6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
BICOLOR WAXY MONKEY TREE FROG Caresheet
Common Name: Biocolor waxy monkey tree frog, Giant monkey frog, Giant leaf frog
Scientific Name: Phyllomedusa bicolor
Origin: Amazon basin & some surrounding areas
Size: 3.5" - 5" females being bigger
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.
In the wild, these frogs live in the amazon rain forest. They have a wide range and can be found from sea level all the way up to 2600 feet in elevation. They are a tree frog and like to climb. Hence, you will want a tall tank with places for your frog to sit and climb around on. Waxy frogs have hands and feet similar to the whites' tree frog, and can grasp branches and things with them. So instead of jumping, they do a lot of climbing to get around. They are nocturnal and will spend most of the day sleeping on a favorite perch, becoming active and hunting at night.
One adult can be housed in a minimum of a 18" wide and at least 24" tall glass enclosure like Exo Terra's 18" x 18" x 24" . They do require a lot of ventilation, similar to a chameleon. So you could also use a screened enclosure for this frog. A minimum size for an adult would be the same as the glass one (18" x 18" x 24") like Exo Terras sm tall screen.
You will want to have plenty of foliage and vines/branches for your waxy to climb on and hide in. If you want to use live plants, here are some good non-toxic choices; Ficus, Schefflera, Hibiscus and Pothos. Zoo Med eco earth or Zilla jungle mix work well with some sphagnum moss layered on top for substrate (bedding).
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Waxy monkeys need a temperature gradient to thermoregulate and control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide a hot and a cool side to your enclosure. All the heat elements should be on one side and the other will be the cool side. This way your frog can move back and forth between the different temperatures depending on its needs. When you have a tall enclosure, your temp gradient will usually be top to bottom instead of side to side.
A basking area of 80-82 degrees should be provided. The rest of the enclosure can be in the 72-75 range. At night, temps can drop to as low as 70 degrees. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure. The easiest way to increase the heat is with a Reptile heat bulb.
In addition to adding heat, waxy monkey tree frogs also need some UVB lighting to help in their absorption of calcium and synthesis of vitamin D3. In the wild, much of the UVB lighting is filtered by the tree canopy. So you'll want to use a 13 watt UVB Exo Terra 100 on top of a screen to help filter those UVB rays.
Always provide a nice sized water dish with fresh water. Change the water at least once a day. Because these frogs live high in the trees, they are exposed to wind and much drier conditions than you would expect for the rain forest. To prevent dehydration, they spread a waxy secretion all over their bodies. Try to attain a humidity of around 40-60%. Misting the enclosure at least once or twice a day will usually provide enough moisture, but a nice humidity gauge can help you in this area. Hand misters are usually sufficient, but if you don't care to remember to mist the cage, an automatic mister like the Exo Terra monsoon is a nice option. Exo Terra bowls or Flukers rock dish are nice naturalistic non-porous water bowls. Frogs drink by sitting in their water bowls and absorbing it through their skin. DO NOT used distilled water for the water bowl. Distilled water has no salts or minerals in it as such it messes with the frogs ability to regulate the water in it's cells. A process called, osmotic regulation. Death can result from this as well.
Feed your waxy crickets 2-3 times a week. You may be able to get your frog to eat roaches, but many ignore "worm type" feeders. Make sure to supplement your frog's insects 1-2 times a week with a calcium and vitamins supplement such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3.
While waxy monkey frogs may appear not to do much during the day, they still are an impressive frog to keep. Waxy's will tolerate a little bit of handling. Each individual has its own personality, however, most do not like it all that much. Excessive handling can stress your frog. Most of the enjoyment of having these pets comes from their impressive size and watching them after dark when they're active. Have fun and enjoy your beautiful frog.