White’s Tree Frog
White’s Tree Frog, better known among amateur amphibian fanciers as the Dumpy Frog, is an arboreal species of tree frog native to Indonesia and Australia. Although their points of origin can differ, they are the same species regardless of locale. Like most tree frogs, their appearance lends to camouflage suited for their native biomes. They will typically present with varying shades of green or even a brown mossy color. As with most species of frogs, Dumpy Frogs are pets best suited for visual enjoyment only- excessive handling can lead to stress or physical injury due to their incompatibility with oils produced by human skin. If a situation necessitates handling, they should be moved gently and placed in a humid, secure holding space such as a Kritter Keeper or separate housing environment with appropriate room for mobility.
Vertical and arboreal space is a must for Dumpy Frogs. As a species of tree frog, Dumpies need lots of room to climb and explore, much as they would in their natural environment. Many sources would recommend a five or ten gallon tank for holding a single individual, but due to their temperature needs, a 20H or ExoTerra 12x12x18″ tank with both front and top access is ideal for controlling the thermal gradient they require to thrive. Their optimum basking temperature is 80°-85°F, while maintaining a cool side or ambient temperature of 70°-75°F for ideal comfort levels. As a tropical species, they thrive with 50%-80% humidity levels. This is necessary to allow Dumpy Frogs to maintain the health of their skin and eyes in a captive environment. This can be achieved through daily misting of the enclosure. Multiple Dumpy Frogs can be kept together regardless of sex, as long as appropriate housing requirements per individual are met. Keeping this in mind, this particular species can be quite competitive when it comes to food resources, so it is recommended to only house similarly sized frogs in the same enclosure. Loose substrates (walnut shell, aquarium gravel, sand, forest floor bedding, etc) with potential choking or digestive hazards should be avoided. Coconut fiber or organic potting soil are suitable choices. Additionally, moss, sharp props, and driftwood should be avoided due to the potential of both digestive or physical injury.
Food and Water
As tree frogs, Dumpy Frogs don’t spend much, if any, time in the water. A shallow dish for both soaking and drinking is appropriate, but careful consideration should be put into both location in the tank and depth of the bowl due to this species’ unfortunate tendency to drown in deeper pools. Dumpy Frogs are fairly simplistic in terms of dietary needs- crickets of an appropriate size for the individual make for a good staple diet. They tend to avoid worms or roaches, but these can provide a protein-rich treat from time to time if your animal will tolerate them. A source of calcium (preferably on their food source) should be provided several times a week. Reptivite (ZooMed) or any reptile-specific D3 supplement is a perfect option.
Behavior and Temperament
As previously mentioned, Dumpy Frogs are known for having a calm and docile disposition with their keepers. Males will produce pleasant vocalizations during nighttime- these mating calls are a trademark of a happy Dumpy Frog. It isn’t unusual to see your Dumpy Frog in the same spot for long periods of time once they find a comfortable space to relax in. Despite being a more hands-off pet, Dumpy Frogs have curious and inquisitive personalities, with a more nocturnal waking schedule that lend to entertainment for the night owl enthusiast that can spend time in the evening hours observing their antics. They have an inquisitive gaze, constantly observing and looking to explore their tank and environment.
Despite having a reputation as a “beginner pet” in the reptile and amphibian community, Dumpy Frogs do have care requirements that are better suited for the moderately experienced handler. They are attractive frogs appropriate for the enthusiast with spatial needs necessitating an enclosure with a less expansive footprint. If you’re looking for a pet to keep as a long-term companion, Dumpies are great choice as they can live up to 16 years old.
Written by Justin S. and Emlyn C.
All recommendations listed here are based on the author’s personal knowledge and experience- readers are expected to cross reference and do their own due diligence in regards to animal care.