Brown Tree Frog Litoria ewingii

Frogs of Victoria series


The Brown Tree Frog, Litoria ewingii, is a pale fawn or brown frog with a dark stripe from the snout through the eye to the front limb and an undivided dark patch between the eyes. The thighs are yellowish. The fingers are free of webbing, the toes are webbed to approximately half way along the toes and finger and toe pads are present. Total length to around 45 mm.

Photo of Brown Tree Frog, Litoria ewingii

Brown Tree Frog
Photographer: Peter Robertson. Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.

Distribution and habitat

The Brown Tree Frog is a common from in suburban gardens and is distributed over much of southern Victoria. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including away from water. It is normally located under logs and other such materials.


The diet of Brown Tree Frogs consists of small invertebrates. The females lay up to 700 eggs in still water, usually attached to submerged grasses. Tadpoles grow to around 50 mm.

Further Reading

Barker, J., Grigg, G. and Tyler, M. J. 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Sydney.

Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books, Sydney.

Hero, J. M., Littlejohn, M. & Marantelli, G. 1991. Frogwatch Field Guide to Victorian Frogs. Department of Conservation and Environment, East Melbourne.

Tyler, M. J. 1992. Encyclopaedia of Australian Animals: Frogs. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Comments (104)

sort by
Mitchell Daly 21 April, 2009 12:18
Hey I caught a brown tree frog by my pool under a branch and i am wanting to keep it alive as a pet and wondering how to keep it alive. what does it eat? does it need a heat lamp? how big does its tank need to be etc.
Anna Belcher 10 November, 2014 05:45
To care for a brown tree frog you will need : Moss A terrarium/tank Mealworms Crickets Stones/pebbles Exo Terra vibrating food bowl (only if your feeding dead or freeze Dried food) Fake plants Some live plants Dirt Water Reptile calcium powder And that's the basics, these frogs are really fun ! Enjoy !!!
Bodhi 6 March, 2017 07:48
A 45x45x60 is good for the brown tree frog and THAY do not need a lamp if you want to know about food for then go to a reptile shop and ask them to show you the best food for your frog I have 8 brown tree frogs I feed the juveniles small crickets and cockroachs but there is a lot more food available.... Hopefully that helped you a bit
Discovery Centre 21 April, 2009 13:19
According to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, it is not permissible to keep wild-caught specimens. However, you can create a frog-friendly garden and attract more of them to your yard, using the tips given on this website.
B.Dmonte 1 October, 2009 00:08
I am having a major issue with brown tree frogs whilsting during the evening and late night. Can you please provide some insight in how to deter these frogs away from my pool and backyard. My neighbours & myself have had to many sleepless nights. Recently I have been cutting tree branches down in my backyard & have been leaving them to dry out before removing. I think this might create a habitat for the frogs.
Discovery Centre 1 October, 2009 12:10

Keeping frogs away from a habitat they enjoy is challenging, especially when the frogs are as adaptable as these ones. As noted in the above article, it's not only watery environments that attract these frogs - a range of features of your yard may be "frog-friendly" ones. For further information about garden features that attract frogs, see the link provided in response to Mitchell's comment; might reversing some of these suggestions help? 

Brandon 29 November, 2009 09:03
I have seven Brown Tree Frogs that have formed from tadpoles what can i feed them and do they need a heat lamp?
Discovery Centre 2 December, 2009 12:05

Hi Brandon and thanks for your query. Brown Tree Frogs are predators and will begin feeding several days after metamorphosing and leaving the water. They will eat small insects (small enough for them to get in their mouths whole). Small crickets and cockroaches (commercially available) are ideal, but they can be fed wild caught insect such as flies and moths. Avoid feeding them stinging or biting species such as wasps or ants.  Please note: Although Brown Tree Frogs are a common local species, they are protected by law. Any frog kept in Victoria must be obtained from a legal source (breeder, pet shop, etc) and cannot be taken from the wild.

Pablo 20 July, 2016 12:56
Hey um I have about 200 tadpoles and I don't know if they are tree frogs or toads but if they are tree frogs how can I take care of them I will only keep two so I can breed them
Brandon 11 December, 2009 09:22
thanx for the info from before ive got some rocks,artifitial trees and some floating wood do they require any other help to live their life happily? and how big will they grow?
Discovery Centre 17 December, 2009 14:28

Hi Brandon.  Thanks for the further questions about your frogs.  We have again asked our Live Exhibits team for information for you.  Your frogs do also require ‘land’ are within the tank. A substrate of moist coco-peat, available from a hardware store, is suitable. The substrate will need to be changed periodically to prevent the build up of wastes. And you can expect your Brown Tree Frogs will grow to between 25 – 40mm.

tess 14 February, 2010 01:25
i had no idea that brown tree frogs were in victria as i thought it was only the tropics. i had one in my shower recess it jumped onto the back of the bathroom door with its little suction caps then jumped onto my arm. i put it into my fernery where there is shelter and is moist. it didnt look like the striped one illustrated in the picture it was just a plain brown colour.
Jo 7 March, 2010 22:59
Hi, I think there is a/some Litoria ewingii in my yard after the hail storm yesterday (my backyard is flooded out) but its night and I cant see. I listened to the call and it was the same as the Litoria ewingii. Could these frogs pose a threat to my pets? I have two dogs. Also how can I move them safely? Is there a service to remove them?
Discovery Centre 10 March, 2010 09:28

Jo, these frogs pose no threat to dogs whatsoever, and will probably disappear along with the floods. Please do not attempt to remove them in the meantime, as this is highly disruptive to the frog population.

