Argentine Horned Frog, Ceratophrys Ornata

The Argentine Horned Frog, Ceratophrys Ornata, also known as the Argentine Wide-Mouthed Frog or Pacman frog, is the most common species of Horned frog, located in the rain forests or Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. As a voracious eater, it will attempt to swallow anything that moves close to its wide mouth, such as insects, lizards, rodents, and other frogs, even if this predator would suffocate in the process.

The female frog can grow to be 6.5 inches snout to vent and the males can reach 4.5 inches snout to vent. On average, the lifespan is six to seven years, however, they can live up to ten years or more in captivity. The Horned frogs’ most outstanding feature is its mouth, which accounts for roughly half of the animals overall size. The coloration is usually bright green with red markings, though dark green, parti-color black and albino versions exist also. Sexing this species is quite difficult before sexual maturity is achieved. Dimorphism traits between the two sexes are size difference and the males possessing dark pigmented throats and nuptial pads on the forelimbs.

Horned frogs are well known for their fearless reputation. They will try 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 running along their bottom and top jaws. Sometimes they will even jump towards the attacker, no matter their size and power. However, while in captivity, this frogs’ natural diet is fairly easy to recreate. When kept as a pet, the Horned frog is normally fed mostly on large adult locusts, black and brown crickets and mice; they also enjoy, depending on size, live fish. However, studies have proven that primarily feeding a Horned frog mice cause fat build-up, which often results in blindness and death.

The act of reproduction is sexual. The females deposit about 2000 eggs in water and within two weeks they become tadpoles.

Image Caption: Ornate Horned Frog. Credit: Melanie Mae Bryan/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)