At Reptile Cymru we love our amphibians, so we’ve written a comprehensive guide to this small newcomer to the pet trade, the Green Paddy Frog, Hylarana erythraea. I’ll be covering the housing, heating, lighting, tank setup and more.
If you’re looking for green paddy frogs for sale in the UK, or any other type of tree frog, dart frog, horned frog or toad, check out what we have in stock.
An Introduction to the Green Paddy Frog (Hylarana erythraea)
The Green Paddy Frog (Hylarana erythraea, previously Rana erythraea) is a relative newcomer to the UK pet trade, and in the majority of cases this frog will be available wild caught. In Asia it’s also referred to as the Common Green Frog or sometimes the Green Grass Frog. In the USA where it’s been imported for a while, they often call it the Asian Greenback Frog. This frog is widespread across many countries and may have many other regional common names.
The Green Paddy Frog is very abundant in the marshes, rice paddy fields and slow moving streams of southeast Asia including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is not protected and not a species of any conservation concern, but buying wild caught animals does have the additional risk of potential parasites, stress and ill health, as well as not knowing how old the animals are. If you do decide to keep this species, consider a group and aiming for a potential breeding success so that more captive bred individuals are available!
The Green Paddy Frog is a small, primarily nocturnal (but with some activity during the day, at dawn and dusk) terrestrial frog. Males grow from 3 to 4.5cm, and females are significantly larger at 5 to 7.5cm. The ease of sexing these visually as adults is handy. Interestingly, Hylarana erythraea was originally classified as a tree frog in the genus Hyla, which is the same genus as the American and European Green Tree Frog then it was widely known as Rana erythraea. In the wild it inhabits damp areas of tropical or subtropical forest, marshes, around lakes and slow moving streams, in irrigated land such as rice paddies as well as gardens if the conditions are suitable!
This is a very pretty little frog, generally green or brown backed, but some individuals can have a blue hue. They have brown mottled legs and arms, with cream striping and sides. The undersides are usually white.
The care of these in captivity is still being investigated as they’re a relatively new imported species and not well established, but this simple little frog has interesting behaviours and should appeal to those looking for something a little new and different. Due to the wild caught origin and the lack of concrete information on them, I wouldn’t recommend these for first time frog keepers.
Housing Hylarana erythraea
We recommend a glass terrarium for housing Hylarana erythraea. This is a species that prefers a semi aquatic environment, but also lives in very damp land areas. As such wooden vivariums will easily warp and not hold the humidity as well. There are a wide range of glass enclosures perfect for their needs available from Exo Terra and Habistat.
Hylarana erythraea is usually terrestrial in the wild, living on the damp forest floor, moss or lily pads on or around stagnant or still water, but they will climb bushes and plants, and have a very big jump! As such you’d want a tank which has both length and some height.
A 45x45x45cm enclosure should be able to house up to four adults, but the more space and the more natural and environment you create for this frog, the better. A 60x45x45cm would be excellent!
Water Needs & Humidity
For an ideal setup we’d recommend keeping them in a paludarium – that’s a tank with a water area (approximately 1/3rd of the tank) and a land area (2/3rds of the tank), similar to how we’d recommend setting up the popular Fire Bellied Toads. A filter will be required for a large body of water. The Green Paddy Frog spends the vast majority of it’s time on land or on giant lily pads on the water, but it does have powerful webbed back feet and can swim competently. It has a powerful jump, and can even run across the water to escape a predator quickly!
That being said, this is a frog that is found in a very wide area and many habitats such as marshy forests or rice paddy fields will not offer open areas of deep water. If not wanting to provide a dual water and land setup, a large deep water bowl with foliage over it would be adequate. We would still recommend providing a water bowl large enough for a filter to avoid having to change it every day – which can add in unwanted chemicals. You could use something like a large deep tupperware tub or a 9L Really Useful Box, buried in the substrate to create a removable pond area. In larger tanks, you can also use things like cat litter trays to hold water.
Humidity should be 70-80% and obtained with once to twice daily misting. Always have a hygrometer in the enclosure so you can tell if the humidity is too low or too high.