Megan Jeffrey 18 March, 2010 10:39
We have caught a southern brown tree frog that our dog was trying to get. We can't let it go in our yard as the dog will just try to attack it again but we are very attached to him and are afraid to let him go in any of the places we know of as there are ferral cats that might eat him. We live in Tasmania and I am wondering if there is anywhere we could contact to help us with information on the safest place to let him go.
Discovery Centre 19 March, 2010 13:45

Hi Megan - thanks for your query. We recommend you contact the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service for advice on releasing your Brown Tree Frog into the wild.

ping 28 March, 2010 23:30
Just caught what I think is a Tyler's tree frog in my shower recess. We have no pond, a dog in the backyard and both neighbours have dogs, so we have no idea where to let it go. Would appreciate some advice. Meanwhile, we've put it in an old fish tank with some water in it to moisten its skin. Thank you.
Discovery Centre 30 March, 2010 09:59

Hi Ping, we have contacted the Live Exhibits team for some advice for you.  As the frog has made its way into your house, there must be a suitable frog habitat somewhere nearby, perhaps a parkland or wetlands. Our Live Exhibits staff have suggested that such a habitat must be somewhere close to where you live.

Catherine 20 April, 2010 11:39
Hi, we are getting what I think are brown tree frogs in our bathroom. We've had about 10 in the last few weeks. I don't mind them getting in there but the problem is they collect up all the fluff and hair off the floor onto their bodies, and if I don't see them in time to free them, they die. Do you have any ideas how they might be getting in and what to do to discourage them from coming in the house? One side of our garden is very nice and damp and we do have frogs living in there as I hear them at night, so I'm not sure why they'd be wanting to come inside! Thanks. :)
Ruben 25 April, 2010 00:28
Hi, a friend of mine who lives in Torquay Victoria gave me two cuttings of Staghorn or Elkhorn Ferns. When I opened the green synthetic bag in Dandenong Victoria to take them out a Brown Tree Frog jumped out at me and landed on my chair and then jumped away but because I know there are no frogs in my area I caught him and put him in my carnivorious plant terrarium. Even though he can jump onto plants he just stays in the water. I need to know what I should do with him as my flat mate wants to flush him and I fear for his safety if I don't do something soon.
Discovery Centre 27 April, 2010 15:33

Hi Ruben, we have contacted the Live Exhibits Team and they have suggested you consider one of two things.  You could either return the frog to Torquay or alternatively contact the Lost Frogs Home, you can find details here:

chloe 17 June, 2010 00:41
i have 10 brown tree frogs all bought from the pet shop my tank is totally set up for breeding and i think one of my frogs has eggs in her belly she has got really fat all of a sudden and belly has gotten very dark but she wont lay! there is plenty of water and reeds and rocks and plants and water temp is perfect. just wondering what else i can do to encourage her to lay as i dont want her getting sick or her babies not surviving.... chloe
Discovery Centre 21 June, 2010 12:04

Hi Chloe - Your frog requires a mature male to grip her in amplexus before she will release the eggs, this usually occurs after the male has been calling. Hopefully you have a mature male or two in your enclosure. Increase the amount of mist spraying (rain) the frogs are getting, this may stimulate males to call and things to happen.  

chloe 24 June, 2010 00:06
thanks for that info, i think i have at least 2 calling males in the tank so ill start sraying tonight! they always call around midnight for some reason too, is this the time that it should "rain"?? chloe
chloe 2 July, 2010 21:12
hi again! i think my female has laid her egg mass but it looks like there is nothing in there or do they start off so tiny you cant see them? it just looks like a jelly clump stuck to some submerged wood.... chloe
Discovery Centre 6 July, 2010 16:25
Hello Chloe, We suggest you contact the Amphibian Research Centre regarding your frog eggs. This centre has a useful email contact address and website with an information page ‘A guide to Keeping Tadpoles’. Good luck. We hope the eggs are fertile.
chloe 13 July, 2010 00:21
i have been told by the pet shop that they do practice with their jelly..... just hoping she keeps practising and gets it right soon! thanks for the link!
Bruce connors 4 August, 2010 10:31
i wont one to keep
Taz 1 February, 2011 21:14
hi my cat was caught terrorising a southern brown tree frog in my back yard and im just wondering what i should feed it as id really like to keep it alive, its currently in a fish tankwith a bowl of water n a plastic log. What can i do to keep it happy n safe. Thanks
Discovery Centre 4 February, 2011 14:13

Hi Taz, it's great that you are concerned for the frog but our Live Exhibits staff have said that the best thing you can do for the frog is release it. Keeping it in captivity increases the disease risks.  

