Advice on selling Gray Tree Frogs

I am currently raising over a thousand Cope’s Gray Tree Frog tadpole’s that I have gathered from my pool as eggs. My initial plan was to release them all into the wooded area behind my yard once they came out of the water. However, my neighborhood has an extremely dense population of Gray tree frogs already, and this year the population has exploded even more. It is at the point where my neighbors frequently complain to my mom and I about the noise from the frogs at night.

After thinking on it for some time, I’m strongly considering selling some as pets. I know from personal experience through my own little ones, who are from the brood I raised up last year, that grays make wonderful pet frogs even for a beginner like myself. I’m also aware that the vast majority of grays available are wild caught adults, and there is little effort to establish captive breeding of the species. Since my tadpoles will have been raised it captivity though technically not captive bred, I feel selling them could potentially benefit both the hobby and the species. In the future, I could also see myself establishing a breeding project with the grays I have raised.

The only thing is I have very little knowledge at this sort of thing, marketing, establishing payment methods, shipping live animals’ ect. Basically, I have no idea where to begin such a venture and could use some general advice.


Best thing to do would be to talk to other frog keepers, especially the dart frog communities. They can help you with how to pack and ship and the like. The customer service teams from places like ShipYourReptiles or ReptilesExpress or the like can also probably help you

Marketing is a sticky thing… It takes a lot of work, a lot more than just posting an ad - Good pics, right prices, establishing a reputation… So do not expect sales to happen overnight.

Payment is another weird area. There are a lot of services out there you can use, but it is better for you to research each of them and choose the one that works best for you.


You could probably sell the tapoles as feeders or so people can enjoy the joy of raising frongs from tadpoles.


I don’t know where you are in this process at this time but I had a couple of things to add. Have you considered contacting teachers in the surrounding school systems regarding a classroom pet? There are different ways to make that work.

The other is more of a question. Have you noticed any birth defects in the frogs coming out of the pool water? I worked at a local small zoo, well volunteered is more accurate since no money changed hands. We had someone bring in a bunch of gray tree frog eggs one year. Most did not hatch. Of the ones that hatched only a small few were releasable of ones left they had a variety of defects. Many were life threatening and either died on their own or were humanely euthanized. One was kept. He was born with no eyes we believed we could meet his special needs and give him a quality of life. We did. His name was Ray Charles.


Wow, it’s been a long time. Since I made this post, my job has become really unstable, and I wasn’t able to go through with my plan due to financial constrains. So the GT frog population in the neighborhood expanded a bit further.

catherinemb0414- Ray Charles’s story is very touching, thank you for sharing it. I love that your Zoo did what it could to give him a good quality of life. I have to ask though, seeing as frogs largely rely on sight to recognize and catch prey, how did feeding him work?

As for your question, from my experience, the likelihood of deformity and viability of the eggs likely depends on the condition of the pool and level of chemicals present.

My pool for example was in drastically different condition last year when the eggs from which my frogs hatched from were laid and this year.

Essentially the winter before last I had properly winterized the pool, IE I had added in chemicals for keeping the water balance stable while the pool sits overwinter. To open the pool back up that spring I had to reassemble the pump/filter, remove the cover and fill the pool back up fully before adding back the chemicals, which I planned to do the next day. Of course, some froggies made babies in the pool that very night.

Much like the eggs at your zoo, of the 100-200 eggs I retrieved from the pool only about half developed and the majority of the tadpoles died within 24 hours of hatching. That left around 35 tadpoles. I strongly believe what happened here is that there were just enough chemicals left in the pool from what I added at the start of winter due to the pool having been covered during that time to make most of the eggs nonviable, and most of the ones which DID develop had defects which caused them to pass soon after hatching. Three of the surviving tadpoles had deformed tails that curled around their bodies, resulting in them moving in a sort of spiral formation when ever they tried to swim. Interestingly, they were originally amongst the biggest of the clutch, however by one to two weeks old they had fallen behind. None of them made it to metamorphoses.
In all, approximately 17 out of the 35 morphed out. To be honest, aside from the three with tail deformities, the ones that passed away very likely died do to human error on my part. When the largest of the clutch begin to morph out, I had moved the container they were in to a different location outside to better keep an eye on them, but failed to realize how hot that the area could get in the afternoon. As a result, the less mature half of the clutch died to over heating.
As far as I could tell, none of the ones who morphed out had visible deformities, though several passed within the first week or two out of the water from unclear causes. Mostly I suspected drowning, suffocating in the substrate (which I quickly replaced with paper towel) but mostly many escaped/went missing. In the end I ended up with 10 healthy and active froglets from that clutch who are all still doing great.
I also have six from a second clutch which was laid exactly two weeks later in the kiddie pool I was keeping the older clutch (I moved the older ones to a smaller container shortly after the younger ones hatched, so I could keep track of whose who). Pretty much all the eggs in the second clutch hatched, and I ended up releasing over a hundred froglets in my moms garden, where they completely decimated the aphid population.

As for this year’s brood, basically halfway through the season last year the pool started having some mechanical issues I was not able to fix until a few weeks ago. As a result, it’s been sitting without any kind of maintenance for almost a year, so when spring came along, let’s just say it had gone to the frogs (and mosquitoes). By the time I had started collecting eggs from it, nearly every single one developed and hatched.
I honestly didn’t pay as much attention to this brood once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to raise them up for selling, so I just came out every day or so to drop in some food and do an occasional water change, so I can’t really be sure how many made through metamorphoses. I also didn’t see many froglets coming out of the water. In my experience, they seem to prefer emerging for the first time at night, so what I would tend to see is one day there would be a few swimming around with all four legs, then the next day they would be gone. Sometimes if I come out early enough in the morning I could see one or two sitting on the edge of the kiddie pool.
Of the ones I did see, I only notice one who seemed deformed, really it looked normal but didn’t seem to be able to use its back legs at all. It sadly passed soon after leaving the water.

Now later this summer once I had gotten the pool up in running again the day after I had finished putting it the chemicals more eggs had been laid. I didn’t bother collecting them since I figured they be nonviable and sure enough 24 hours latter there was no sign of embryonic development and the yolk of most of them had turned white(in my experience I would expect to see some development by 24 hours as eggs usually hatch with in 48 hours. My babies hatch in around 36 hours.).

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I know this post is a bit old but if this is still something youre doing id buy some grey tree frog tadpoles from you! I could never find anyone selling them, although theyre native to where i live, my area doesn’t have a population