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Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Reptile Rapture,
6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
608-221-0094, www.reptilerapture.net


Common Name: Waxy monkey tree frog
Scientific Name: hyllomedusa sauvagei
Origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil
Size: 3"
Lifespan: over 8 years

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 drier forests. 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. They are nocturnal and will spend most of the day sleeping on a favorite perch, becoming active at night when they hunt.

One adult can be housed in a minimum of a 20 gallon tall glass enclosure or Exo Terra's 18" x 18" x 24". They require a lot of ventilation, similar to a chameleon. So you could also use a screened enclosure for this frog. Exo terras small tall screen enclosure works well. These frogs do fine living in small groups. For each additional frog, add 10-15 more gallons of space.

Have plenty of foliage and vines/branches for your waxy to climb on and hide in. If you want to use live plants, these are some good non-toxic ones; 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).

Waxy monkeys' like it hotter than most frogs. They also 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 85-90 degrees should be provided. The rest of the enclosure can be in the 80-82 range. At night, temps can drop to as low as 75 degrees. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer. The easiest way to increase the heat in your enclosure is with a Reptile heat bulb.

In addition to adding heat, waxy monkey tree frogs also need UVB lighting to help in the absorption of calcium and the synthesis of vitamin D3. In the wild, the UVB lighting is filtered by the tree canopy. So you will want to use a 13 watt UVB Exo Terra 100 on top of a screen to help filter the 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 an amphibian. To prevent dehydration, they spread a waxy secretion all over their bodies. Maintain humidity around 50%. 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, 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 insect diet at least once a week with a calcium and vitamins supplement such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3.

While waxy monkey frogs may not be too active during the day, they are still an impressive frog to keep. Waxy's will tolerate a little bit of handling. However, most do not like to be touched that much. Each will have their own personality, but the majority tend to get stressed with excessive handling. The enjoyment of having these frogs comes from their impressive size and watching them after dark when they become active. Have fun and enjoy your beautiful pet.