Heating & Lighting
Hylarana erythraea is a frog comfortable at relatively moderate temperatures. We would recommend keeping the tank at a steady 70 to 75F (21 – 23C) during the day, and the tank can drop down to 65F (18C) at night. We’d recommend a heat mat on one side of the tank to achieve these temperatures, attached to a thermostat. A digital day / night temperature will allow you to set two temperatures to cover both day and night.
Whilst these animals are primarily nocturnal, providing UVB has been proven to have benefits in many areas, including health, appetite and colour. We highly recommend a low level UVB bulb for all frogs, and would recommend a T5 Shadedweller kit for this frog. This will also provide light for a natural photoperiod. Check out our article explaining the different types of UVB and how it benefits the animals we keep, even if they are nocturnal. You are much more likely to see your Green Paddy Frog being active and hunting during the day if providing UVB lighting.
If you’re keeping live plants in the enclosure, then a Jungle Dawn LED bar or bulb will be perfect for plant growth.
Always measure your temperature with an accurate thermometer.
Decor & Substrate
When it comes to Green Paddy Frog care, you should attempt to go as natural as possible, so plant the enclosure out with a deep substrate that holds water well. This frog would be perfect for a bioactive enclosure and live plants. For a substrate we recommend Arcadia Earthmix or Coir. If adding live plants you’ll need a layer of drainage balls and mesh to avoid the plant roots rotting with too much water. Plants which live in marshy conditions and live moss in the enclosure would be ideal for this species as well.
Have some sturdy branches or bushes, and you can use plastic plants to create foliage and options towards the top of the tank. Although this frog will spend the majority of it’s time on the ground, adding plenty of coverage and hiding places at all levels of the tank will help it feel secure.
This is quite a shy frog, and if your frog is also wild caught, which currently to the best of my knowledge all of this species in the UK is, they’ll likely be quite stressed by a new environment. As such provide tons of hiding places so they feel secure from predation, and house the tank in a quiet area of the house. With time they’ll become bolder.
We sell everything you need for a natural looking enclosure, whether you decide to go for artificial or a full bioactive setup.
This frog will eat small insects in the wild. Although it looks like it has quite a big mouth, don’t be tempted to feed anything that’s quite large as they actually eat very small flies, ants, termites and other small insects in the wild and can be easily scared of larger prey.
Feed small crickets (1st to 3rd instar depending on size of frog), fruit flies, mini mealworms or waxworms.
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.
Complete Shopping List
Here’s a shopping list of things you’ll need before buying your Green Paddy Frog / Asian Greenback Frog. Feel free to print it off if you’re heading into your local shop.
We would not recommend handling this frog. It can be easily stressed, especially wild caught individuals who will see you as a predator. They have a powerful jump when they feel threatened, and will easily leap off and potentially injure themselves. It’s best left for an interesting display. With patience it’s possible this species can be hand fed, and may choose to jump over or on your hand in the tank. The best way to encourage interaction is just to be gentle and confident and extremely patient.
Sexing these frogs is easy once mature. Females are up to double the size of males. Males will reach 3 – 4.5cm whilst females will reach 5 – 7.5cm.
Social Needs and Housing Together
The Green Paddy Frog / Asian Greenback Frog can live solo or in a group. If in a group they can be kept in mixed groups of males and females. They are quite a chatty frog and interact with each other well, so there’s no reason not to keep a group as long as you have the space. As with any frog always make sure your frogs are not a size which can fit in someone else’s mouth. Although this is a species that only eats small prey and there’s little risk to each other, you never know when a hunting accident can go awry, so try to keep frogs approximately the same maturity together. We would not recommend mixing this frog with any other species of amphibian or reptile.
Are Hylarana erythraea Noisy?
Hylarana erythraea have a squeaky warble and a series of clicks that is quieter than most frogs. They are quite a chatty and communicative species when housed in groups, primarily during the day. Some people have compared the noise to a chick chirping. Here is a video which shows them communicating in the wild which might give you a better idea of the sound you might experience:
I hope that this Green Paddy Frog / Asian Greenback Frog care guide has answered all your questions, but don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have a question.