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Why Is My Green Tree Frog Brown?

Although most species of tree frog are better suited for people who have some prior experience of keeping pet amphibians, we have noticed more and more people getting themselves a pet tree frog, more specifically an American green tree frog.

Thankfully, they are one of the easier tree frog species to care for but we do commonly see people reaching out and asking why their green tree frog is turning brown.

It can be totally normal for a green tree frog to turn brown or even shades of yellow in some situations as many tree frog species will tweak their color throughout the day.

This is commonly due to the frog feeling threatened, adjusting to temperature, the diet of the frog, or the frog just trying to blend in with its surroundings.

So many people new to keeping a pet green tree frog think that their frog must have a problem if it is any color other than green due to the name of the species.

This is not the case and a healthy green tree frog will commonly flush its color to shades of yellow or brown throughout the day before usually returning to its normal green color.

Are All Green Tree Frogs Green?

All green tree frogs are usually green the majority of the time but it is normal for the species to change their color multiple times throughout the day depending on various situations.

This is common to various shades of yellow or brown but in some rare cases, some green tree frogs can change their color to a very pale, almost cream color.

This is usually just a temporary thing that the frog will do for an hour or two and the frog will rarely go longer than a couple of hours before it switches back to its normal green color.

There are a wide range of different amphibian species that are able to flush their colors like this for a wide range of reasons and it is totally natural and normal.

One thing that you do have to keep an eye out for with your green tree frog when it flushes its color is that there are no individual pale patches on the frog. If a green tree frog is flushing its color then the majority of the green in on the frog will change to the new color.

If the bulk of your tree frog is green but there is one pale patch then this could be an indication of a fungal infection setting in on the frog so always double check for potential problems like this.

Why Is My Green Tree Frog Brown?

Most of the time when a green tree frog turns itself brown it is due to natural reasons and should only last for an hour or two.

Sometimes the reason that the frog has decided to turn itself brown can be serious though due to it being stressed or anxious as well as having various problems with its diet so even though the frog turning brown can be normal, you should still investigate potential causes.

The most common problem that we see time and time again with most species of tree frogs is that people feed them an unsuitable vegetarian or omnivore diet.

The majority of tree frog species are actually insectivores as adults and although they can do well on a herbivorous food source as tadpoles or juvenile frogs, they really do need a suitable food source to maintain their colors as adults.

The second most common problem that we see people make with tree frogs is that they will keep them in a tank with other tree frogs under unsuitable lighting.

The majority of tree frog species are nocturnal and solitary and being around other frogs or under an unsuitable lighting intensity can stress them out causing them to flush their colors to brown or yellow for extended periods of time.

Can You Control Green Tree Frog Color Changes?

There is no reliable way for you to regulate the color of your green tree frog and although green is their normal, natural color, they will choose to flush their color to brown or yellow at times.

This is not always an indication of the frog having problems and this behavior will still occur even if the frog is kept in perfect conditions.

We have seen a number of people on social media worry about their tree frog changing color randomly thinking that they have done something wrong when this is often not the case.

It can be common for beginners to make the two mistakes that we covered in the section above but more experienced tree frog keepers can usually offer perfect conditions for their tree frogs and still have them flush their colors.

Some people do try to bring out the greens in their tree frog by optimizing their diets and this can work as an optimal diet for your tree frog made up of suitable insects that provide everything it needs for its brilliant green color.

Even then though, your frog will still commonly choose to flush its color to yellow or brown at times.

Why Is My Green Tree Frog Turning Dark Green Or Black?

Some green tree frogs will flush their color to a very dark green that can appear black under some lighting in response to problems with their ambient temperature.

There are some less common reasons why your green tree frog may flush to a dark color but temperature issues is definitely the most common cause.

A less common issue is problems with humidity for the frog but this is usually accompanied by other symptoms on the frog such as problems with its skin giving you an idea that the issue is due to humidity.

If you do notice that your tree frog is turning dark green or black then we would recommend that you initially investigate problems with the temperature of the frog.

You should ideally be using a decent thermometer if possible as the cheap paper temperature strips are far from accurate.

We have seen many people think that they were keeping their pet amphibians at their recommended temperature ranges due to those cheap temperature strips only to later find out that the real temperature was actually far from it.


That brings our article going over why your green tree frog is brown to an end. We hope that we have been helpful and that our readers have a better idea of the type of thing that they should be paying attention to with their frogs. As we mentioned above though, it can be totally normal for a green tree frog to turn brown or a shade of yellow temporarily and this is not always an indication of a potential problem with the frog.