Please see Parts 1 and 2 of this article to read about the natural history of the Green Frog (Lithobates/Rana clamitans) and some personal observations on its behavior.
An Agreeable Personality
Green Frogs make wonderful pets…even wild-caught adults settle down and hand-feed in short order (please see video below). This is in sharp contrast to many US natives, such as American Bullfrogs, Leopard Frogs and Pickerel Frogs, which often remain high-strung and difficult to observe, even after years in captivity. In “personality”, the amiable Green Frog is closer to the unflappable American Toad than to its nearer relatives.
A 20 gallon “long style” aquarium half-filled with de-chlorinated water can accommodate a pair or trio. I’ve kept Green Frogs with tropical fishes, but this requires quite a bit of work (please see photo).
A filter and weekly 50% water changes will help to maintain water quality. Despite being quite hardy and adaptable creatures, Green Frogs will expire in short order if ammonia levels are allowed to rise.
Live or plastic floating plants should coat the water’s surface, and it is here that the frogs will spend most of their time (live Pothos, Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce are excellent choices). In the wild, the color of the Green Frog’s jaw and head provides excellent camouflage as it floats on the waters surface, waiting to launch an attack on low flying Dragonflies and other insects. Turtle Docks make fine land areas.
Light and Heat
Green Frogs spend a good deal of time in sunny locations, so I provide a Low Output UVB Bulb.
Average room temperatures suit them well…normal fluctuations may bring the frogs into breeding condition. Green Frogs tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but may become stressed (and prone to fungal and other infections) at 80F or above. Cool temperatures suit them well…mine continue to feed at 54F.
Although crickets are greedily taken, a varied diet is necessary if you are to have success in keeping these frogs long-term. I’ve done well by relying upon wild caught invertebrates during the warmer months and saving crickets, waxworms and roaches for winter use.
There is very little that these ravenous fellows refuse – I provide moths, beetles, sowbugs, dragonfly larvae, grubs, grasshoppers, non-hairy caterpillars and a variety of other invertebrates; a minnow each 7-10 days helps ensure adequate calcium intake. I rely heavily upon earthworms in both winter and summer, buying or collecting them, and usually try to keep a colony going in my basement as well.
A Zoo Med Bug Napper simplifies the collecting of moths and other flying insects. Canned Insect are readily accepted from feeding tongs, and are an important means of providing dietary variety when wild-caught insects are not available.
The videos of a Green Frog trying to swallow my finger in my article Tong Feeding Frogs show just how well-adjusted these little guys become!
Please see Frogs in Outdoor Ponds for another take on Green Frog keeping.