Their lifespan in the wild is unknown, but on average they will live twelve to fifteen years in captivity.

theloderma corticale care

4. Vietnamese Mossy Frogs breed readily in captivity and thus have become healthier and more common in the pet trade than they were some years ago. 

They breed between April and June in rock cavities with water collected in the bottom or tree knot holes. The females lay the eggs on rocks or plants directly above a pool of water so that when the eggs hatch, the tadpoles will fall directly into the water.

The entire metamorphosis cycle from tadpole to mature frog takes about a year for the mossy frog.

mossy frog photograph
Mossy tree frogs generally do extremely well in captivity–just make sure they don’t dry out.

5. Like all frogs, the Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frog has no hard palate in its mouth. Instead, when the frog chomps a tasty insect meal, it blinks in order to help it swallow the food down. With no roof of the mouth to help push the food against, the frog will close its eyes and essentially push the eyes down into the top of its mouth, which in turn forces the prey down the frog’s throat.

mossy frog pet


Backwater Reptiles has captive bred Vietnamese Mossy Tree Frogs for sale if you feel inclined to purchase your own after reading our fun little factoids.