Dion 13 March, 2011 23:02
Hi two days ago i was working in my carport/shed when i seen a brown tree frog i think,on the carport wall about half a meter up from the ground,So i scoped him up in a container,Then released him in our pond,How ever 20mins later..He`s back again and on the shed wall again,So i took him back too the pond.My question is..It was night time,And i had the shed light on,Was the frog attracted too my shed light?,and dose it mean that i might have more frogs in my back yard? Thanks Dion.
Discovery Centre 18 March, 2011 13:27
Hi Dion, the weekend weather was perfect for frogs, it was warm and damp.  The frog would be coming to the light to look for insects. 
Dave 20 March, 2011 22:22
If you find 1 Brown frog around you`r property after it`s been raining,Do that mean there`s more frogs not just one?,Like what i mean is...Do they live with heaps of other ones too,Or i`m just lucky too see one and that`s it?,Cos i like too attract em too my pond.Thanks Dave from S.A
Discovery Centre 21 March, 2011 12:13

Hi Dave,

Usually one frog would mean that there are probably more in the area. Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingii) breed in the winter months (June-Sept), so that is the best time to see and hear them, as they will come to small water bodies to breed.

Debra 11 April, 2011 19:01
Hi, Yesterday I found a 2.5 inch brown (striped) frog in a disused icecream container full of water. The container is sitting on concrete under a potted fiscus tree in the backyard. Should I leave the frog there or should I try and relocate it to the Editvale/Chelsea Wet lands where it may have come from? If relocation is the answer then should I put it in the water or just the grasslands?
Rj 13 July, 2011 12:29
I found a brown tree frog hoppin infront of my garage about a week ago. i tried to keep him (he was very very very tiny) so i went to the pet store and got some coco nut dirt stuff and some flightless fruit flies i had him in a container overnight and someone must have closed it overnight cause he died. anyways the same exact thing happened today. my question is is that do i feed him the flightless flies in his habitat or take him out into a container and feed him there? mind u his container is only about 3.5-4 in. wide and about 7 inches tall and i put a divider in there so all the coco nut stuff didnt get nasty. so do i take him out or just put the flies in that little container?
Discovery Centre 14 July, 2011 10:11
Unfortunately you should not keep your visitor as a pet. The Department of Sustainability and the Environment (DSE) states that it is not permissible to take frogs from the wild, or to keep native animals as pets without the correct licence. Some native animals can be kept as pets provided they are sourced from licenced breder. A list of the native species that may be kept by private collectors can be found at on DSE Private Wildlife Licences website.
kea piper 12 September, 2011 09:53
hi i think i found a brown tree frog in my pool i live in hawaii but can i go to my local pet co in kona and get all the things i need
Sophie 21 November, 2011 12:44
There's something wrong with the fish, I think eating the tadpoles made them sick! Please help me!!!!
Roben 23 December, 2011 09:02
Hi, I believe I have a bunch of these guys in tadpole form in my rain barrel, I live in a share house that is planned to be demolished in two months time and was wondering, how long it would take for them to grow into a form that will allow them to survive? If they wont grow in time I do have another option, there is a park nearby with a massive pond, If they wont be able to grow in time here I could possibly pour out my rain barrel into the pond. I know many will not survive because of fish and other predators, but I think it is better than just killing them outright. It's a minor annoyance as I use this water for gardening, but I'm not about to kill a bunch of baby frogs & I have other water sources anyway. Any help you could give in this situation would be grand. Thanks, Roben
Discovery Centre 30 December, 2011 11:12

Hi Robin,

We forwarded your question to Museum Victoria's animal keepers, who responded with the following:

Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingi) have one of the shortest periods as tadpoles of all Australian frog species – coincidentally, about two months. This will vary on the ambient temperature and water temperature, as well as the availability of food, but means that they should have metamorphosed by the time the house is demolished. If they are still tadpoles at that time, they will at least have grown and become more robust in the intervening period, so if you need to transfer them they will have a better chance of surviving in a new habitat.

Claire 23 January, 2012 19:03
Hi We have some Tasmanian Brown Tree froglets at the Kindy where i work, some of them have only become frogs a few weeks ago and some only a few days ago. My question is should we be keeping them in separate environments? Also once the tadpoles are sitting on the 'land' in their enclosure, can we move them directly into the frog enclosure? Thanx
Discovery Centre 29 January, 2012 16:37

Hi Claire, the species you have is most likely the Southern Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi). They can be kept together as a group when adults, so there is no need to separate them. Once the tadpoles have left the water they have less need to return to it, but water should be provided at all times for the adults as well. The adults have little need for water compared to other frog species, but should always be given access to some, even if it is a small water dish. In your situation you might as well keep the metamorphs in an area with water, just in case they feel the need for it.

