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Chacoan Horned Frog

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Other common names: Cranwell's Horned Frog; Pacman Frog; Pac-Man Frog

Scientific name: Ceratophrys cranwelli

The basics:
The Chacoan Horned Frog is a large, nocturnal and terrestrial frog which is native to the dry Gran Chaco region of Argentina. Members of the Ceratophryinae family of South American horned frogs like the Chacoan Horned Frog and the Argentine Horned Frog are commonly referred to as "Pacman Frogs", because their large mouths resemble the main character in the Pac-Man video game. Pacman frog are popular pets because of their size and voracious appetites.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the wild population of Ceratophrys cranwelli is "listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category."

Appearance / health:
The Chacoan Horned Frog varies in coloration and patterns. Colors range from bright green, albino, red, yellow, and even black. They have small limbs, but large mouths and large appetites. These frogs also have the common name of Horned Frogs because the top of each eye possesses a short pointy horn. Females can grow up to 8 inches, and males tend to stay around 5-6 inches.

Behavior / temperament:
These frogs are very lazy and will stay in their burrow for 98% of the time. The only time they come out is to get in their water dish or for feeding. It’s best not to handle these frogs often because the oil and salts on our skin will harm them. They can and will also bite.

Housing:
Any enclosure similar to the size of a 10 gallon tank is suitable for one frog it’s whole life. It’s best to house these frogs alone to avoid cannibalism and fighting. Always have a secure top.

Temperatures should be kept within the range of 75-80F during the day time. Nighttime temperatures can drop a few degrees without problems. Humidity should stay between 60-70%. The next important thing for these frogs is a loose substrate. Peat moss, coco fiber, no chemical potting soil, and similar substrates will be fine. They like to burrow themselves in the substrate, so keep 3-5 inches of substrate in the enclosure. Avoid substrates of rocks, gravel, and bark which can be eaten and cause internal injury that may become fatal.

Substrate should be moist enough so that it holds shape, but does not have excess water coming out of it. Misting the tank a couple times a day will keep the substrate moist. A shallow water dish must also be used. Since they have such small legs, they are not good swimmers and will drown if water is too deep. Always use dechlorinated water when misting or replacing the water dish. Tank décor is not needed but fake plants, log hides, driftwood, and other items may be added. The frog will not make used of these however, and will most likely stay burrowed in the substrate.

Diet:
Ceratophrys frogs will basically eat anything that moves. Crickets, cockroaches, earthworms, and other insects may be fed. Larger frogs may also be supplied with pinkie or fuzzy mice. Tadpoles need live foods such as bloodworms, black worms, or tubifex worms. Froglets need the same food as adults, just smaller in size. These frogs often bite the hand that feeds as well.

Breeding:
Breeding Ceratophrys frogs has been known to be rather difficult. Six to eight weeks before breeding, give the frogs a period of cool temperatures and dry environment. For this step, place the frogs in a tank with deep substrate that has been dried out (not misting). Keep a water bowl inside the tank incase the frogs need it. Reduce their temperatures to 65-70F. More than likely the frogs will not eat during this period. Over the period of a week, bring temperatures and substrate back to normal. Once awaken, place them into another tank set up with shallow water with a land area to climb out. Make sure they can touch the bottom to support themselves while in the water. Provide fake or live floating plants in the water as well. Now is the time to also being the “rainy” season. Spray the frogs several times a day, or set up a misting system connected to a water pump. It has also been proven helpful to record male horned frog calls to play back to your breeding males to simulate calling the females.

When receptive, the females will allow the males to grab them and begin amplexus. Females will lay the eggs on the floating plants which will also serve as a hiding area when eggs hatch. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs. After laying, remove the frogs, and add more water to the eggs. Tadpoles are carnivorous and will consume siblings. To stop this, put each tadpole in it’s own deli cup, or add more water and lots more fake or live plants (cannibalism will still happen). Tadpoles grow fast, and after a month will begin metamorphosing into frogs. During this period, they will need access to a land area. Once again, either separate all frogs into their own cups, or face cannibalism. Once turned into frogs, follow the care of the adults.

wonderful

temperment

challenging

oils, fingers lol, hands, skin

interesting

amphibians pacmans

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