The Amphibian Research Centre > ARC > Keeping frogs

Keeping frogs

Frog available from the Amphibian Research Centre

Following is some brief information about each of the species of frogs that are commonly available at the ARC, intended to help you with your choice. Remember, availability is seasonal and at any time there are usually about 8-10 species available (of the approximately 20 species bred at the ARC).

Dainty tree frog photo by D.HunterDainty Tree Frog (Litoria gracilenta)

This small brightly coloured tree frog is one of the most common species featured on posters, t-shirts, and book covers - you probably have a picture of one somewhere in your house. It is also one of the most easily kept of the tropical frogs, but it does require heating and artificial ultra-violet light. A category 1 licence is required for this species.

Green tree frog photo by J.BentleyGreen Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)

The most commonly kept frog in the world and one of the frogs best suited to keeping as a pet. This species requires heating and the provision of artificial ultra-violet light. Their life can exceed 25 years. A category 1 licence is required for this species.

Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)

Spotted marsh frog photo by P.RobertsonNo licence is required to keep this attractive and active frog. This species represents an excellent beginners pet and requires no artificial heating. They range in colour from light to dark greens with leopard-like spots of a darker shade of green. They can be expected to live over 5 years. Read about it in the Frogs of Australia Field Guide.

Southern Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi)

Southern brown tree frog photo by P.RobertsonAnother species which can be kept without a wildlife licence, this active climbing frog is an excellent beginner's pet. No artificial heating or lighting is required, and your pet can be expected to live for around 5-8 years. Read about it in the Frogs of Victoria Field Guide.

How to care for your frog

Detailed information and care sheets for each species will be available when you arrange to purchase your frogs. You can download our care sheets for some species of frogs in the care sheets section. Please contact us if you would like further information on any of these species.

The Amphibian Research Centre also provides an Australia-wide insect-delivery service. We breed our own crickets to feed the frogs at the centre and by offering this service to the public, we are able to generate valuable additional funds for research. The cricket service is available online in the ARCade.

Tadpole kits

Schools / crèche / pre-schools can purchase tadpole kits from the ARC. They are a great educational tool for demonstrating life cycles and growth as well as fostering an appreciation for animal life with students. When the tadpoles have metamorphosed into frogs, schools have the option of keeping the frogs or returning them to the ARC. If the frogs are returned to the ARC you may keep the kit to use next time you want tadpoles. In each tadpole kit you will receive a:
  • Plastic tank and ventilated lid
  • Gravel
  • Food (frozen endive)
  • 5-10 tadpoles (the best part!)
  • Bottle of specially cultured startup water from the ARC
  • Information about tadpoles and frogs in the curriculum plus brochure and tadpole poster
  • Care information and "how to" guide to setting up your kit

In most cases, schools do not need to apply for a permit to have tadpole kits but do need to display a form near their tank . The Department of Sustainability and Environment regulates the keeping of widlife and all the appropriate forms are linked from our licensing and legal section. Government schools and catholic schools simply need to print out and display the "Authorisation for government schools" or "Authorisation for catholic schools" form. Private schools, however, need to apply for a permit using the "Application for a Scientific Permit to Keep Frogs - School" form. Pre-schools and kindergartens are considered to be schools and must meet the same requirements.

Legal matters

All frogs, tadpoles, and spawn are protected in Victoria. The collection of frogs from the wild or the release of frogs to the wild is prohibited. The release of frogs to your backyard or the raising of tadpoles for the purpose of release is also illegal. It is also necessary to obtain a licence before keeping most of the species of frogs available in captivity.

For full details, refer to the licensing and legal section.

ARC policy re: frogs in captivity

The Amphibian Research Centre does not deal in any frogs which have not been bred and raised in captivity and the majority of frogs sold by the ARC are young animals approximately 1-2 months after metamorphosis. This ensures that your pets are not obtained from the wild and it enables the high mortality often associated with raising very young frogs to be avoided. It also means that your new pets get a good healthy start and will have the best chance of a long and happy life ahead of them.

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