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Argentine Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ssp.)

Care of your Argentine Horned and Pixie Frogs

Care of your Leopard Gecko

General- Argentine Horned frogs and the "pixie" (or African Bullfrogs) are large, terrestrial amphibians that may be the perfect choice if you are looking for a fascinating creature for your terrarium. These frogs grow quickly to a large size, so be prepared to feed your eating machine, and be aware that they can and will bite if given the opportunity. Captive bred babies are readily available and several color phases exist for each species as well. The young frogs are very hardy and easy to care for. They do quite well on a diet of crickets of an appropriate size (usually about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch to start). It is important to supply vitamins and minerals to your growing frog. This can be accomplished by “gut-loading” crickets by feeding them such items as orange slices, carrots, salad greens, fish flake food, or a commercially available cricket food prior to giving them to your frog. Additionally, the crickets can be dusted (coated in powder) with a quality commercial vitamin/mineral powder just before providing them to your frog to eat. Young frogs should be fed every other day or so to maintain a healthy growth rate. It is a good idea to vary the diet from time to time by offering some other insect prey such as waxworms, butterworms, moths or roaches. Remember to keep the prey size appropriate and use the worms sparingly, as they are mostly fatty or chitinous. Once thes frogs get to about an inch and a half, they will begin to accept pre-killed pinkie mice dangled from tongs in front of their face. As these frogs are a "sit-and-wait" predator, they often wait for food to walk right in front of them before they eat it. Keep these frogs in a warm, humid terrarium or alternatively, keep them in a smaller sized container on moist paper towels or a soil substrate and change the substrate often to prevent the build up of ammonia and other toxins. Too much water can result in your frog drowning, so do not keep your frog in an aquatic environment.

Adults- The adults are maintained in much the same way. Using a larger prey item feedings can be scaled back to two to three times a week. They don’t need vitamin supplementation quite as often either, maybe with every other to every third feeding. You can offer adult frogs an occasional mouse to vary the diet and supply a more complete diet, but do not maintain these frogs solely on mice. Too fatty a diet will cause fat deposits to form (often on the frogs eyes) and eventually lead to death.

General- The Horned frogs come from the South America and the pixie frogs come from Africa. They are active during the daytime hours. A 10-gallon tank will comfortably house an adult Horned frog, the African Bullfrog will require more space. A horzontal orientation to the tank will be more appropriate here, as these frogs will not climb. I recommend a smaller enclosure (such as a kritter keeper) for juveniles only because it makes it easier for them to capture prey in the smaller area and proper humidity levels may be easier for you to maintain. Paper towels make cleaning quick and easy and eliminates the possibility of ingesting any substrate material that may impede digestion and kill or injure the frog. The adults, however, can be kept on a soil substrate without problems. Add some rocks, branches, and hardy, sturdy plants to make an interesting landscape for your frog to explore. It is important to keep the water and substrate clean to prevent toxic levels of ammonia buildup or outbreaks of "red leg", a bacterial infection in the bloodstream. Lighting is a matter of personal choice since the frogs don’t seem to care too much. I recommend coil bulbs or other flourescent lighting because they light a tank sufficiently for live plants without a lot of heat build up that would kill the frog.

Other Helpful Info:

̃ Always buy a healthy captive bred animal and learn as much as you can from the source that you are buying it from, such as age, sex, what is it eating, etc.

̃ Find a local veterinarian who is knowledgeable about reptiles and amphibians before any problems arise!

̃ Buy a good book about Horned Frogsor at least a book with a decent section about these animals and keep it on hand for reference. This care sheet contains only initial information to get you started and is by no means complete.

̃ Enjoy your Horned Frog! These are fantastic and rewarding pets.

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