Ella 22 February, 2012 16:53
I have 4pet brown tree frogs at home
Olivia 15 November, 2012 11:17
i have two Southern Brown Tree Frogs and three tadpoles, my frogs don't want to eat... I'm scared if they don't eat soon they might die.... :( I feed them crickets that are the right size for them but they just don't eat them!
Coreu 20 November, 2012 08:29
Good morning, I live in SA where we are allowed to keep this sp. but Im moving to victoria, they have almost completely morphed :) exciting times :D will I still need a permit for them when I get there? or is there some sort of exemption for that given circumstance? Im doubting that there is but no harm in asking :) Thankyou for this wealth of knowledge on this site, has been quite helpful. Cheers Corey
Discovery Centre 21 November, 2012 14:52
Hi Coreu, it's probably best to contact the Department of Sustainability and Environment regarding your question as they deal with licensing for wildlife owners.
Alicia 24 November, 2012 08:50
I had a Brown Tree Frog come from the water reserve near my house into my backyard! I have a pool that isnt clean it is all green and slimy and the frog bred lots of tadpoles in there. Now all of those tadpoles have turned into frogs and they are so cute but i am not going to touch them because i do not want to disturb them. But now those frogs have laid tadpoles of their own and there is atleast 11 frogs in there that are still babies and im wondering how many frogs i will end up with ?
Discovery Centre 30 November, 2012 12:11
Hi Alicia, You’ve obviously provided a suitable habitat for them in which to live and breed, particularly regarding plant material to feed the tadpoles. They will continue to breed until they feel the need to disperse, either because the food runs short or the water levels drop or adults disperse to find mates or colonise new areas. Therefore the number of frogs you end up with will depend on the number your habitat can sustain.
Blue moon 21 December, 2012 14:02
Hi, I just bought a baby brown tree frog from the pet shop, And I Was wondering whether it was a boy or a girl, I didn't know if I could tell or not because it's not fully grown From blue moon
Simone Halloran 23 December, 2012 15:11
Just wondering if you know if the brown tree frog has the ability to change colours. Have a look at a photo I took at my father's house on Kangaroo Island. This is his marron tanks which has hundreds of tadpoles in it. He observed that on the light sides of his tanks, the frogs are white and those on black bird netting and black pipes are dark. Can you explain this? I've never seen it before and am thinking of doing an article in our newspaper (The Islander) about it if it's unusual. Thanks! Simone Halloran
Discovery Centre 27 December, 2012 09:44
Hi Simone, Brown Tree Frogs come in a range of colours, from pale cream through brown to dark emerald green, with or without stripes and spots. Their colours do change over time, and we have had a bright green specimen that slowly changed to dark brown over a week or so. However, they are apparently unable to change their colours in response to background colours, at least not as quickly as some other animals can. It’s possible however that those frogs that regularly sit in certain positions on your father’s tanks will slowly adapt to the background or to different light levels.
Discovery Centre 27 December, 2012 10:37

Hi Blue, your frog is probably too young to sex. When it fully matures, you can sex it using the following features: 1) as a very general rule, females tend to be bigger than males; 2) during the breeding season males may have a distinctly green throat, and outside the breeding season the throat of males is creamy coloured in contrast to the white of females; 3) during the breeding season, males have very distinctive nuptial pads on the undersides of the front fingers, which look like small black lines (best seen with the frog in a jar held up to the light); 4) if you play a recorded call – available on the internet – to the frog, it is a male if it answers back.

John McNally 7 January, 2013 11:38
We have found in a carpark a little brown striped frog,brought it home as there was nowhere to release it in the area,have it now in an aquarium.where can I email someone to tell me the better places to release it please?
Discovery Centre 7 January, 2013 16:30
Hi John! Our Live Exibits staff say it could be a Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi) or a Common Froglet (Crinia signifera). In either case, these frogs are widespread and relatively well-adapted to living in suburban environments. The best thing you can do for the frog is to return it to the general area of the carpark and release it in what looks to be the most suitable habitat – amongst trees or gardens or patches of shrubbery.
Heath 31 January, 2013 13:37
Hey, i am looking to get two southern brown tree frogs and i am wondering what size tank is needed and what is needed in it.I was looking at a 12''x12''x12'' setup but im not sure if they will breed in it. And every tank is so expensive. please help
Discovery Centre 1 February, 2013 16:28
Hi Heath! Our Live Exhibits staff say that the tank you described is an adequate size for two frogs of that species, and you’ll need to include substrate such as coco-peat or gravel (gravel is easier to clean). The tank will need to include a bowl of water that is changed every couple of days, and plants or a log can be included for aesthetic reasons but are not essential. Plastic plants may do the job and can be removed and cleaned whenever dirty. The frogs will tend to sit on the walls of the tank rather than a log or plants.

The should be fed crickets or flies twice a week. Crickets are easier and each frog should be fed 8-12 small to medium crickets each feed – don’t overfeed or the crickets will foul the water bowl.

The frogs won’t breed this time of year but if you would like to breed them you’ll need a separate tank of about the same dimensions, filled about one third with water and with a small log sitting above the water surface. A small pump that sprays water onto the back of the enclosure will encourage them to spawn.

