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Horned Frog Profile
Ceratophrys Ornata


The Ornate Horned frog, native to Northern Argentina, Uraguay and Brazil, belongs to the Ceratophrys genus,(Ceratophrys ornata) also known as the "Argentine", or "Bell" Horned Frog. They get the name "Horned" frog from the fleshy points on their eyelids, creating a horn like appearance.

Ornate Horned Frogs have earned a reputation as bottomless pits when it comes to feeding, and are equipped with a massive jaw nearly as wide as thier body. This makes it rather easy for them to consume food items half the size of the frog itself. It is because of these traits that they have obtained the nickname "Pacman Frog".

Ornate Horned Frogs have a round body shape that seems to consist of only a mouth and stomach. Their legs are not used for jumping, but rather to lunge forward at thier prey, using thier tongues to pull it into thier mouths. They then swallow the food by pushing it down with their eyeballs!
Their back feet are deigned for digging and creating a burrow, where they will sit and wait, blending with thier enviroment until their food comes near. They do not hunt.

Pacman frogs have a very fast growth rate, and metamorphasize into adult form at about three weeks of age. These frogs do not have teeth, but thier jaws are equipped with "barbs" that aid in holding the food inside their mouths. If bitten by the frog, it is highly likely these barbs will draw blood. In some cases when owners of these frogs are bitten, they will often end up flinging the frog into a wall, which can easily result in the death of the frog! Always be cautious when doing regular tank maintainance, as the frog may see your finger as a delicious snack, resulting in an accidental bite in which the frog will let go once it realizes its mistake. The owner should be aware of this happening at all times to prevent the accidental flinging of the frog by pulling your hand away too fast.

Pacman frogs make easy and relatively inexpensive pets to keep at home. and are great starter pets for one who seeks ownership of a pet reptile or amphibian. There are regular Pacman frogs, which consist of mainly green and brown colour patterns, and albino Pacman frogs which have bright yellow, orange and red patterns on thier body, and dark red eyes.


Selecting Your Frog
When purchasing your Pacman frog, you should take a few things into consideration:

The frog should be alert and the sac underneath the chin should be moving. Try moving your hand around inside the enclosure to see if the sac begins to move more rapidly, this is a normal and positive sign of heath. (also, the frog should move around when you attempt to pick it up).

Your frog should have clear skin without any cloudiness or signs of cricket bites. (if too many crickets are left in the enclosure they tend to nibble on your frog, and in serious cases can kill your pet). Also take into consideration that your frog may be shedding its skin, giving it a plastic-like appearance, this is normal. If you have any doubts about the frogs health, don't buy it.

Your frog should have clear skin without any cloudiness or signs of cricket bites. (if too many crickets are left in the enclosure they tend to nibble on your frog, and in serious cases can kill your pet). Also take into consideration that your frog may be shedding its skin, giving it a plastic-like appearance, this is normal. If you have any doubts about the frogs health, don't buy it.

If the previous owner kept the frog in water and gravel, check for debris and fecal matter, these are also signs of poor upkeep.

Your frogs jaw should be closed and firm, a loose or hanging jaw can be a sign of disease.


Pacman frogs are very territorial and must be housed alone. Housing two together may result in one trying to eat the other, which could soon end up in the death of them both.

You can comfortably house a Pacman frog in a standard ten gallon terrarium for life. These frogs can reach a diameter of 15cm when fully grown, but have no need for a large vivarium, they burrow and sit in one spot, occasionally taking a dip in their water dish. A smaller specimen can be kept comfortably in a 5 gallon enclosure for up to two years with no need for an upgrade, but these frogs live up to 15 years, and will eventually need a larger enclosure.

If you live in a climate that stays hot all year, you may not need an additional heat source. If you live in a colder climate, an UTH (under tank heater) will be needed. UTH's are adhesive pads which are to be placed under or on the side of the tank. "mini UTH's" can be used for smaller or plastic tanks as they produce less heat. (always ask the pet store dude what UTH is right for your specific tank) These frogs do not need light. If you choose to light up the enclosure, minimize the wattage and maintain a 12 hour cycle. Hook the lamp up to a dimmer to control the amount of light,

Pacman frogs require overall heat ranging from 75-85 degrees farenheit, and a relative humidity of 60-90%.
Pacman frogs absorb water and oxygen through their skin from the moisture held in the air and soil.

The absolute best substrate to use with pacman frogs is coconut fiber substrate. (aka Bed-A-Beast or Eco-Earth) This substrate holds plenty of water, retains a high humidity level in the air, allows your frog to burrow and naturally breaks down waste. It is also easily passed through the digestive system with little risk of impaction. Mist the soil twice daily to maintain a high overall humidity and moisture in the soil. (allowing the soil to dry out for an extended period of time may cause the frog to hibernate) If using gravel as a substrate your frog is at high risk of accidentally swallowing a pebble.

You must keep a thermometer and Hygrometer in the enclosure in order to monitor the conditions inside the viv, but should not be placed directly on the UTH if it has been placed on the side of the glass. A shallow water dish with dechlorinated water should be available inside the enclosure. Make sure that the water is not deep enough to cover more than half of the frog, any deeper can result in drowning. Also be sure to change the water regularily to avoid the buildup of bacteria. Check the soil for fugus growth and change it every three weeks or so.

Pacman frogs don't defecate very often, their feces are large compressed pellets that can be scooped out whenever present in the soil.

*Smeagul swallowing a cricket

Pacman Frogs can be fed a number of food items such as crickets, mealworms, wax-worms, goldfish and "freeze-thaw" mice or rats.

Crickets should be used as a staple diet for your frog. They can be easily kept in a small tupperware container with small air holes in the side or lid. You should also throw in a chunk of egg carton as a hiding place for the crickets to prevent fighting and unneccesary deaths. "Cricket keepers" are sold in pet stores and have texturized tubes where the crickets can hide. These also make it easy to shake out the appropriate amount of crickets into your pet's enclosure without touching the crickets.
All crickets should be "gut-loaded" prior to feeding them to your pet. "gut-loading" is a term used to describe the feeding of vitamin and nutrient enriched food to the crickets, which will then be passed on to your frog when it consumes the cricket. These "gut-load" formulas can be purchased from your local pet store in many different forms. I like to use "Flukers orange cube" which contain all of the vitamins and nutrients needed for pacman frogs and also hold enough water for the crickets and prevent starved or dehydrated crickets.

Food size depends on the frog. A general rule is to feed items no longer than the frogs head, and no wider than half the width of the frogs head. Feeding items that are too large can result in your frog choking to death. Baby pacman frogs should be fed half inch crickets. Juvenile-adult specimens can eat adult crickets.

Feed around 2-4 crickets per day on a regular basis. Mice are good for a weeks meal, and shouldnt be fed that often. Goldfish can also be occasionally tossed into your frogs water dish, where the frog will gobble it up.
Goldfish and mice are not very benificial to your frog, and should not be used as a staple.

Pacman frogs should be thought of as display pets and should never be unnecessarily handled. They absorb water through their skin, and the oils on your hands are quite harmful to these frogs. If you must handle the frog for tank maintainance, make sure that you wash your hands well before and after handling, and make it as quick and gentle as possible as not to stress the frog too much.

When transporting your frog, make the trip as quick as possible, and cover the frogs container to retain heat, and reduce stress as well. These frogs do not react well to sudden drops in temperature, and such incidents should be avoided.

(This page is to be used for guidelines only, and all information is based upon my personal experience and research.-Eden)​

Photo Whore
2,656 Posts
Nice profile mate. If you need any pics i've got quite a few of my horned frog

Just do a search in non-p pics
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