Pacman Frog Care: Species Overview
- Common Names: Ornate Horned Frog or Pacman Frog
- Scientific Name: Ceratophrys ornata
- Distribution: Throughout South America
- Adult Size: 4–6”
- Life Expectancy: 6-10 years+
Ornate Horned Frogs are large, voracious frogs that inhabit the forest floor of Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and surrounding countries. These fascinating amphibians live a sedentary life and do not need a lot of space. Ornate Horned Frogs are ambush predators who will lie in wait for anything that will fit their mouths. They are nicknamed Pacman Frogs because of their enormous mouths and overall rounded shape.
Pacman Frog Care: Habitat Set-Up
- Despite their large size, Horned frogs are relatively inactive and do not need a lot of space.
- A young Horned Frog can be kept in a 5-10 gallon terrarium.
- A single adult frog can be housed in a 10-20 gallon terrarium with a screen lid.
- Provide plenty of cover by using Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Flora, Bush Plants, and Cork Rounds.
- Horned Frogs are tropical animals that will do best in temperatures from 75-85° F
- Daytime Terrarium Temperature 75-85° F
- Nighttime Temperature: 68-78° F
- No basking area is needed.
- Eco Earth® is the preferred substrate for Pacman frogs. We recommend keeping a deep layer of 3” or more to allow your frog to burrow completely under the substrate.
- Avoid using large gravel in your terrarium. Pacman frogs can be aggressive feeders and will experience impaction if they were to swallow gravel.
- Zoo Med’s Terrarium Moss, Frog Moss, and New Zealand Sphagnum Moss are excellent choices of “substrate toppers” to retain humidity in your terrarium.
About the Pacman Frog
Pacman Frog Care: Temperament
- Pacman frogs are native to South America and are terrestrial amphibians, very poor swimmers, and spend most of their time in a humid environment among damp leaf litter.
- These amphibians are docile pets, but the Pacman frog has teeth. As with all frogs, handling should occur only when necessary, as their skin is very sensitive.
- A Pacman frog will eat anything that moves within striking distance of where they sit and wait on the ground.
Pacman Frog Care: Diet and Nutrition
- Pacman frogs are pure opportunists, and will aggressively feed on any small animal or insect that fits into their mouth.
- A varied diet of insects and an occasional small mouse will provide a nutritious diet.
- Zoo Med’s Can O’ Insect products are an easy way to diversify their diet.
- We recommend feeding insects that are no longer than the width of your frog’s head.
- Dust insect items with Zoo Med’s ReptiCalcium® as directed.
- Clean, freshwater is critical to keeping all amphibians healthy. We recommend using ReptiSafe® Water Conditioner to treat all water added to your terrarium.
- A Little Dripper™, HabbaMist®, Repti-Fogger™, or Motomister™ used to add humidity to the enclosure.
- Spray terrarium daily.
- Use caution when handling pets and remember they may bite or scratch (especially when stressed).
- Supervise children around pets.
- ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
- Adults should assist children with handwashing after contact with a pet, its habitat, or aquarium water.