Jill 1 March, 2013 15:51
We have 3 brown tree frogs in a large tank, with water and sand, branches and greenery. We feed them crickets. unfortunately one of the frogs had swelled up and was just lying in the water. When had a look and it was still alive but died the next day. What could cause this? Thanks for you help
David 19 March, 2013 15:36
I keep Southern Brown Tree frogs at home, (commercially brought) if they breed and i get to many can i release them into my backyard around my fish ponds or can i release them into the creek near my house?
Discovery Centre 22 March, 2013 15:23
Hi David - It's not a good idea to release them into the wild, even if they were originally collected locally. If they were bought from a pet shop and are of unknown origin, it may cause even more problems. One issue is the mixing of gene pools - frogs from distant locations may not be adapted to your local conditions and may dilute or pollute the local Brown Tree Frog gene pool. Additionally, they may carry diseases and pathogens that can cause havoc with wild populations. Even if they appear healthy, it's possible they may be carriers. Diseases such as chytrid can be particularly devastating. The 'wild' includes your own backyard - frogs in a backyard pond can spread out and mix with local frogs as readily as local frogs might colonies your pond. You can contact the Amphibian Research Centre for advice on surplus frogs.
Elise 20 March, 2013 21:16
I have two pet brown tree frogs (from a pet shop)and I ran out of crickets is there anything else I can feed them as I cant buy more until Friday!?
Discovery Centre 22 March, 2013 11:54
Hi Elise, hope you got it all sorted out!
David 22 March, 2013 14:59
Elise They will eat just about anything that moves so loang as its not to big. Flies, moths, crickets, woodies(cockroaches). What area are you in and i might be able to direct you somewhere to to get them.
Kellie 16 April, 2013 18:05
Hey Guys I am thinking of getting a southern brown tree frog but my parents arent too keen about the fact that they need a light. they do not want to pay alot for the electricity. Does the southern brown tree frog actually need a light?
Discovery Centre 19 April, 2013 14:11

Hi Kellie - we ran this past our staff from our Live Exhibits team, and they have responded as follows:

A light is not essential for the maintenance of brown tree frogs. However, because they still need to know when it’s day and night, it’s best to keep the enclosure in a well lit area outside of direct sunlight. This will allow the frog to undergo a proper daily cycle.

Tahnee 31 August, 2013 21:32
Do Southern Brown Tree Frogs need a heat lamp when you have them as a pet in a tank? Also, I see that you have told many people that in Victoria you are not allowed to keep them as pets, is that the same for South Australia?
Discovery Centre 5 September, 2013 11:31
Hi Tahnee - here is what our Live Exhibits staff have to say. 

Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingii) can be kept indoors without heating or a heat lamp, unless the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius, in which case some heating will be required. This species is common throughout much of southeastern Australia, including areas with cold climates.

For details about South Australian permits, you will need to contact the State Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. DEWNR has a 'Basic Keep and Sell Permit' for common native animals, but they must be captive bred and need to be obtained from a private breeder or pet shop rather than collected from the wild. You will need to check with DEWNR whether Brown Tree Frogs fall within this category.

elly 11 December, 2013 18:17
i have a brown tree frog (store bought) and i was planning to get a common green tree frog but i was wondering if these frogs will get along. but also the frog im planning on getting is much larger is this a problem?
Discovery Centre 20 December, 2013 16:09
Hi Elly, as a general rule, it’s not a good idea to mix frogs of different species. It is sometimes done successfully, but usually by frog keepers who have had enough experience to pick up signs of stress and illness in the frogs. There are many problems that can arise from mixing species, and it usually requires a thorough understanding of the frogs to detect these problems.

In particular, Green Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea) will generally eat anything that fits into their mouths, including other frogs.

rohan 12 February, 2014 09:07
Do southern brown tree frogs eat other smaller southern brown tree frog? as we have 15 tadpoles that we are breeding and want to to put in our large pond, just want to check with you before i put them together. I have done some research but have not been able to find information indicating that they do like other species of frogs.
Steph 25 February, 2014 12:29
hey, I have enjoyed reading this forum. i just wanted to say, that i personally would recommend having UV light for these frogs. I had a very unfortunate experience with my brown tree frogs. I brought my frogs as tadpols and was told not to worry about a light and to just feed them small crickets. everything was going fine until the young frogs had some big growth spurts. their back legs grew a bit funny shaped. turned out they had rickets. i was heart broken because I'd done everything i'd thought they needed. another thing I'd recommend from personal experience is to vary there diet a bit (not just crickets). or use vitamin powders. i hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
haly 31 July, 2014 10:50
hi i have just lost my frog but we bred southern brown tree frogs so we are glad that we did hav them bred
Elizabeth 20 August, 2014 16:37
Hi. I am near Ulverstone, NW Tasmania. I found a recently dead frog in my outside fish pond. I have gone through the different Tasmanian frog species, and it looks like the Brown Tree Frog. The only thing is the backs of the thighs are orange with black spots. Can the Brown Tree Frog have spots on it's thighs?
Discovery Centre 21 August, 2014 11:43
Hi Elizabeth, if you still have the specimen can you take a couple of images of the frog with a ruler in so we have an idea of scale. The email address is 
Discovery Centre 26 August, 2014 10:19
Hi Elizabeth, our frog expert said it is very hard to be sure without a photo, but that she has found some Litoria ewingii with some small black spots on the thighs. So she thinks it is most likely to be L. ewingii as you suggest even though the spots you describe sound much larger than what she has seen. She doesn’t think there are any other Tasmanian species that have orange thighs with spots.



