Ceratophrys is a genus of frog
Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura , formerly referred to as Salientia . Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits , protruding eyes and the absence of a tail...

s in the family Leptodactylidae
Leptodactylidae is a diverse family of frogs that probably diverged from other hyloids during the Cenozoic era, or possibly at the end of the Mesozoic. There are roughly 50 genera, one of which is Eleutherodactylus, the largest vertebrate genus, with over 700 species...

, subfamily Ceratophryinae
The Ceratophryinae, known as common horned frogs, are a subfamily of the leptodactylid frogs. All species in this subfamily live in South America. Fossils of the giant Beelzebufo from Cretaceous Madagascar suggest that the subfamily may have once ranged throughout the prehistoric supercontinent of...

. They are also known as South American horned frogs as well as Pacman frogs due to their characteristically large mouth and abdomen, thus resembling the video game character Pac-Man
is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway, first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games,...


Gender differentiation

The female will not "chirp", or "croak", whereas a male specimen of the same species will. Males frequently have spotted chests. Males will also sometimes have subtle pads on their front legs during mating season.

Care in captivity

In captivity, these frogs can live in a 10 gallon aquarium for their entire lives. They thrive best with shallow water, loose substrate (like coconut husk fiber), and hiding places. They will commonly cover themselves with substrate or just sit contentedly in the water. These frogs should be misted daily to ensure proper humidity. Temperatures should be maintained between 75° and 80° Fahrenheit (24° to 27° Celsius) during the day, dropping a few degrees at night. They can be fed cricket
Cricket (insect)
Crickets, family Gryllidae , are insects somewhat related to grasshoppers, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets . They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae. There are about 900 species of crickets...

s, earthworms, silkworms, phoenix worms, butterworms, and occasionally guppies, mice
-Fiction:*Mice , alien species in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*The Mice -Acronyms:* "Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions", facilities terminology for events...

, and waxworms. Mealworms and superworms should not be fed to them, due to their hard chitinous shell.


The average lifespan of a Ceratophrys frog in the wild varies between 1 and 4 years, though in captivity and as pets, depending on diet, they may live 6 to 10 years and even longer.


They are voracious eaters, often eating insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s, small mammals (such as mice
A mouse is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse . It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. This rodent is eaten by large birds such as hawks and eagles...

), fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

, other frog
Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura , formerly referred to as Salientia . Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits , protruding eyes and the absence of a tail...

s, and small reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s. A fully grown female Argentine Horned Frog
Argentine horned frog
The Argentine Horned Frog , also known as the Argentine wide-mouthed Frog or Pacman frog, is the most common species of Horned Frog, from the rain forests of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil...

 (females are generally larger than males) can easily eat a grown rat
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus...


These frogs are also known to be cannibalistic , and have been known to eat their mates, even if they are larger than they are. It is advisable to isolate multiple frogs.

Although these frogs can swallow animals almost half their size, they sometimes attempt to eat things larger than they are. A row of sharp bony projections in their upper jaw makes it nearly impossible for them to release prey after taking it in their mouth, in some cases leading to death by choking.
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