We’ll cover everything you need to know about the Golden Flying Tree Frogs in this caresheet, from housing, heating, lighting, feeding, handling, keeping groups together and more.
An Introduction to the Golden Tree Frog
The Golden Flying Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax, previously Rhacophorus leucomytax) is a very attractive nocturnal tree frog from the tropical areas of Asia. It is also known as the Golden Flying Tree Frog, the Gold Frog, the Asian Flying Frog, the Banana Tree frog, Common Tree Frog and more. The names stem from the colour, which is usually a deep golden colour, and very attractive, and the ability to jump extremely long distances. They have very powerful hind legs, which can enable them to jump distances of six foot and more. In the wild, this gives them the appearance of flying from tree to tree, or gliding – when in fact, it is simply the powerful back legs that propel them forwards at great speeds. This enables them to traverse the whole of the forest from the tops of trees without having to risk the dangers of the forest floor.
Golden Tree Frogs reach around 2.5 inches for males, and 3.5 inches for females. They remain a fairly light bodied frog. Lifespan is around five years, so they don’t live as long as many tree frogs and that’s something to bear in mind. White’s Tree Frogs in comparison for example can live up to 20 years!
Almost all Golden Tree Frogs in captivity are wild caught. This is because they are an extremely common species and very inexpensive. They have been bred in captivity and can be successfully bred, but breeding tree frogs usually requires a rain chamber, multiple setups and a great deal of time to be successful. Because of this, tree frog breeders tend to focus on breeding the more popular tree frogs such as Red Eyed Tree Frogs and White’s Tree Frogs. If buying a Golden Tree Frog always be aware of the source. Whilst taking these frogs from the wild is not a concern for conservation as they are prolific in the wild, it does cause stress and they can harbor parasites. You will also not know the age of the frog, and as this species has quite a low lifespan already, importing a five year old frog will mean you don’t have them very long at all. We don’t recommend wild caught frogs for the first time amphibian keeper, but if you have kept amphibians before and are aware of the risks, then this is a very attractive and interesting species to keep.
Housing your Golden Tree Frog
We recommend using glass tanks to house Golden Tree Frog. Glass tanks will allow you to provide adequate humidity and ventilation. Whilst a tall wooden tank may be appropriate in size, keeping frogs in wooden tanks tends to require them to be replaced within a few years and you’ll need to add extra ventilation panels. For this reason we recommend glass, but if your wooden tank meets your size, humidity and temperature needs, then it’s also acceptable.
A 45 x 45 x 60cm Exo Terra or a 45 x 45 x 60cm Habistat Terrarium is ideal for two to three adult Golden Tree Frogs. We’d recommend going larger to keep a group of four or more. The more space you give them, the more natural and healthy behaviour you’re going to see so the bigger the better! This frog has a massive leap, but you’re not likely to see it in a small tank.
We have put together a few packages for you in terms of Tree Frog Setups, I highly recommend you check out the bioactive ones if you want to consider a fantastic rainforest for your frogs!
Golden Tree Frogs do not tolerate high temperatures. In fact if your temperature starts to reach or exceed 85F, it could have serious health consequences. Keep the tank heated at a gentle 74-76F. Night can be very similar temperatures, as these do not usually experience large temperature drops in the wild, but going down to 70F would be fine.
You can provide this ambient through a heatmat and thermostat behind the tank. We don’t recommend the use of ceramic bulbs usually with frogs, as they tend to dry out the air far more than a heat mat. Gentle lighting can then be placed on top of the tank and we recommend UVB lighting.
- HabiStat Digital Temperature Thermostat Day / Night£72.00
- HabiStat Heat Mats£16.99 – £36.99
- HabiStat Mat Stat 300w£34.99
Lighting and UVB
Depending on which care guide you read, you’ll see some say UVB isn’t required, and others say it is. We consider UVB to be important for all species. Much of the UVB is filtered by the forest canopy, but they still receive a moderate amount of UVB. Lighting can be placed on top of the tank. A basking spot isn’t essential, and there’s no real need to add an additional bulb to your UVB. We would recommend a low wattage forest UVB or the Arcadia Pro T5 Shadedweller kit.
