Argentine horned frog

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Argentine horned frog
Mr Wiggles 7-20-07 (870844637).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ceratophryidae
Genus: Ceratophrys
Species: C. ornata
Binomial name
Ceratophrys ornata
(Bell, 1843)

The Argentine horned frog (Ceratophrys ornata), also known as the Argentine wide-mouthed frog or ornate pacman frog, is the most common species of horned frog, from the grasslands of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. A voracious eater, it will attempt to swallow anything that moves close to its wide mouth, such as insects, and rodents, lizards and other frogs, even if this predator would suffocate in the process. It is also kept as an exotic pet. The nickname "pacman frog" is a reference to the popular 1980's arcade game Pac-Man, where Pac-Man himself eats quite a lot, and has a mouth that takes up most of its body, much like the Argentine horned frog.


The females can grow to be 16.5 centimeters (6.5 inches) snout to vent (SV) and the males 11.5 centimeters (4.5 in) SV. The average lifespan is 6 to 7 years, however they can live up to 10 years or more in captivity.[1][2] A horned frog's most prominent feature is its mouth, which accounts for roughly half of the animal's overall size. Coloration is typically bright green with red markings, though dark green, parti-color black and albino versions also exist. Sexing this species is very difficult before sexual maturity is reached. Dimorphism traits between the two sexes are size difference and males possessing dark pigmented throats and nuptial pads on the forelimbs.


An Argentine horned frog

Horned frogs hunt by remaining motionless, and waiting for prey. They will try to eat anything that can fit in their mouths, and some things that can't. In the wild, their typical diet would include rodents such as mice, small reptiles, as well as large spiders and insects such as locusts.

Horned frogs are well known for their fearless reputation. They will attempt to consume animals, sometimes even the size of themselves. If threatened by a larger animal such as a human, these frogs can deliver a painful bite as they have several odontoid projections (not teeth per se) along their bottom and top jaws. Sometimes they will even jump towards their attacker, no matter their size and power. However, in captivity this frogs' natural diet is fairly easy to recreate. When kept as a pet, the horned frog is usually fed mainly on large adult locusts, black and brown crickets and mice; they also enjoy – depending on size – live fish. However, studies have proven[citation needed] primarily feeding a horned frog mice causes fat build-up, which often results in blindness and death.


Argentine horned frogs reproduce sexually. The Argentine horned frog's females deposit about 2000 eggs in water and within two weeks they become tadpoles.



1. "Argentine horned frog." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2006 ed. Vol 1 pg. 275.Chicago.World Book,Inc. 2006.

2. De Vosjoli, Philippe. The General Care and Maintenance of Horned Frogs. California: Advanced Vivarium Systems, 1989

3. Mattison, Chris. Frogs and Toads of the World. New York: Facts of Filem, 1986.

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