David 29 August, 2014 21:52
Hi, I'm getting conflicting advice about how often to feed my brown tree frog. At the moment I feed it every second day, 2 crickets each time. Is this enough? Occasionally I might add a third feeding item. It is a near adult size frog Thanks in advance!
Discovery Centre 14 September, 2014 09:43
Hi David, that seems to be the right amount of food for a Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi). Individuals vary in how much they eat, how often, and whether they will continue eating when no longer hungry. The best option is to get a feel for when your particular individual has had enough, and keep an eye on its overall condition to make sure it's getting enough food. The amount of flesh over the pelvic bones is a good indication of health.
Chloe 23 September, 2014 16:15
Hey, I have 4 pet Brown Tree frogs, and I have had them for a year in October. Firstly, how can you tell if they are male or female? They do croak and i think my biggest one might be a male. Also, I am hoping to breed them, but they haven't croaked in a while, and the frogs outside croak heaps. Do you know why this is happening, and do you know how old they have to be to breed? Thanks!
Discovery Centre 13 October, 2014 15:53

Hi Chloe,

To get them breeding you may need to spray them with heavy droplets of water regularly to simulate rainfall. Breeding generally occurs in autumn and early spring in the wild, and eggs are laid in several clusters of a few hundred eggs.

Chloe 5 October, 2014 21:48
Hey, I have 3 BTF (brown tree frogs) & I am not sure how to tell if they are male or female. One is tiny, another is small but very fat, though I don't over feed him/ her, & the last one is flat and long . I can describe in more detail if needed, but please help me as I really want to breed them. I have had them since tadpoles last year, so would they be ready to breed? Thanks heaps. Chloe
Chloe 5 October, 2014 22:05
Hi again!, I found a small puddle and it was full of tadpoles!! I have recently being doing an experiment where I collect tadpoles from my dam/ pond, and I am trying to see how many species of frogs there are living in my area. Don't worry, I alway release the tadpoles when they morph, apart from my other frogs which I didn't think would survive in the wild as they were much smaller than the others and had deformed limbs. They are doing okay though. But I was wondering if this experiment is okay to do, legally. I don't harm the tadpoles and I have very few die. They all seem happy and healthy and are growing fast! As I said, I do not keep them, but I was just curious. And for my other frogs, will I be able to keep them? Do I need a license? They were also very small as tadpoles, and I had one that was swallowed by a marsh from during morphing, so I was worried. They are doing well, as I have provided them with a light, plants, rocks and a 64 Letre tank. I love them and they Are so cute!! Thanks heaps and I'm sorry for the long comment! Chloe
Discovery Centre 13 October, 2014 13:56

Hi Chloe,

Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingi) are not very easy to sex but the following attributes might help: 1) females tend to be bigger than males; 2) during the breeding season males may have a distinctly green throat, and outside the breeding season the throat of males is creamy coloured in contrast to the white of females; 3) during the breeding season, males have very distinctive nuptial pads on the undersides of the front fingers, which look like small black lines (best seen with the frog in a jar held up to the light); 4) if you play a recorded call – available on the internet – to the frog, it is a male if it answers back.


The frogs are presumably purchsed from a licenced breeder. The Department of Sustainability and the Environment (DSE) states that it is not permissible to take frogs from the wild, or to keep native animals as pets without the correct licence. A list of the native species that may be kept by private collectors can be found at on DSE Private Wildlife Licences website.

Madyson 15 October, 2014 21:08
Hello, I have 3 brown tree frogs, but i am focussing one just 1 of them. I'm not sure if it is male or female, but I think it might be male because it is quite small, but fat, though I don't over feed them. How many 'thumbs' or toes are they ment to have? Because my frog tht I suspect is a male has 3 at the front and a shorter one at the back. Is this on all frogs? I'm not sure if I croaks but when I play a Brown tree gorg audio, it follows the sound, and dosent croak back. How old does he have to be to breed? I have had him for a year now. I would really appreciate it if you could help. Thanks heaps😋🐸
Discovery Centre 18 October, 2014 10:43

Hi Madyson - we asked our Live Exhibits team about this, and they've responded with this:

Frogs have four toes on the front feet (in the manner you described) and five toes on the back feet. It is the same for all frog species. Breeding for Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingi) occurs in spring and autumn, and there are a number of ways to tell males from females - females are usually bigger; males have a distinctly green throat during the breeding season; and males have nuptial pads on the undersides of the toes on the front legs.

