Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosa) Species Profile: Housing, Diet, and Care
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Hyla gratiosa

Quick Stats:   Barking Tree Frog

Family: Hylidae
Origin: Southeastern United States
Size: 2.5" to 2.75"
Diet: Gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, moths, earthworms, waxworms
Water: Shallow bowl of water (cleaned daily); misting
Housing: Tall aquarium with a screen top
Substrate: Organic mulch, reptile barks, and/or peat bedding to maintain humidity
Decoration: Heavily planted terrarium with many branches for climbing
Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent
Temperatures: Daytime: 78ºF optimal, cooler at night; range of 70-84ºF
Humidity: High
Care level: Easy
Cautions: Keep in an aquarium with a tight lid; can be noisy at times


The Barking Tree Frog is highly variable in color, from lime green to brown. Generally, they are medium green with dark circles or blotches, and gold or yellow flecks. The throat, belly, and inside of the hind legs of barking tree frogs are usually deep yellow to gold. Color can vary according to the lighting, time of day, and temperature. When stressed, the frog may become lighter in color, losing its dark blotches.

Barking Tree Frogs spend most of their time in trees, and have specially developed foot pads that help them cling to branches. They can even climb up the glass of an aquarium. In the wild, these frogs will also burrow under tree roots.

The Barking Tree Frog is hardy and friendly, making it a good choice for beginners as well as experienced herp owners. In some cases, it will become accustomed to eating from the owner's hand.

Range of the Barking Tree Frog

The Barking Tree Frog is one of the largest frogs found in the United States. It is found in the Southeastern U.S., primarily in Florida and neighboring states. Because of habitat loss, wild Barking Tree Frogs have become fewer in number.

The Barking Tree Frog gets its name from the low-pitched sounds it makes during the rainy season, which have been described as similar to that of a dog, or even a honking goose. This sound is only made by the males. When the frog is in water, the call is deeper and more hollow-sounding.

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