Nature Mikey

Nature Mikey

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Species of the Day: Argentine Horned Frog

Scientific Name: Ceratophrys ornata
Family: Leptodactylidae
Adult Size: Rarely larger than 4 to 6 inches
Range: Colombian and Argentine regions of South America
Habitat: Moist grasslands and croplands near semi-permanent bodies of water

    Argentine Horned frogs, also known as Pac-Man frogs, a very common in the pet trade. Horned frogs are named for the fleshy points that some species have over each eye. They are moderately sized, with females being bigger than males. Horned frogs are usually a bright grass-green in color with brownish-red and yellow spots, while some come in different shades of brown markings. Green and brown as well as albinos are all common and easy to find in pet stores. Horned frogs are ambush hunters, so they are generally not very active, preferring to sit and wait for food to come along. A pair of Horned frogs can be kept in a 15 to 20 gallon aquarium, provided that they are the same size and well fed, as these frogs are prone to cannibalism. The set up can be a plain habitat with just half an inch of water in it, a terrestrial habitat or half and half. Because of the sedate nature of these frogs and their enormous appetites, they are also prone to obesity, so it is preferred to provide a terrestrial habitat with a good burrowing substrate for exercise. Coconut husk or potting soil containing no vermiculite, perlite, or fertilizers make good substrates. The substrates should be kept moist with out it getting water-logged or too dried out. If it clumps easily in the hand without squeezing out any water, then its good to go. Feeding these frogs rarely presents any problems. A meal of a few smaller prey items is preferable to just one large one. Juveniles should be fed more frequently than adults, with adults only needing to be fed a good meal once a week. A variety of insects should be offered, along with the occasional pinky mouse.

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