Pixie frogs (Pyxicephalus adspersus), also known as African Giant Bullfrogs, are actually very large (up to 10”), terrestrial, nocturnal frogs native to sub-Saharan Africa. They are medium green, have a rotund body, and bumpy skink. Males have yellow bellies and the smaller females have cream colored bellies. They may have orange coloring at the shoulders and hips.
Pixie frogs tend to bite, and don’t tolerate much handling, so they are intermediate-level amphibians.
Pixie frogs should be housed in no smaller than a 40 gallon tank or equivalently-sized tub. Although they are quite sedentary, larger is likely to be beneficial, especially for large males. Although pixie frogs don’t really climb, it’s important to make sure that the enclosure has a secure lid.
Pixie 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. This substrate should be kept clean and replaced regularly.
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 pixie frogs are nocturnal, they still benefit from UVB lighting. Use a low-intensity Zoo Med or Arcadia T8 fluorescent, half the length of the enclosure and mounted in a reflective fixture at least 8” above the frog.
Pixie 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
Pixie frogs are carnivores, 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 mice on occasion, although keep in mind that they are high in calories and should be offered as rare treats. Pixie 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 pixie frogs, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.