Frog (Ornate horned) / Ceratophrys cornuta

Did you know...

The “horn” of the horned frogs is a curious triangular prolongation of the edge of the upper eyelid. It is not hard or sharp, as it is only a flap of skin, but perhaps it makes the wide head appear even wider and therefore less acceptable to the forest creatures that would normally dine on these frogs.

These frogs are also known to be cannibalistic, and have been known to eat their mates, even if they are larger than they are. It is advisable to isolate multiple frogs.

The female will not “chirp”, or “croak”, whereas a male specimen of the same species will.

This species, also known as the Argentine wide-mouthed frog, is the most common species of horned frog. The first thing that stands out about this animal is its size and bulk as it would cover a good-size tea saucer. They achieve this enormous girth by being generally indiscriminate about what they eat. Females are generally larger than males, but males are more ornately coloured, ranging from dark green to lime-coloured.

Horned frogs are carnivores feeding on insects, and rodents, lizards and other amphibians. They will also take small mammals even if doing so would cause them to suffocate in the process. They are typically voracious ambush predators, squeezing their bodies into the forest substrate or leaf litter so only their heads protrude. When anything smaller than their own bodies happens by, they spring from the mud and swallow their prey whole, locking it in their jaws with their sharp teeth.

They are also thought to be aggressively territorial. Horned frogs are well known for their fearless reputation. If threatened by a larger animal such as a human, these frogs can deliver a painful bite as they have several odontoid projections (not teeth per se) along their bottom and top jaws. Sometimes they will even jump towards their attacker, no matter their size and power

The Argentine Horned spawn in standing waters such as jungle pools and small river lagoons. Females lay about 2000 eggs in water which are attached to vegetation in shallow water and within two weeks they become tadpoles. Newly hatched tadpoles are carnivorous and they will eat live worms. After 1 month they will begin to turn into small frogs.