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Pacman Frog Care

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Scientific Name: Genus: Ceratophrys (8 species)
Scientific Name: Genus: Ceratophrys (8 species)
Originates From: South America
Average Adult Length: 4-7 inches
Average Lifespan: 10-15 years

General Information

The Pacman Frog is a very unique and low maintenance pet. Due to the sensitivity of their skin, Pacman Frogs are to be observed more than handled. With mouths that account for about half of their very round bodies, Pacman Frogs resemble the infamous arcade game character, Ms. Pacman. Although these frogs can grow to the size of a small dinner plate, they are sit-and-wait predators, who plant themselves in one spot in the terrarium for most of the day and rarely wander around their enclosure. This lifestyle allows them to be housed in relatively small terrariums that can be kept on work desktops, children’s bedroom dressers, kitchen countertops, and similar places. Pacman Frogs come in a great variety of colors from lime green to yellow, to brown, and even pink!

Enclosure

Due to their relatively inactive lifestyle, Pacman Frogs require modest enclosures, 10-20 gallon terrarium or a medium Naturalistic Terrarium. Pacman Frogs primarily use floor space and spend most of their time soaking in shallow ponds or settling into moist embankments. Be sure to choose an enclosure that provides horizontal space and is water tight. Originating from moist, forested areas, these frogs require a moist habitat with foliage. Fill the base of the terrarium with 1-2” of moistened bedding, such as EcoEarth, a coconut fiber bedding that holds moisture well without encouraging bacterial or fungal growth. You may wish to provide a large hut for the frog or provide a pile of large stones at an end of the terrarium. Some Pacman Frogs will move into a hut or hide now and again, and may use a low-profile stone or two to come out of the moist substrate to regulate their body’s water content. Be sure that most of the terrarium is dedicated to open areas of moist, loose bedding. Because of their proclivity to eat just about anything that stumbles into their enclosure, Pacman Frogs are to be housed singly.

Lighting and Heating

Pacman Frogs require a temperature of about 75-85ºF (slightly elevated room temperature). Under Tank Heat pads (UTH) can be placed on the side or underside of the terrarium to boost the enclosure’s temperature from 5-10º above room temperature, if necessary. Using a low wattage bulb is another choice. Be sure that your Frog experiences an approximate 12-hour photoperiod using a lamp, natural lighting, or house lighting during the day, turning lights off at night to simulate a day and night cycle.

Humidity

Pacman Frogs require high humidity. Moisten the substrate with a watering can to a point of sponginess, not wetness. If a shallow water dish is provided, the water will evaporate throughout the day to provide a humid environment. In dry areas, such as Southern Idaho, you may also want to mist the enclosure with water using a spray bottle for 30-45 seconds daily.

Diet

Being strictly carnivores, the diet of Pacman Frogs is solely meat-based. Crickets and Dubia cockroaches are excellent staples. Cockroaches cannot climb smooth, vertical surfaces and will not be able to get out of shallow feeding cups. Earthworms, mealworms, kingworms, waxworms, and even feeder fish can be given on occasion and sparingly to add variation to the diet. Adult frogs can be fed a young feeder mouse on rare occasions (be careful to feed items that are appropriately sized for the frog to avoid choking or digestive issues). Feed the frogs every 2-3 days, only as much as they can eat in a sitting. Any leftover insects can chew on the frogs’ skin and cause injury. Dead, uneaten insects should be removed immediately to avoid the material molding in the moist environment. Dust all insects with ReptiCalcium before feeding to ensure the frogs are getting their calcium, Vitamin D3, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Remember, food items collected from nature can be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals, so please only feed captive breed insects and rodents.

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