Ornate Horned Frogs

Ornate Horned Frogs

Ceratophrys ornate

This info-sheet is meant to cover only basic care, for in-depth information on the species, please consult: The General Care and Maintenance of Horned Frogs by Philippe de Vosjoli  or Keeping and Breeding Amphibians by Chris Mattison


Grow up to 7 inches in diameter, females up to 1lb.  Males are smaller.


Montaine rain forests of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay.

Need hiding places: moss, plants

Should live in at minimum a 10 gallon aquarium.  Don’t need a lid, because they don’t jump high.  Use pebbles (large enough that they won’t swallow them) and build on a slope so that there is a shallow pool area and a beach area.  Water and cage setup needs to be changed minimally once a week.  The simpler the habitat, the easier to effectively clean.  Ideally substrates should be purchased through a pet store, as self-collected samples can be dangerous to the frogs due to infectious contamination with bacteria/fungus/parasites.  Provide a hiding area.  Use bottled spring water or de-chlorinated tap water.  Avoid de-ionized or r/o water.


80% is ideal.  Mist 1-2x a day, or use an air stone in a clean water source to accomplish this


75-85 degrees during the day and 70-75 degrees at night.   Radio Shack makes a digital thermometer with a probe that can be used to measure the temperature in multiple areas of the terrarium.  A digital humidity guage is a good idea as well.


UVB (full spectrum) lighting should be used 12 hours a day with a timer (bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months).  Natural (unfiltered) sunlight

is the best, and should be used when the climate permits them to bask outside.


Diurnal (daytime) or sometimes crepuscular (dawn). All frogs sleep with their eyes open


During this “summer-hibernation” they don’t shed, but form a hard  plastic-like outer skin that traps moisture.  Usually they dig under the                        substrate and don’t move or eat.  During this time they breath through the  skin.


Other frogs, insects, small birds, lizards, rodents, beetles, worms, fish.

Adults should eat 3-4 times a week.  Juveniles should be fed daily.

Dietary variety is important.  Prey need to be gut-loaded with a high quality insect food.


Red, brown, black, tan, and green.

Life span:      

5-6 years in captivity.


Minimize handling.  It is better to wear rubber gloves because the oils on your skin can be toxic to them.  As with all amphibians, they are very sensitive to aerosols and chemicals.  Rinse all habitat furniture thoroughly before using.  After cleaning substrate/cage, rinse all detergent or other chemicals thoroughly with tap water and allow to dry before returning to cage.

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