Pacific Horned Frog (Ceratophrys stolzmanni)

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Pacific Horned Frog
Ceratophrys stolzmanni
Pacific Horned Frog (Ceratophrys stolzmanni)
Name Pacific Horned Frog
Name Lat. Ceratophrys stolzmanni
Family Ceratophryds
Family lat. Ceratophryidae
Order Frogs & Toads
Order lat. Anura
Origin South America
Habitat Scrub, grassland
Diet Carnivore
Humidity 60-70 %
Behavior Predatory, nocturnal
Keeping Individual
Care Level Moderate
Breeding Difficult
Housing Semi-humid terrarium
Life Span 3-5 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 5-8 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Housing Size 40 x 50 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 2"-3"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Housing Size 25" x 25" x 20"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the crepuscular to nocturnal Pacific Horned Frogs extends along the Pacific coast from northwestern Peru to the Gulf of Guayaquil in Ecuador. They inhabit scrublands, grasslands, and the edges of forests, where they usually lie in wait for prey, well camouflaged in the ground except for the top of their heads and eyes. They always stay near small often only temporary bodies of water.


For 1 animal, the minimum terrarium area is 3,600 cm² with a minimum effective height (measured without substrate) of 40 cm. This corresponds to a floor space of e.g. 60 x 60 cm. Keeping several animals in one terrarium outside the mating season should be avoided, as the animals are cannibalistic.

They need a loose, diggable substrate (e.g. coco humus) of at least 15 cm depth as well as leaves, bark pieces and roots as hiding places. Potted plants (e.g. Philodendron scandens), which can be easily removed for cleaning, and mosses are advantageous. A bathing opportunity must be offered, but the water level should not go above the animal's nostrils, as they are poor swimmers and could drown. At least once a day the inside of the terrarium must be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better.

Temp. day: 24-28 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 60-70

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. The lighting duration must be 10-12 hours depending on the season. Daylight fluorescent tubes with low UV content are ideal.


The food supply consists of cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, meal beetle larvae, slugs and earthworms according to their size. They will try to eat anything that moves and fits in their mouths. Feeders that are too small are often spurned. Adult animals should be fed every 2-3 days, younger animals daily. It is important to add minerals and vitamins regularly (e.g. by dusting the feeder animals). The quality of the feeder insects can be enhanced by the addition of overripe fruit and honey water

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The females are larger and more plump than the males, which can be recognized by their call during the mating season.

Summer dormancy is a prerequisite for successful breeding. In the following rainy season, the female, which is ready to spawn, is taken in the mating grip (amplexus) by the male and she lays several hundred eggs in spawning balls in streams and pools. The larvae hatch after about 2 days and are cannibalistic like the parents. After 3-5 weeks the transformation (metamorphosis) is completed and the young frogs leave the water


They are very active and the smallest known species of horned frogs

For summer dormancy (dry dormancy), the temperature must be lowered and the humidity reduced. They form a cocoon and burrow into the ground. During this time they must not be disturbed or fed. After 6-8 weeks, the temperature is raised again and the humidity is increased to 80-95% (rainy season) and the frogs finish their summer dormancy

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices, such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: VDA & DGHT (2006): Haltungsrichtlinien für die Haltung von Anuren; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF