How to Care for Your Pacman Frog

February 17, 2021

pacman frog


Pacman frogs (Ceratophrys ornata), also known as Bell’s horned frogs, are 4”-6”, terrestrial, nocturnal, tropical frogs native to Argentina. They are round in shape and known for their voracious appetites. Although the wild type is bright green and yellow with dark green or brown blotches and a pale belly, captive breeding has produced many colors including red, orange and albino.

Pacman frogs are fairly tolerant and easy to care for, so they are considered to be a beginner-level amphibian.


Pacman frogs should be housed in no smaller than a 10 gallon tank or equivalently-sized plastic tub, as they are known to be quite sedentary. That being said, it’s still important that the enclosure have a secure lid.

Pacman frogs need a high-humidity environment to stay healthy. To create the necessary moisture levels, you will need a humidity-friendly substrate like reptile soil or coconut fiber. Keep the substrate moist, not soaking wet or muddy.

In addition to substrate, the enclosure should be furnished with a variety of ground-level hiding places so the frogs can feel secure in their environment. Live plants may be used as well, although it’s important to use durable types of plants so they don’t get trampled. 

Finally, you will need a shallow water dish large enough for the frog to soak its entire body. The water in the bowl should be dechlorinated and kept clean and fresh.

Heating and Lighting

Although pacman frogs are nocturnal, they still benefit from UVB lighting. Use a low-intensity Zoo Med or Arcadia compact fluorescent bulb, mounted horizontally in a reflective fixture at least 8” above the frog.

Pacman frogs are most comfortable at a temperature range of 72-85°F.  Most of the year they can be maintained at room temperature without additional heat. In climates where additional heat is necessary, use a heat mat. Keep the temperature from getting too high with a thermostat.

Food and Supplementation

Pacman frogs are insectivores, and will eat anything they can fit in their mouths. They eat a variety of bugs and worms, including but not limited to mealworms, crickets, silkworms, hornworms, super worms, dubia roaches, and other roaches. They may be fed small mice on occasion, although keep in mind that they are high in calories and should be offered as rare treats. Pacman frogs wait for a feeder to approach them, at which time they open their huge mouths to ingest it. That means they are generally attracted only to live food. Feeding sessions with live feeders should be well-supervised.

All feeders should be lightly dusted with calcium and multivitamin powder like Repashy Calcium Plus LoD to help prevent deficiencies. 

*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to pacman frogs, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.


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