Waxy Monkey Frog

A Walking Frog

Known for its human-like hands, the waxy tree frog has unusually long dexterous limbs with opposable thumbs that give it the ability to grab branches. This characteristic makes it possible for the waxy monkey frog to walk or climb instead of jumping or hopping. These treefrogs are 3-4” in length with a uniformly waxy colored lime green or olive dorsal and white or paler colored streaks on its chest, belly, and undersides of its limbs. Waxy monkey frogs also have some rare physiological adaptations for reducing water loss through their skin by secreting a waxy substance of uric acid and lipid secretions that are then spread over their bodies with their forelimbs and hind limbs.


Waxy monkey treefrogs are indigenous to the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests, wetlands, and swamps of South America. In their natural habitiat, they experience windy, hot and dry conditions. These treefrogs are nocturnal and can be found sleeping perched on a branch during the day. 


Housing for treefrogs must be sealed and escape-proof with a secure hood. Waxy monkey tree frogs require a minimum of a 12x12x20 front-opening-terrarium. They can be housed as a pair or in a group of 6 to 8 frogs depending on the size of the terrarium. For every additional treefrog, increase the enclosure size. The enclosure should have multiple horizontal perches, such as the Zilla Broken Branch or horizontally mounted sticks or branches. Fill the remainder of the enclosure with artificial or live foliage, logs, driftwood, and other terrarium furnishings. These treefrogs require a humidity of 50 to 70%. To provide an optimal humidity level, use substrates such as Zilla jungle mix or terrarium moss, a large shallow water dish, and mist the enclosure at least once daily.

Temperature and Lighting

Waxy monkey tree frogs require additional UVA/UVB lighting a heat source such as the Zilla Low Profile Dual Fixture with a 50W Day Blue Mini Halogen Bulb and a Tropical Mini Compact Fluorescent UVB Bulb. The ambient temperature should be kept at 75° to 92° F with a high basking temperature of 90 to 100 degrees F at one side of the tank. Nighttime temperatures can drop to 75° to 85°F. To maintain a healthy environment for the treefrog, provide low relative humidity and a high basking temperature for them to achieve a desired thermal temperature and properly metabolize. 

Feeding / Diet

The waxy monkey treefrogs are insectivorous, and will eat insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates. Treefrogs should be fed appropriately sized insects such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. Feeder insects should be given Zilla Gut Load Cricket Drink. Spray insects with Zilla Calcium Supplement and Zilla Vitamin Supplement Sprays 1-2 times weekly for additional calcium and vitamin D3. It’s important to not overfeed treefrogs as obesity and other health issues may occur.


Treefrogs should only be handled when necessary as they are delicate amphibians. Frogs do not tolerate handling very well as they can absorb dangerous chemicals or oils through their soft and permeable skin. Before handling an amphibian, wash your hands thoroughly to remove all lotions, oils and bacteria that may be on your hands.

Also be sure to wash your hands after handling any animals.

Created in cooperation with the

Madison Area Herpetological Society, Inc.