Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Amphibia
Order - Anura
Family - Hyperoliidae
Genus - Hyperolius

Reed Frogs


There are over 150 species of Reed Frogs with varying colors and patterns, but they all have similar care.
Scientific Info
Scientific Name - Hyperolius viridiflavus
Type - Amphibia
Size - 1 to 1.5 in
Life Span - Upto 7 years
Conservation Status - Endangered

There are over 150 species of Reed Frogs with varying colors and patterns, but they all have similar care. Reed frogs originate from Africa, in the sub-Sahara. They are fairly easy to keep in captivity, and stay small. They are great beginner frogs, and you can get them in nearly any color.

location of origin

Starry night reed frogs have been imported directly from Madagascar several times over the past decade. These imports are the foundation of the captive population of Heterixalus alboguttatus in the United States today.

They live in open wooded areas, gardens and other grasslands in African, south of the Sahara. Found close to water, but not in deserts or rain forests.


Heterixalus alboguttatus do well housed in groups their entire life, as long as enough space is provided. Josh's Frogs recommends purchasing multiple frogs if you are interested in breeding them – this greatly increases the chances of getting a pair. Please refer to the chart below to see your chances of getting at least one male and one female out of a group. We recommend purchasing at least 4-5 reed frogs at a time.

Grooming Housing

Because of their size, reed frogs do not require a large enclosure. A couple of frogs can live comfortably in a 10 gallon tank. A screen top is required because frogs can climb and will escape. A screen top will also help ventilate the cage. Reed frogs are active frogs, and the space provided will be used. A high or long tank can be used, but they will climb branches, and there should be fake or live plants scattered throughout the cage.


If you want to keep a simple setup for monitoring and easy cleanup, paper towels work well. They hold humidity well, and can be replaced cheaply and easily. A nicer looking substrate of non-fertilized potting soil or sphagnum moss can be used.


Using driftwood pieces, cork bark, and a coconut hide is enough shelter. Plants also help too, and you will find reed frogs perching on them. Reed frogs will bask out in the open a lot of the day, so multiple shelters are not required.


Amphibians are ectotherms, or cold blooded, and need a heat source to stay alive. They need a basking spot, and a spot to cool off if needed. The basking spot should be 84-88F during the day, dropping 15F at night. The cooler side of the cage needs no heating, and can stay at around 70F or room temperature.

A bulb is preferred with this species because under tank heaters will crack wet glass. Do some trial runs before introducing a new reed frog to make sure there are no problems. A thermometer on both sides of the tank should be used to monitor the heat. Never use hot rocks or heating devices that go inside the tank because they will become too hot, and may injure your frog.


Amphibians need water or they will suffocate. They can breath through their skin, as long as it stays moist so humidity and water is an important part of their life. Where they originate from, there is a wet and a dry season. This should be imitated, especially if you plan on breeding.

During the wet season, or summer, mist the cage once every morning. Mist it down, and make sure the cage always has a chance to dry out before misting again. This prevents mold and bacteria from growing. For the dry season, or winter, mist the cage every other day in the morning.

A water bowl should be found in the tank. This should be shallow enough for the frog to stand up in, but large so it has a chance to splash around, and do whatever frogs do. Use fresh spring water for misting and the water bowl, never tap. Tap was has unhealthy chemicals and chlorine that frogs may absorb into their skin.


Replace paper towel substrates when soiled, and loose substrates every 2-4 months. Spot clean daily, and make sure the water bowl always stays clean. Cleanup is fairly simple, but an important part in the health of the frog.

Hunting and feeding

Reed frogs have a huge appetite, and will eat anything that fits inside their mouths. Crickets normally make up the main part of their diet. Feed them 5 crickets every two or three days as adults. Frogs just emerging from metamorphosis can be fed fruit flies or small crickets every day. If there are any crickets in the cage by the next feeding, wait until they have all been eaten.

Juveniles should have their food dusted with calcium every feeding, and adults every other. Dusting crickets with vitamin D3 every once and a while is a good idea as well.

Reproduction / Breeding

Before throwing a couple frogs together, and hoping for eggs, there are some things you need. Be ready for hundreds of eggs, because each female may deposit up to 12 eggs every few weeks. The breeding season is the rainy season, and you should have a group of 6 frogs at least to start. Fighting between males is natural and not dangerous. Males will start their singing, calling for a mate, and this will happen all the way through the breeding season.

If you want the frogs to stop mating, you must separate them all because you generally cannot tell males from females. Once the females have laid their eggs in the water, they should be gently moved into a separate aquarium with an inch of water.

Hatchling Care

As the tadpoles start emerging from their eggs, more water should be added so they are not over-crowded. Pieces of floating log can be provided as shelter. Feed the tadpoles well-crushed fish flakes.

As they start to develop back legs, and the tail starts disappearing, these son-to-be reed frogs can be moved to a different enclosure. In this aquarium, there should still be plenty of water, but there should also be rocks and land. Once the froglets can get onto land, they should be fed baby crickets and fruit flies. These new froglets will, within a tear, turn into copies of their parents.


Reed frogs are jumpy, skittering frogs when you want to hold them. They see your hand as a large predator, and will run, or refuse to move. These frogs should be kept more to look at, and are not designed for little kids.

  • Details
  • Madagascar  -Madagascar
  • South Africa -Southern Africa
  • Uganda -Uganda
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo -Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Tanzania  -Tanzania
  • South Sudan -Sudan
  • Rwanda -Rwanda
  • Kenya  -Kenya
  • Ethiopia -Ethiopia

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