Author Andrea Gust  Andrea Gust

About Tree Frogs

Clown Frog


The Clown frog is easy to find in the Amazon Basin and is a popular delight to see in vivariums all over the world. It is known for its strange laughter-like call and a comic appearance of dark brown skin with creamy or yellow markings, which lend themselves to its name.

Features of the Clown Frog

These tree frogs, given the binomial name of Dendropsophus leucophyllatus are natives of South America’s rain forests, especially found in Suriname, Guyana, Colombia, and Brazil. These hearty amphibians gain a maximum snout-to-vent length of 4cm and exhibit a change in pattern of skin appearance when they pass through different morph phases. At one point it was recognized as a different species altogether due to its giraffe morph phase.

Clown frogs prefer to live in floating meadows, the small forest pools in the still waters of a river that temporarily exist, covered with floating plants. They breed on the leaves, which are just above water, often laying the eggs there. Upon hatching, the tadpoles fall into the water where they spend the rest of their metamorphosing period of about 2 to 5 months.

These tree frogs have a peculiar, croaky calling and particularly fill the surroundings with their vocalizations if the barometric pressure decreases, sometimes signalling an approaching storm. Learn how to take care of this clown with the following fascinating facts.

Clown Care in Captivity

  • The Clown frog's skin, though not poisonous, is quite sensitive and you need to be very careful handling them, as touching it with unclean hands could negatively affect its health.

  • Keeping tree frogs of different species in the same tank should be avoided, especially if any of them are poisonous, as their toxic secretions could harm the other frogs.

  • Never keep a small frog with one that is much larger in size, as they can behave cannibalistically and eat up the little frogs or froglets.

  • These tree frogs live up to five years in captivity under the proper conditions and environment. A tall vivarium with controlled ventilation, quality substrate, and a high humidity inner atmosphere is essential.

  • Live healthy plants with large leaves inside the vivarium provide a natural environment for the frog to sit, climb and sleep.

  • These amphibians require regular availability of clean water, gut-loaded nutritive live food, and occasional mineral and vitamin supplements.

  • Clown frogs are not easy to breed in captivity and you should be very careful, getting proper knowledge and experience before keeping them.

Proper care is essential to maintain the vivarium, so that the clown frogs do not catch bacterial infections or other illnesses.