Frog of the Week

Ornate Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ornata)

Ornate Horned Frog

Common Name: Ornate Horned Frog, Bell’s Horned Frog, and Argentina Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Ceratophrys ornata
Family: Ceratophryidae – Horned Frog Family
Location: Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay
Max Size: 6.5 inches (165.1 mm) for females, 4.5 inches (114.3 mm) for males

The Ornate Horned Frog is part of the Horned Frog family, Ceratophryidae, which are often called the Pacman Frogs. They resemble the video game character Pacman because their heads are most of their body and they love to eat.  They are pretty common in the pet trade and they are fairly easy to take care of. Before getting a pet frog, make sure to read my article Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad. I believe it really helps give an overview of what you are getting yourself into. Also, make sure to buy a captive bred frog, since populations of the frog isn’t doing well in the wild.

The Ornate Horned Frog is a sit and wait predator. In the wild, they bury part of themselves and wait for prey to walk in front of them. They spend most of their life like this.

When fall and winter comes, the frog burrows down into the ground where it then creates a cocoon-like structure to keep in moisture and heat. It stays below the ground until spring. During the spring time, the frogs mate and lay their eggs in temporary pools of water.  Interestingly, the tadpoles of the frogs can make distress calls in and out of water. It’s the first known vertebrate larval form that can make sounds.

Ornate Horned Frog Conservation

The Ornate Horned Frog is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Their habitat is destroyed to make ways for farms and villages. If their habitat isn’t destroyed for farms or villages, pollution from nearby villages and farms harm their habitat. Better protections of their habitat is needed to help insure survival of the species.

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