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Horned Frog (Ceratophrys sp.) Care Sheet

Argentine horned frogs are a large aggressive frog found throughout South America.  The frogs available in the pet industry usually originate from Argentina.  These frogs get fairly large and females are larger than males.  Adult females can range in size from 4-5 ½ inches, while males only grow up to 4 inches.  Male horned frogs have larger head and the throat skin is dark and looser.  Adult male horned also have enlarged nuptial pads that are located the inside of their thumbs.  In the wild most horned frogs are active during the rainy season and spend the rest of the year underground.  During the rainy season these frogs will start breeding and females can produce over 2000 eggs.  Horned frogs can be cannibalistic and this behavior usually applies to smaller, young frogs.  As horned frogs mature these cannibalistic tendencies are less likely and groups of similar sized frogs can be kept together as long as they are fed well.  With proper care horned frogs can live over ten years in captivity. 

Temperature

    
Horned frogs need to be maintained between 78-85 degrees during the day.  Nighttime temperatures should be above 75 degrees. 

Housing

    
Horned frogs can be housed comfortably in 10 gallon terrariums.  The cage can be filled with shallow water or it can be setup with damp potting soil and a large water bowl.  Do not use distilled or purified water for horned frogs.  Never place a cage near a window where sunlight can directly shine on your cage.  Cages placed in direct sunlight can easily overheat and ultimately lead to the death of your frog. 

Bedding

    
We recommend using gravel when your cage is filled with shallow water.  Another alternative is using Zoo Meds’ Eco Earth and green moss.  Make sure when using Eco Earth that the bedding stays moist at all times.

Food

    
Horn frogs should be fed appropriate sized crickets, superworms, nightcrawlers, fish, and rodents.  It is best to feed your frog dead rodents to prevent bites or injury.  Young frogs can be fed 2-3 times each week and adults should eat every 1-2 weeks.

Cleaning and Handling

    
The terrarium should be cleaned as necessary. Any fecal matter or left over food should be cleaned out several times a week. The bedding should be completely changed once a month and fresh clean water should be provided at all times.  The inside of the terrarium can be cleaned out with an appropriate reptile cage cleaner, we recommend Natural Chemistry’s Healthy Habitat.  Horned frogs can be handled on a limited basis and always wash your hands before and after handling them.