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Terrestrial Frogs (small)

Terrestrial Frogs (small)

includes mantella, tomato, dart and leopard frogs

Active climbers and jumpers, some of these species are fun to watch. Same species can be kept in a group habitat, but do no mix species.

Terrestrial Frogs (small)

Terrestrial Frogs (small) Facts

Average Adult Size Up to 4 inches long, depending on species
Average Life Span 3 to 10+ years, depending on species
Diet insectivore

Will reach adult size in 10-18 months, depending on species and under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your amphibian grows.


A well-balanced small Terrestrial Frog diet consists of:

  • Provide a variety of insects, including gut-loaded (recently fed) crickets, mealworms and fruit flies.


Things to remember when feeding your small Terrestrial Frog:

  • Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
  • Feed juveniles daily, adults 1-2 times a week; Mantellas require more frequent feedings.
  • Sprinkle food with calcium supplement daily and a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week.


  • Size - appropriate size and shape habitat to accommodate normal behavior and exercise; minimum of 5 gallons for mantellas, minimum of 10 gallons for larger species. If keeping more than one Frog, add 5 gallons per Frog.
  • Habitat - for Leopard and Tomato Frogs, an aqua-terrarium, separated by a partition, with equal parts land and water; for mantellas, a terrarium, with small water bowls, easy to in and out. Provide a hiding place. Maintain 70-90% humidity by misting as needed every day.
  • Substrate – provide a deep substrate, such as mulch-type such as coconut fiber, bark, large gravel (aqua-terrarium) or sphagnum moss.
  • Temperature - maintain a range of 68°F to 80°F; use a heat source when needed.
  • Lighting – provide fluorescent light for 10-12 hours a day. An incandescent day bulb can be used for basking area if not using a ceramic heater; low level UVB lighting is recommended, but providing hiding places to hide from light as needed.
  • Same species Frogs can be kept together but do not house different amphibian species together.

Normal Behavior

  • Some species are climbers and jumpers.
  • Most Frogs will spend most of their time hiding.
  • Vibrant, varied colors.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Thoroughly clean the habitat at least once a week: place Frog in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings; rinse thoroughly with hot water; dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.

Grooming & Hygiene

  • Don't handle unless necessary; always wear latex gloves when handling your Frog; residue or oil on your skin can harm amphibians; all amphibians secrete toxins, do not allow Frog's secretions to contact eyes, mouth, or open wounds. Don't be surprised to see your Frog eating his shed skin.


signs of a healthy animal

  • Able to stalk, grab and swallow prey
  • Eats regularly
  • Healthy skin; clear eyes
  • Maintains weight; avoids obesity

Red Flags

  • weight loss
  • skin parasite
  • excessive yawning
  • distressed breathing
  • lethargy
  • cloudy or dull eyes
  • skin lesions
  • bloating or swelling
  • poor balance

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Chemical intoxication Symptoms or Causes Caused by exposure to soap, detergent, pesticides, etc. Suggested Action Consult your exotic animal veterinarian and protect your amphibian from exposure.
Health Issue Intestinal obstruction Symptoms or Causes Caused by swallowing gravel or by eating too many hard-shelled insects. Suggested Action Consult with your exotic animal veterinarian; surgery may be required.
Health Issue Nutritional deficiencies Symptoms or Causes Weak hind legs, lethargy, lighter or darker skin color. Suggested Action Consult your exotic animal veterinarian and ensure varied diet; use vitamin and mineral supplements.
Health Issue Skin problems Symptoms or Causes Abrasions, bacterial and fungal infections. Suggested Action Consult with your exotic animal veterinarian.


Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on Terrestrial Frogs and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all Frogs are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your Frog and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for a Frog and should consider not having a Frog as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control at for more information about Frogs and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.