Frog Lifespan How Long Do Frogs Live?

Frog Lifespan

Let’s find out some fascinating facts of frog lifespan and how long frogs live in wild and in captivity as pet.

Frogs are amphibians, meaning they live both on land and in water. They hatch as tadpoles from eggs laid in water or moist places, then undergo metamorphosis into their adult form.

Frogs have a unique life cycle, starting as eggs laid in water, hatching into tadpoles, and then undergoing metamorphosis to become adult frogs.

With over 6,000 frog species on Earth, there is no simple answer. Still, understanding longevity across common frog types provides insight on these incredible amphibians.

The average frog lifespan can vary greatly depending on the species. Some species of frogs can live for only a few years, while others can live for up to 40 years or more in the wild.

Frog Lifespan in Wild

Frogs Lifespan in Wild
Frog Lifespan in Wild

Most wild frogs live between 2 and 4 years on average. Some species live longer while other only survive one year.

Small frogs with faster metabolisms like spring peepers tend to have shorter lives, often just 1-2 years.

Here are some general estimates of the average lifespan of different types of frogs in the wild:

  • Poison dart frogs: 5-10 years
  • Tree frogs: 5-10 years
  • Ground-dwelling frogs: 10-15 years
  • Bullfrogs: 15-20 years
  • African clawed frogs: 20-30 years
  • American green tree frogs: 20-30 years
  • American toads – Abundant across the US, they typically live 2-3 years.
  • African dwarf frogs: 20-40 years

In general, larger frog species with lower metabolic rates and that live in less harsh environments tend to have greater longevity. Many wild populations face high juvenile mortality too, so captive frogs often outlive wild counterparts.

How Long Do Frogs Live in Captivity

Frog Lifespan in Captivity
Frog Lifespan in Captivity

The average pet frogs can live from 4-15 years in captivity depending on the species. Large tropical species live the longest while small temperate species have shorter lives.

Popular pet frogs like tomato frogs, white’s tree frogs, and red-eyed tree frogs typically live between 5-10 years in captivity when properly cared for.

American bullfrogs and green frogs, two of the largest North American species, usually survive 7-10 years as pets.

Small aquatic African dwarf frogs and African clawed frogs live between 5-12 years in a vivarium or aquarium habitat.

Pacman frogs have shorter lives of 3-5 years as they are voracious eaters with fast metabolisms.

Poison dart frogs bred as pets generally live 5-10 years since dangers from wild toxins are removed.

How to Make Frog Live Long

How to Make Frog Live Long
How to Make Frog Live Long

In captivity, frogs life expectancy can be extended and healthy life if they are provided with proper care and attention. 

Here are some tips for keeping frogs healthy and happy in captivity:

  1. Provide a suitable enclosure: Frogs need a secure, escape-proof enclosure that is large enough for them to move around and live comfortably. The enclosure should be well-ventilated and have a temperature range that is appropriate for the species of frog.
  2. Maintain proper temperature and humidity: Frogs are ectothermic, meaning they regulate their body temperature using external sources. In captivity, this means providing a temperature range that is appropriate for the species of frog, and maintaining a humidity level that is high enough to support the frog’s skin and respiratory health.
  3. Provide a balanced diet: Frogs have specific dietary needs, and it is important to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Insects, such as crickets and mealworms, are a good source of protein for frogs, while vegetables and fruits can provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  4. Keep the enclosure clean: Frogs are sensitive to bacteria and other pathogens, so it is important to keep their enclosure clean and free of waste. This includes regularly cleaning the enclosure, providing fresh water and food, and monitoring the frog’s health.
  5. Provide appropriate lighting: Frogs have different lighting needs, depending on the species. Some frogs, such as tree frogs, require UVB lighting to help them synthesize vitamin D, while other frogs, such as burrowing frogs, require low light levels to simulate their natural underground habitat.

By providing proper care and attention, frogs can live a long and healthy life in captivity. It is important to research the specific needs of the species of frog you are keeping, and to provide a suitable environment that meets those needs.

Frog Life Cycle

Frog Life Cycle
Frog Life Cycle

A frog’s life cycle is fascinating, so let’s walk through the key stages:

  • Egg stage: Frogs lay their eggs in water, and the eggs hatch into tadpoles after a few days.
  • Tadpole stage: Tadpoles live in the water and feed on algae and small insects. They undergo a series of molts as they grow and develop.
  • Metamorphosis: After about 2-4 weeks, the tadpoles undergo metamorphosis and transform into young frogs. During this process, they lose their tail and develop lungs, eyes, and other adult features.
  • Juvenile stage: After metamorphosis, the young frogs are called juveniles and continue to grow and develop. They may remain in the water or move to land, depending on the species.
  • Adult stage: Once the frogs reach adulthood, they can breed and lay eggs to start the cycle again. Adult frogs can live for several years, depending on the species and environmental factors.

From egg to full maturity, frogs undergo an incredible transformation tailored to both aquatic and terrestrial environments – a key reason they have thrived for over 200 million years!

Frog Knowledge Graph

Subject: Frog


  • Scientific Name: Anura
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Families: 23 families
  • Genera: 1,000+ genera
  • Species: 6,000+ species


  • Habitat: Aquatic and terrestrial environments
  • Diet: Insects, worms, and other small invertebrates
  • Reproduction: Eggs laid in water, tadpoles hatch and develop in water, metamorphosis into adult frogs
  • Behavior: Hunting, hopping, and communication through croaking and body language


  • Body structure: Slender body, long legs, webbed feet, and a long tongue for catching prey
  • Skin: Moist and permeable, with mucous secretions for respiration and defense
  • Respiration: Lungs and skin allow for both aquatic and terrestrial respiration
  • Senses: Good eyesight, hearing, and sense of touch

Types of Frogs:

  • Tree Frogs: Live in trees and have specialized toe pads for climbing
  • Ground-dwelling Frogs: Live on the ground and burrow into soil or vegetation
  • Aquatic Frogs: Live in water and have webbed feet for swimming

Famous Frogs:

  • Kermit the Frog: A fictional character from The Muppets
  • Ribbit: A talking frog from the animated movie “Ribbit”
  • The Frog Prince: A character from the classic fairy tale

Fun Facts:

  • Frogs have no ribcage, but they do have a breastbone
  • Frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single jump
  • Some species of frogs can be found in all seven continents
  • Frogs have a specialized digestive system that allows them to eat prey larger than their own head size


Can a frog live for 40 years?

Yes, some species of frogs can live for up to 40 years in captivity. The average lifespan of a pet frog is around 10-15 years, but some species like the African clawed frog and the American green tree frog can live longer.

How old is the oldest frog?

The oldest reliably recorded frog was a female Australian green tree frog named “Gertrude”, which lived for 21 years at the Australia Museum until her passing in 2022. Some sources suggest one or two captive frogs may have reached 30-40 but with uncertain records.

What pet frog lives the longest?

The African bullfrog and goliath frog have the longest documented captive lifespans at over 20 years. Horned frogs, budgett’s frogs, tomato frogs, and White’s tree frogs also frequently live over 15 years in captivity with proper care and enclosures.

What is the lifespan of a tree frog?

Tree frogs live up to 10 years in captivity, White’s tree frogs live 12 years on average as pets, while wild gray tree frogs have a lifespan of just 3 years exposed to more threats. Some species, like the American green tree frog, can live for up to 15 years.

About Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan. He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning. An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.

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