Species: Pacman frogs, also known as Horned Frogs due to the presence of horn-like fleshy extensions on the top of their eyes, belong to the Ceratophrys genus.
Origin: Pacman frogs are native to most of the South American rain forests in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Size and Longevity:
These hardy species of frogs make excellent pets, even though they can grow fairly big, to about 6 inches in length for females and about 5 inches in the case of males.
While it is easy to describe the non-albino species of this genus, the best way perhaps to describe the albino Pacman Frog is that it is fat, with a wide mouth, stubby legs and of course the horn-like extensions right behind its eyes.
The non-albino versions are usually colored in shades between green and brown that offer the best camouflage in its natural habitat. They have irregular patterns of lighter or darker colors that make them resemble dead leaves, and other forest-floor litter, making them quite hard to find for their predators.
While Pacman frogs rely on their camouflage to hide from their predators, they are not so fearful when they come in contact with larger animals, including humans.
Pacman frogs have been known to attack larger animals when they get stressed and pack quite a punch in their bite. So when you want to take them in your hand you want to be careful. You must try and avoid handling this frog as much as possible and do so only if it is absolutely inevitable.
While cleaning the terrarium, you could use a frog scoop you can buy from your pet store to scoop the guy out and land him in a small bowl of water.
Habitat and Caging Requirements:
Pacman frogs grow to large sizes but since they are also equally heavy, they can’t jump like bullfrogs or any other frog species for that matter and are not the most active of frog species. This makes them ideal for a home without much space for a large terrarium. A standard 10-gallon tank would suit them very well.
While designing their terrarium, you must consider their natural habit of burrowing into the ground to ambush their prey as well as hide from their predators.
A big note however would be that a 20 or a 40 gallon tank can’t house two Pacman frogs. Or even any other frog for that matter since these guys crown themselves as king of the jungle the moment they set foot into it. They will attack and eat anything that moves in their vicinity.
Albino Pacman are comfortable in a temperature range of 62 to 84 degrees. An ideal average is 77-83 degrees during daytime - easy to maintain with heating bulb or pad, controlled by a thermostat.
Pacman frogs are at their healthiest when they are in a habitat that is closest to their home in the rain forest - warm and humid.
As the Pacman frogs are from the rain forests, where they are never too far away from water and never more than a few days away from rain, they require a fair bit of humidity in their terrarium. Misting the terrarium with a spray bottle using de-chlorinated or fresh rain water will prevent them from drying up.
The high humidity is important for another reason as well. The frogs breathe through their skin and for which, they need to keep their skin as wet as possible. An arid climate will dry the skin of the frog and can cause its death in the process. Maintaining a relative humidity of about 80% does this froggy a world of good.
The habitat ecology and substrate
Albino Pacman Frogs need a slightly different décor to their terrarium, than most other pet frogs. While designing their home, it is best to remember that they are
Huge when compared to other species
Sedate and don’t move around too much
Shy creatures (need hiding places…lots of them)
Like to burrow into the ground
This would require your terrarium to be
The Terrarium: Be big enough for the frog to be able to live its normal life, swimming and moving around a bit.
The Soil and substrate: Given the unique requirements of the Pacman, it is good to have a layer of soft sphagnum moss or gravel that it can burrow into. If you want to be able to find your frog easily, using a substrate that is contrasting in color works well.
You must also make sure your frog’s substrate is nice and moist, as it helps the frog in retaining the moisture on its skin.
Props and plants: A fair few hiding spots, some live vegetation, a warm and a cool spot and a soft surface for them to burrow into, and these guys will find eternal bliss. They are not fussy about plants but it also makes the terrarium look like a good frog-home.
Water: A water body that’s about 4 times the total body size of the frog, and about half its height should be sufficient for the Pacman as it normally gets in only to moisten its skin and cool off.
1. You will need to thoroughly de-chlorinate the water you use in the terrarium, both for the frog’s pond as well as for misting. Frogs are extremely sensitive to acidic environments and can die very quickly if you use water with chlorine or any other impurities.
It is best to use either fresh rain water or tap water, treated with a standard de-chlorinator and left overnight to become slightly stale. You can get a de-chlorinator from your local pet store or from the shopping page of this website.
2. If you are using a filter, make sure it is small, as larger filters remove small organisms that help maintain a pH closer to 7 (7 on the pH scale is absolute neutral that is neither acidic nor alkaline).
3. If you are unsure about anything related to your frog, please contact your pet store. It’s always better safe than sorry.
Temperature and Lighting Requirements:
The Pacman frogs need a photo-cycle of about 12 hours, and like to feed during the day. With an electrical timer-triggered fluorescent or daylight lamp, you can easily give this frog all the light it needs.
Since they don’t have any specific spectral requirements, you can use a full-spectrum or white light to light up the terrarium
Feeding and Nutrition:
The Albino Pacman has a voracious appetite and will eat anything that moves in front of it. They will feed when offered to them with a pair of tweezers, when their prey is live and jumping around the terrarium, or swimming about in its pool.
While they are not very particular about what they eat, you must make sure that they have a variety in their spread, so they get all the nutrients they need.
NOTE: Be very careful while feeding your Pacman because they will pounce on the prey with all the aggression and speed they can muster…you will not have more than a fraction of a second before the frog takes a bite at your finger along with its food. You must be even more cautious when you use tweezers because the tips of the tweezers can cause severe and often fatal injuries to the frog, even if they are blunt and rounded.
Staple & Supplemental Insects:
Crickets, any big bug, all types of worms, guppies, pinky mice, you name it and these guys can eat it. Pet owners have often reported Pacman frogs having eaten bullfrogs about the same size as them or even other pets.
If you include in your Pacman’s diet, goldfish, and mice apart from crickets and worms you won’t need to give it regular vitamin and calcium supplements. They will get their calcium from the bones of fish and mice, and the other essential nutrients from their flesh.
If your Pacman does not get mice or goldfish, you can dust the crickets with calcium and multivitamin powder you can buy from your local pet store.
When the frogs are juveniles, you will need to supplement them with calcium as much as possible to make sure their bones are strong enough to carry the bulk of their bodies, and you might need to give them at least two out of three feeds, coated with calcium and multivitamin powder.
As adults however, they need only enough calcium and vitamins to keep them going, so loaded crickets, once or twice a week would suffice.
Extremely difficult, especially because they are albinos. You could perhaps look at their necks where the male Pacman frogs might have a beard-like dark patch. While most males will croak if you grab their hind-quarters from behind, it is not a foolproof method.
The last but equally uncertain way of telling males from females is their size. Females are significantly larger than males but you could never be sure about this in individual cases.