5 Types of PacMan Frogs You Can Keep as Pet

When it comes to PacMan frogs, there is a wide range of interesting species to choose from. While many people call them Horned frogs, PacMan is the most popular collective term. Both of these terms refer to the Ceratophrys family which enjoys huge popularity among those who like to keep this kind of pets at home.

In this family of frogs, there are eight different species to choose from. Two of the most sought-after species are undoubtedly the Cranwelli and the Ornata. Of course, we are going to talk about 3 other species that you might be interested in.

If you are unsure about which one to choose, we are here to help you. In our list, we are going to talk about the appearance, size, weight, behavior and lifespan of the 5 most commonly kept PacMan frogs. We are going to start with the most popular one, the Cranwelli.


The Cranwelli is either darker green, brown or a shade of color that is between the two. What makes their coloration stand out are the variously shaped dark brown spots and lines that cover their body. The skin of the Cranwelli is mostly rough, which makes the patterns stand out.

What makes this frog even more eye-catching is that it has a horn on each of its eyes. The older your pet is, the more its colors are going to even out, turning into brown. Cranwelli females are always bigger with their 13 centimeters average, while males can get as big as 9 centimeters.

One thing that characterizes the whole Ceratophrys frog family is that they are inactive most of the time. They just sit in the tank gracefully until a prey grabs their attention. They are mostly active during feeding. Besides that, they mostly move during the night.

The average weight of a Cranwelli is 0.5 kilograms and it can live for as long as 25 years if taken good care of.


Surinam horned frogs or also called as Cornutas are pretty common in the villages of the Amazon. This wonderful PacMan frog species also averages 13 centimeters in size. The Cornuta is particularly aggressive and has some sneaky tactics when it comes to eating its prey.

What they do is they either use leaf litter for hiding or dig themselves into the substrate, with their head protruding. Once the prey comes around, they jump out, open their mouth wide and swallow it as whole.

In terms of patterns and color, males are a bit more eye-catching with their dark green or lime theme. Female Cornutas are always tan, which makes it easy to distinguish them from males. Their expected lifespan is around 10 years if kept as a pet.

They are pretty similar to Cranwellis in size and weight as well, weighing about 0.5 kilograms.


Now, as we have two popular PacMan frog species on our list, namely the Cranwelli and the Cornuta, we can introduce you to the Fantasy frog. This one is actually the hybrid cross of those two that resulted in an amazing overall coloration.

While the Fantasy frog can have a base color of yellow, green and orange, its patches are either dark red or black. These colors have many shades and they even turn into brown and beige mainly around the mouth and abdomen.

This species also has the habit of camouflaging by digging itself into the substrate and waiting for its prey. Just like the Cranwelli and the Cornuta, the Fantasy also reaches about 15 centimeters in size and 0.5 kilograms in weight.


Ornatas are also called as Argentinian horned frogs and they can live up to 10 years in captivity. The appearance of this species is simply breathtaking with a huge mix of different colors. The background color on their skin can be a mix of red, green, yellow and beige if you look at it from top to bottom.

Their appearance is further ornamented by the dark patches that cover its body. The average size of an Ornata female is around 13 centimeters, while males are slightly smaller. The same behavior is characteristic of them as of other PacMan frogs, which is being inactive and hiding until a prey comes around.

The weight of an Ornata adult is usually between 0.3 and 0.5 kilograms. The reason why people call them horned frogs is because they have two small horns above their eyes.


The Aurita enjoys huge popularity among those who like to keep amphibians at home. It is also called as Brazilian horned frog and it is indisputably the largest of all the horned frogs out there. The colors and patterns are typical to the Ceratophrys family, consisting of green, orange, beige and yellow.

Their dark patches can be completely black while their dewlap is rather white. Auritas can live 13 years in a terrarium if you take proper care of them. While females can grow to be as big as 25 centimeters, males are even bigger.

The Aurita is not only big but also has an incredibly strong bite. Despite its size, it is still really good at hiding and jumping on its prey with that large mouth.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, PacMan frogs vary in size and appearance as well. However, the same behaviors are characteristic of pretty much all of them. They are sneaky hunters that hide under leaves and the substrate, waiting for their prey.

Eventually, the prey wanders near them and they lash out, eating it as whole. Some of them are more aggressive, while others are a bit sloppier. Nevertheless, they are all ornamented with different colors and patterns, sometimes even brighter ones.

So now that you know more about these amphibians, which one would you choose? A smaller PacMan or a huge Aurita? No matter which one you choose, you are going to have a lot of fun keeping it as a pet especially if you like frogs.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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