Pac-Man frogs gobble up food like a Pac-Man

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Alyssa Landau Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Alyssa Landau
Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Pac-Man frogs are from the humid forests of South America and are named after the trendy video game. They have a distinctive physical appearance and a very appealing character. They look like they’ve been squished down and widened out and are simply fun to watch, especially when they’re eating!

These frogs are a great beginner’s pet to someone who is just learning to take care of frogs, because of their easygoing personalities and happiness to just eat everything that crosses their paths. Below, I will talk about what you need in order to make this frog a pet in your household.

Interesting fact: The Pac-Man frog is named after the video game because they look exactly like Pac-Man with their mouths taking up a majority of their bodies.

Size: First of all, it is important to note that the Pac-Man frog can grow up to 8 inches long!  If you are a frog lover, this is a dream come true. But if they make you a little squeamish, it’s best to stay clear of this large amphibian. If you are still intrigued by this big guy, then continue reading!

Fun fact: Unlike normal frogs that constantly jump around and are hunting, the Pac-Man frogs spend all day in shallow water, with just their eyes popping out from the surface, waiting for their next meal to come to them.

Diet: It is important for your Pac-Man frog to enjoy a multitude of different foods in order to keep his digestion in tip top shape. The things this frog likes to eat are crickets and mealworms; and when they get bigger, you can feed them goldfish and even small rodents!  It’s crazy to think that these guys get so big that you could feed them a small mouse and they would gobble it up.

These carnivores are very much into their meaty diets. When your frog is in juvenile stage, feed them daily. When they are adults, feed them one to two times a week. Do not feed rodents, alive or frozen, until they have reached adulthood. It is also best to supervise the rodent to keep it from causing damage to your frog.

Fun fact: These frogs can live up to 15 years!

It is also important to note that they need to have some drinking water that is chlorine-free.  You can attain this by buying water conditioner at your local pet store (this works to make your fishes’ water safe to swim in as well) since the tap water, at least around the Lake Elsinore area, isn’t known for its chlorine and heavy metal-free properties.

Habitat: These frogs are easy and don’t need more than a 10- to 20-gallon sized aquarium to feel content. This is what makes them such an easy pet to have. Your frog doesn’t take up a lot of space but is incredibly entertaining to watch – it looks exactly like a Pac-Man eating!

It is in your best interest to buy a mister and mist the tank every morning in order to keep the humidity up. The general rule of thumb is that you want the temperature of the tank to be no more than 85 degrees. It is also important to note that these frogs are cannibalistic. A dominant frog will kill other frogs that are in the tank with it. It is best to keep one frog per tank to avoid this behavior.

Ground coconut makes for a great substrate to put as the bottom of your tank as these frogs love to burrow and hide within the dirt.

Fun fact: In nature, these frogs gorge themselves with food in case of famine, so it is best to feed them with a critical eye. If their bodies are round, they are just perfect. But if they look as though they are a little rounder and wider then they should be, it’s best to cut back on the food.

Handling: It is important to mention that these frogs DO have teeth and they will bite you if the situation is scary to them. It is best not to handle them often as their skin is sensitive. If you have to pick them up, do so sparingly.

Fun fact: When there is a shortage of food and water, the Pac-Man frog will grow a tough outer skin and, once it becomes rehydrated, the skin will fall of its body and the frog will actually eat its own shed skin!

In the end, a Pac-Man frog is best kept as a window pet, but the easiness of care it takes for this amphibian is very minimal. They grow to about the size of your hand and are incredibly fascinating to watch eat, and their appearance is captivating. I hope you do decide to pick one up for your own or visit your local pet store and see one for yourself.

Pac-Man frogs (Ceratophrys ornata) come in a variety of colors and are known by several common names: Argentine horned frogs, ornate horned frogs and horned frogs.

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