• Ark Animals

Argentine Horned Frog Care Guide

The Species: Argentine Horned Frogs (Ceratophrys ornata) also known as the Argentine Wide-mouthed Frogs and Ornate Pacman Frogs are common amphibians to be kept by reptile keepers. Native to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. These frogs are solitary and should only be brought together for breeding.



Enclosure: These frogs are terrestrial and should be housed inside terrariums, made from glass. A minimum size enclosure for an adult is 45x45x45cm however females get much larger and may need larger enclosures depending on their size. For a juvenile, a suitable size enclosure is 30x30x30cm.


Being a tropical species, these animals need suitable substrates and ideally need the substrate to be earth based to keep humidity up, recommended substrates are Arcadia Earth Mix or ProRep Bio Life Forest however other alternatives are also acceptable. Various layers of substrate can also be beneficial such as having a drainage layer at the bottom, followed by an earth based layer which can then have a bark layer on top and can even be topped with leaf litter, it is important to provide a very deep layer of substrate to allow them to bury themselves. Do not use arid substrates for this species.


Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks, foliage and caves are all suitable to use for this species along with a pond large enough for them to soak themselves in. It is important. Reptile safe plants are also a good addition to tropical enclosures as it helps maintain humidity levels.



Heating: Horned Frogs don't often need heat lamps as they can usually reach temperature in a warm house, however it is important to keep in mind that they do have a temperature range of 24-31 degrees celsius (76-88 degrees farenheight). If the temperature range cannot be reached then additional heating should be added to the enclosure, this can be provided by a heat lamp on a thermostat on top of the enclosure. If additional heating is added, it should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.



Lighting: Despite a lot of information you may come across, we can assure you that Horned Frogs do in fact need UVB lighting. Many sources out there will inform you that because this species in nocturnal they do not need UVB however this is not the case, countless times it has been proven that these animals do need UVB lighting to prevent them from getting MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). They don't need high levels of UVB however it is important that they do receive it. This lighting should cover approximately 3/4 of the enclosure to ensure that the animal receives adequate levels of UVB as much as possible. These frogs should have a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 12% UVB bulb and they should be replaced every 6-12 months to ensure that the UVB doesn't run out within the bulb. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle to provide a natural day/night sequence.



Humidity: Being a tropical species, it is important to make sure that the correct humidity levels are being reached, Argentine Horned Frogs should have a humidity range of 50-80%. The best way to achieve these levels is by using a misting system to keep the humidity of the enclosure up. Mist King are the top-rated misting system but there are other suitable options. Alternatively, you can use a hand sprayer throughout the day, however this can become more difficult to reach ideal humidity levels. Keeping live plants in the enclosure can also help with keeping humidity levels up.



Diet: Horned Frogs are carnivores and naturally hunt for their food in the wild. Their diet consists of insects and other invertebrates as juveniles leading up to small rodents and birds as adults, they should ideally be given a varied diet of insects including locust, crickets, cockroaches, wax worms and meal worms. As adults they can have foods including chicks XL mice.


It is important to supplement your Frog's food which will help in preventing MBD, calcium is the main priority supplement however others are also important such as Vitamin A. We recommend Arcadia's supplements provided on rotation including Calcium with Magnesium, Earth-Pro A Supplement and Repashy Vitamin A Supplement for Amphibians. All three of these will provide a complete level of supplements.


Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet and constant water access. Horned Frogs should be provided in a large pond. Water should be changed daily or filtrated, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water, tap water cannot be used for frogs due to it containing chlorine which is harmful to amphibians.


7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All