sharon 1 November, 2014 13:38
Hi, i have some BTF that hav recently lost their tails, can you tell me how fast they grow. Thanks.
Discovery Centre 4 November, 2014 10:34
Hi Sharon, depending on the species and the environmental conditions, frogs take about 12 weeks to develop from egg to adulthood. Losing the tail generally takes 1-2 weeks.
Jacob 23 December, 2014 15:03
Hi, I was just wondering if brown tree frogs can be green instead of brown. Because I keep finding little green frogs that look exactly the same as a brown tree frogs but are green. I live in ballarat Victoria.
Discovery Centre 27 December, 2014 10:29

Hi Jacob,

The Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi) sometimes has flecks of green, or green stripes, across its back but can also be entirely green. This seems to occur mostly with specimens from southern and western Victoria and as a general rule, their natural brown colour returns over time.

Chloe 26 December, 2014 17:56
Hi again! I have a problem with my froggies😢 When I opened the cage this morning, I found my smallest frog jammed in the door. I got him out and notices his legs had been crushed. He is struggling to jump move which is unusual since he was t most active frog. I don't think they're broken as he showed no signs of pain. Will he die? I have been hand feeding him and he is still trying to catch flies. Is there anything I can do to help him? Thanks
Alexander 15 November, 2015 08:26
I am doing a school project on the Southern Brown Tree Frog and was wondering what genus it is. Some websites say it is an Australasian Treefrog and others say it is Litoria. I don't know which is right!
Emdwyn 3 December, 2015 20:40
Litoria is correct if you can't find the whole taxonomy/classification here it is: Kingdom: Animalia Family: Hylidae Phylum: Chordata Genus: Litoria Class: Amphibia Species: Ewingii Order: Anura Scientific name: Litoria Ewingii
Emma 2 February, 2016 06:06
Hi! I've been looking after my nephews brown tree frog who shares the tank with a marsh frog. Noticed over the last week that the tree frog was not moving around the tank very much. This morning found it floating and not moving. I think it might be dead. It was pale in colour and bloated. Wondering what might be possible causes? We feed the frogs small to medium sized crickets every second day and changed the water 20:80 using rain water about 3weeks ago. The tank sometimes has a strong ammonia smell too. Any thoughts?
Discovery Centre 24 March, 2016 10:26

Hi Emma,

Frogs die for a number of different reasons and one of them is old age/natural causes. However, if your tank smells of ammonia there may be issues with the water and the build-up of waste products. Water testing kits are available from pet shops and are easy to use. Changing the water as you have been is a good start, but in between changes it might be useful to test the water and compare it to the charts provided with the water testing kit – particularly pH and ammonia. This will tell you whether there is a build-up of wastes in the water, and whether it needs to be changed more often.

Susan 23 August, 2016 05:20
Hi. We are in Southern NZ with quite a large population of Southern tree frogs. They have lived throughout the winter with ice on the ponds. They prefer natural water areas but we have made another little pond for the summer as the other dries out. Was wondering how long they typically live for in the wild? Plus was hoping they would disperse and breed elsewhere but probably due to peoples pets and spraying that is not happening? One last question! Ducks also stay from time to time and it looks like a breeding pair is here to live and I am in two minds about that as like the ducks but they will eat tadpoles and presuming eggs as well?
Discovery Centre 13 September, 2016 10:16
Hi Susan, ducks and waterbirds readily feed on frogs, tadpoles and frog eggs, as do fish (including introduced species such as trout) and invertebrates such as freshwater crayfish, dragonfly nymphs and water boatmen. A range of reptiles also feed on them, and other animals will prey opportunistically on all life stages. Brown Tree Frogs (Litoria ewingi) are introduced to New Zealand and have spread over many parts of both the North and South Island, and they seem to be still spreading. They can freeze and thaw out without too many problems, consequently surviving in areas with regular subzero temperatures, and are thought to outcompete, prey on or displace the rarer native frog species. Given the Brown Tree Frog’s capacity to invade new habitats, you could perhaps discourage them and consider priming the habitat for native frog species.
Bron 14 October, 2016 09:25
We live on a property in the Brisbane Ranges where our dam dried up to almost nothing. My husband and kids collected tadpoles from the dam as they were worried about them not surviving, not realising it wasn't legal, and not knowing what sort of frogs they would become. Now the dam has water again, and some of the tadpoles are turning into frogs. At what point in their development is it best to release them back for best chance of survival? The tadpoles that have turned into frogs appear to be tree frogs but not all the tadpoles appear to be the same type. What should we have in the tank for them and what do they eat and how big should they be when they go back?
Discovery Centre 17 October, 2016 16:39
Hi Bron,

Under normal conditions, frogs and tadpoles may be adapted to coping with dried up dams, or if individuals aren’t adapted to coping then the species as a whole will be. Because of the harsh conditions of the Australian environment, many animal species are adapted to breeding as quickly and profusely as possible when the good times arrive, pumping out generation after generation until the bad times return. When this happens, individuals are left stranded with no food or water or habitat, as the case may be, but the strategy is overall a successful one for many Australian species. It’s a different situation when the bad times are caused by humans, as animals aren’t adapted to these changes. But under normal circumstances it’s often better to leave the animals in place to cope in their own ways.

