Ornate Horned Frogs (Pacman Frog)
This info-sheet is meant to cover only basic care, for in-depth information on the species, please consult: The General Care and Maintenance of Horned Frogs by Philippe de Vosjoli or Keeping and Breeding Amphibians by Chris Mattison
Size: Grow up to 7 inches in diameter, females up to 1lb. Males are smaller.
Habitat: Montaine rain forests of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay. Need hiding places: moss, plants Should live in at minimum a 10 gallon aquarium. Don’t need a lid, because they don’t jump high. Use pebbles (large enough that they won’t swallow them) and build on a slope so that there is a shallow pool area and a beach area. Water and cage setup needs to be changed minimally once a week. The simpler the habitat, the easier to effectively clean. Ideally substrates should be purchased through a pet store, as self-collected samples can be dangerous to the frogs due to infectious contamination with bacteria/fungus/parasites. Provide a hiding area. Use bottled spring water or de-chlorinated tap water. Avoid de-ionized or r/o water.
Humidity: 80% is ideal. Mist 1-2x a day, or use an air stone in a clean water source to accomplish this
Temperature: 75-85 degrees during the day and 70-75 degrees at night. Radio Shack makes a digital thermometer with a probe that can be used to measure the temperature in multiple areas of the terrarium. A digital humidity guage is a good idea as well.
Lighting: UVB (full spectrum) lighting should be used 12 hours a day with a timer (bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months). Natural (unfiltered) sunlight is the best, and should be used when the climate permits them to bask outside.
Activity: Diurnal (daytime) or sometimes crepuscular (dawn). All frogs sleep with their eyes open
Aestivation: During this “summer-hibernation” they don’t shed, but form a hard plastic-like outer skin that traps moisture. Usually they dig under the substrate and don’t move or eat. During this time they breath through the skin.
Diet: Other frogs, insects, small birds, lizards, rodents, beetles, worms, fish. Adults should eat 3-4 times a week. Juveniles should be fed daily. Dietary variety is important. Prey need to be gut-loaded with a high quality insect food.
Colors: Red, brown, black, tan, and green.
Life span: 5-6 years in captivity.
Handling: Minimize handling. It is better to wear rubber gloves because the oils on your skin can be toxic to them. As with all amphibians, they are very sensitive to aerosols and chemicals. Rinse all habitat furniture thoroughly before using. After cleaning substrate/cage, rinse all detergent or other chemicals thoroughly with tap water and allow to dry before returning to cage.