Your UVB should be on during the day and turned off at night.
Water and Humidity
You should keep your humidity at 60-70% and this can be achieved with spraying the enclosure once to twice daily.
A large, fresh, clean water bowl must be available at all times. Whilst you’re not likely to see your Golden Tree Frog spend much time in the water bowl, they may sit in it if dehydrated, or to defecate. It’s important to keep it clean to avoid bacterial infections.
Decor & Substrate
You will need a substrate that holds humidity without attracting bacteria or mold. If you’re using a glass tank, we recommend Arcadia EarthMix as an excellent natural substrate. Other options include Coir Fibre Husk or Orchid Bark. If you’re going for a bioactive setup, you’ll definitely want EarthMix as it contains vital minerals for your plants and cleanup crew. One Bioactive Starter Kit would cover a 45cm enclosure and this contains a great mix of items that will get you started with bioactive. Even if you don’t intend to add a full array of live plants, using a bioactive substrate with cleanup crew means you don’t need to clean the tank out as often and promotes healthy bacteria and air quality.
One thing we will warn of is the Golden Tree Frog is one of the most voracious tree frogs in terms of putting anything in their mouths, and they are not accurate hunters, preferring to engulf with size rather than precision. If you have a loose substrate it is possible for them to become impacted from feeding on it. We’d recommend making sure substrate is pushed down firmly, that only large, inedible pieces of bark are used, and if possible that you try to feed in the canopy rather on the floor of the tank.
You should provide sturdy branches and plenty of cover at all levels of the tank, providing a rainforest like canopy, either with real or plastic plants, so the frogs can feel secure and choose when to bask.
Golden Tree Frogs should readily eat a wide range of appropriately sized livefood, including crickets, locusts, mealworms, dubia roaches, earthworms, lob worms and as a treat, the occasional waxworm.
If your enclosure has UVB then we recommend a straight calcium twice a week, and a multivitamin with D3 once a week.
If your enclosure does not have UVB then we recommend a straight calcium once a week and a multivitamin with D3 twice a week.
Our livefood is delivered gutloaded, but this should be continued at home to make them as nutritional as possible.
We don’t recommend handling Golden Tree Frogs. Amphibians are easily stressed by handling in general and there can also be problems damaging their skin or passing on toxins that cause bacterial skin infections. Golden Tree Frogs are also a frog that will readily jump – and can jump the entire length of the room. With no trees or branches to hang on to, this can result in them injuring themselves as well as getting lost.
Because Golden Tree Frogs are voracious feeders, you can interact with them by hand or tong feeding (but watch your fingers!).
Sexing juvenile Golden Tree Frogs is pretty impossible, but once they grow to a mature size sexing them is easy. Adult females are a full inch or more larger than males, and when placed side by side will sometimes look double the size! If your frog is fully mature it should be easy to tell based on size alone.
Males can sometimes be identified at a younger age because of their calling, which is a loud croak.
Housing Golden Tree Frogs Together
You can house as many Golden Tree Frogs together as you want, given that you have adequate space in the enclosure, adequate food, and they’re all approximately a similar size so no one accidentally ends up in someone elses mouth. Males can also pester females for constant mating, so having more females than males is generally recommended just so she’s not being hounded all the time!
However, if you decide to only keep one Golden Tree Frog, this is fine. They do not have to live in groups.
Breeding Golden Tree Frogs
If you decide to try breeding Golden Tree Frogs and providing more captive bred babies to the pet trade, you will need a rain chamber. You can follow the instructions in our White’s Tree Frog Care Guide. Breeding is the same, except Golden Tree Frogs tadpoles are one of the largest tree frog tadpoles!