The reason it’s illegal to collect and keep frogs is that moving them around may change the genetic make-up of populations (in your case it won’t) and may increase the chance of spreading chytrid fungus, the world’s most devastating frog disease (in your case it’s possible but unlikely).

Tadpoles can be kept together in a tank with no other furnishings and fed frozen endive or cos lettuce (which needs to be frozen so the plant cells rupture and become accessible to the tadpoles). Be careful not to put too many  tadpoles together as the protein and ammonia levels in the water will kill them, and change one third of the water every couple of days to prevent this happening. A log, rock or floating plastic lid should be available to the tadpoles to climb out as they start developing legs. They become independent and able to move on land when they have all four legs and the tail has disappeared. 

Rodney Bright 2 January, 2017 06:23
Hello we have just discovered 2 frogs in our fountain they are together 1 is brownish the other green , we have sold our house and will be taking the fountain. What is the best way to relocate the frogs
Elizabeth Byrne 23 January, 2017 01:00
I am a wildlife carer and moved Southern Brown Tree Frogs from a soon to be demolished yard/home to my place with suitable habitat. One frog was caught by a cat but then rescued. I know a cat's bite will kill a bird due to infection. Will the frog need to go to a vet? There was a speck of blood on his back and he was in severe shock but he moved away shortly after.
Discovery Centre 23 January, 2017 09:51
Hi Elizabeth - Thank you for your rescue efforts. We can't give you medical advice, but as always, if you have any concerns for the welfare of an animal, please do take it to a vet. All the best.
Anna 4 March, 2017 10:12
I live about half a mile from wetlands and in Feb 2016 I was thrilled to hear one Litoria Ewingii calling in my front garden. I love the sound of the frogs. They only called from about 8pm to about 11pm and it never disturbed me - instead I would often go out to sit on the verandah just to listen to them. First time ever in this garden was a thrill to hear the sound. I know the sound of the call as I had them in a previous garden 20 miles away. Later my one tree frog was joined by two others. But just recently, at the start of February 2017, we had some extremely hot weather and after 12 months of hearing them every night the Litoria Ewingii over the space of a 3 week period have (all 3 of the frogs) fallen silent and I have not heard a single call now for the last week of February. I have a lot of crickets, I do also see tiny gecko occasionally, and near the pond I do sometimes see cockroaches (fortunately not inside my home). The garden is full of lots of fairly lush planting of many plants, with pea straw mulch in between. There are also some large stone boulders that my grandchildren can sit on, surrounded by plants, dotted throughout the garden, so lots of hiding places. The pond has a waterfall that helps aerate the pond - the fish in the pond are a very tiny native fish that dart quickly. The frogs were not calling near the pond and the pond does not have a shallow end, so perhaps it is not suitable for a Litoria Ewingii to breed in? There are no dogs and no cats that enter my garden, that I am aware of. The front gate is always shut unless a car is entering the driveway. The fences are high. There are possums that do enter the garden from time to time in the late evening, via the street tree and then on to my very old loquat tree. I also have piping strike (birds) and other birds visit my garden and recently a kookaburra was in my big gum tree as well as sundry other birds that visit. The weather has been very hot recently. I live in South Australia. To reduce watering I water the garden well and then add some new pea straw mulch on the garden and watered that too. I do that regularly to conserve the watering and keep the moisture in the soil. I did the above mulching earlier a couple of times during 2016 it never deterred the frogs. The soil has lots of organic matter with added gypsum so burrowing into the soil would be easy for any critter. There are masses of garden worms in the soil and I feel they too would be food for frogs.. Feeling a bit sad that the frogs have finally departed after 12 months continuous residence. They did not all leave the same week. At the start of February 2017 there were 3 calling - one would start and then the others would answer. then a few days later only 2 calling and finally only 1 calling and then silence ever since the 25 February 2017. The total absence of the litoria ewingii calls since the last days of February 2017 makes me think that perhaps a bird ate them? Or do Litoria Ewingii hibernate under leaf matter in very hot weather?
Kelly 14 March, 2017 23:46
Hi,Was just wondering if brown tree frogs are dangerous to dogs, we have just moved into our home and have a nightly visitor, just sits at our window, if we go near it it just stays put.At first my dog was scared of it but tonight it went up to sniff it, Just a bit concerned if it can harm my dog
Discovery Centre 15 March, 2017 11:11
Hi Kelly, 

Brown Tree Frogs aren't poisonous, so in that sense they're not dangerous. Still, it's best if your dog doesn't eat it. 
Judith 16 March, 2017 15:43
We have recently come across what looks to be spider web like material in our garden, with tunnels through it, and a Southern Brown Tree Frog in one of the tunnel entrances.The web like material is white and compacted into a square like shape, almost like fairy floss. The property is in South Gippsland. Can you tell me what's produced the web like material? Could it be the frog? Cheers
Write your comment below All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.