Pacman Frog (Ceratophrys ornata and Ceratophrys cranwelli)
With its awkward, colorful, and squatty appearance, the Pacman frog, or Argentine horned frog, is a real crowd pleaser. “They come in a litany of colors and patterns, from bright greens to albinos, and everything in between,” said Sundberg. “As babies they’re about the size of a quarter, but they can grow quickly to the size of a softball.” If size is a factor in your decision, females are considerably larger than males, Sundberg said. While Pacman frogs may sometimes be kept together, it’s not recommended because they can be cannibalistic, he added.
Be prepared for a long-term commitment. “These are strong frogs that make hardy captives,” Sundberg said. “We’ve got some Pacman frogs that are nine years old and going strong, and it’s believed their lifespan can exceed 15 years.”
This otherwise docile breed can be excitable — if they think you have food they might even bounce against the sides of their enclosure to try to get to it — and they’re capable of nipping. However, they typically only bite when they confuse your finger for food or if they feel threatened. When they want to be left alone, they’ll let you know by puffing their bodies up with air.
Care is relatively minimal. This species only requires a small enclosure, like a 10-gallon aquarium, with 3-inch deep substrate such as peat moss or coconut fiber. They’ll also need a source of clean water, simple fluorescent lighting, an ultraviolet light, and an under-tank heater to keep the temperature in the low 80s. The heater needs to be made specifically for reptiles, otherwise accidental burns can occur. Pacmans, like all other frogs, are carnivores. The diet for a growing Pacman should consist of various insects and worms, and as adults, they also can consume small pinky mice.
“Big, colorful, exotic, comical, undemanding, and long-lived — these are a few of the reasons why Pacman frogs are so extraordinarily popular around the world and why they’re a great first-pet frog,” Sundberg said.
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