Pacman Frogs: Species Profile

Pacman frogs, native to South America and pretty standard in the pet trade, are amphibians. They are very poor swimmers as they are terrestrial amphibians.

They prefer to live in humid environments with damp leaf litter. Because Pacman frogs are based on the arcade game PacMan, they have the same name as the cartoon character.

They have large mouths and a round appearance. They are easy to care for and make great pets. The Pacman frog is not the best pet to handle for those who want their pets to be interactive or active.

Species Overview

COMMON NAME Ornate horned frog, Pac-man frog, Pacman frog, Pac man frog, Argentine horned frog, South American horned frog, ornate Pacman frog, and Argentine wide-mouthed frog.

SCIENTIFIC NAMES: Ceratophrys ornata

ADULT SIZE 6 Inches (about the same width as their length); males are smaller than females

LIFE EXPECTANCYAround 6 Years in Captivity

Pacman Frog Temperament and Behavior

Although these amphibians make excellent pets, they can be pretty docile. However, wild counterparts have been known to bite when they feel threatened.

The Pacman frog is a large amphibian that eats anything within its reach. This hungry frog will eat any prey it sees.

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Housing the Pacman Frog

Because Pacman frogs aren’t very active, they don’t need a large enclosure. One of these frogs can be kept in a 20-gallon aquarium.

They should be kept alone as they will eat cage mates and can often eat other cage mates. Although a cage top is recommended to maintain temperature and humidity, Pacman frogs are not at risk of escape.

Reptile Food Dried Mealworms Pet Worms Food for Bearded

You can line the tank with paper or smooth rocks. As long as you have leaf litter or moss and some plants (live/artificial), Pacman frogs will be able to dig in the soil or hide.

The substrate should be misted every day to maintain a tank humidity of between 50% and 80%.

Also, a shallow bowl of water should be available that the frog can drink from without getting sick. Your tank’s humidity can affect how much Pacman frogs spend time in the water dish.

If this happens, the plants around it will make them feel more secure. It would help to place the water dish in a warmer area of the cage to ensure it does not freeze.

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The tank temperature should remain 82 F during daylight hours and drop to 78 F at night. An under-tank heater best provides heating.

Overhead incandescent bulbs can cause too much drying to your frog. However, a red incandescent could still be used for additional heat in colder periods.

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A fluorescent fixture can be utilized for lighting. However, your frog may prefer to have more subtle lighting.

Regular room lighting might be sufficient. It would help if you kept your frogs in a 12-hour light cycle and a 12-hour darkness cycle. For these 12 hours, some owners recommend using a UVA/UVB lamp.

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Water and food

Because Pacman frogs don’t have fussy eating habits, they are easy to care for. You can feed smaller Pacman frogs insects like crickets or other prey insects from pet stores such as mealworms and waxworms that have been gut loaded before feeding.

Your frog can start to eat pinkie (newborn) and, eventually, more giant mice. Frogs of adult size may need a pinkie rat or a medium-sized mouse. Your Pacman frog can be fed guppies, other insects, and smaller frogs.

Your frog’s condition is the best indicator of how much you should feed it. If your frog becomes too fat or round, reduce how often it gets provided.

Tiny Pacman frogs should be fed insects daily, but more giant frogs can only be fed mice or feeder fish every other day.

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Common Health and Behavioral Issues

The most common diseases of amphibians are fungal and bacterial infections of the skin and eyes. A condition is when there is redness, swelling, or pus.

Parasitic infections are also common in Pacman frogs. Bring your frog to an exotics vet if your tank is warm enough. A yearly fecal sample must be taken to ensure that your frog is not suffering from common parasites.

A Pacman frog may get a respiratory infection, although it is less common than other reptiles or amphibians. This can be characterized by wheezing and drooling as well as lethargy.

Ammonia poisoning is another danger. This can be fatal if the animal’s enclosure isn’t cleaned up properly.

If detected early enough, all of the conditions mentioned above can be treated by a veterinarian.

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How to Choose Your Pacman Frog

If you are peeking for a Pacman frog to be your pet, make sure it is active and alert, with clear eyes and skin that doesn’t have any blemishes.

It’s best to be able to observe the Pacman frog eat before making a decision. Unless it is sick, a Pacman will rarely refuse food.

If your Pacman frog is lethargic, having trouble breathing, or has a bloated abdomen, it could be a sign of illness.

A reputable breeder can provide a complete health history for your Pacman frog. Captive-bred Pacman Frogs are better than wild-caught ones because they are less likely to contract parasites or other illnesses.

How to Choose a Pet Frog

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Similar Species to Pacman Frogs

You might be interested in similar pets.

  • African bullfrog
  • Leopard frog
  • White’s tree-frog

You might also consider other reptiles or amphibians to make your pet.


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What do pacman frogs eat?

Insectivores are Pacman frogs. They have various crickets, silkworms, and occasionally mealworms or waxworms.

Your frog should be fed every 2 to 3 nights in the evening.

Only feed your frog insects that are edible over the night. Pacman frogs require Vitamin D and Calcium. 

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How big do Pacman frogs get?

Pacman frogs develop to be about 6 inches long.

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How often do Pacman frogs eat?

Pacman frogs who eat insects should only be fed once per day. Pacman frogs who eat mice or fish should be fed once a day.

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How do you breed Pacman frogs?

It can be challenging to breed Pacman frogs. Getting advice from reptile professionals is a good idea because there are many details to consider during mating season.

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How long do pacman frogs live

Pacman frogs have a lifespan 10–15 years with proper care

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Are pacman frogs poisonous?

Pacman frogs do not have poisonous potential. They will not transmit toxins to their skin or by biting.

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Do pacman frogs have teeth?

Pacman frogs are sensitive, just like other types of frogs. It is best to not handle them too much. Pacman Frogs have teeth. If they are upset, they can make a strong, blood-drawing bite. They are easy to care for and can be a great pet for those who prefer to watch them rather than interact with them.

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