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The African Bullfrog, commonly nicknamed the PacMan Frog because of its resemblance to the Namco arcade game character, is one of the largest frogs in Africa. Adult males may reach 9" or more, though females are much smaller. (In nearly all other species of frogs, the female is larger than the male.) It is a stout frog, with a large mouth and head. Its hind toes have a sharp, tough callus that is used for digging.
PacMan frogs are typically olive-green, with darker skin ridges. Male bullfrogs have a bright yellow throat, while the female’s throat is cream-colored. Albino pacs are bright yellow with distinctive orange markings. Red pacs can be brownish or yellowish, with vivid red markings. Ornate (Fantasy) pacs are a brilliant mix of all colors.
Pac-Man frogs have a loud, deep voice. They are often aggressive, and can inflict a serious bite if frightened. However, they make excellent pets because they require little care. They are also long-lived, surviving 35 years or more with proper care.
PacMan frogs live in a variety of arid and semi-arid habitats throughout the tropical and southern regions of Africa. During the dry season (usually during the winter in the States, because the air is drier than in the summer), they burrow into the ground, cloak themselves in a watertight skin cocoon, and hibernate for a few months. When heavy rains come, the frogs congregate in shallow pools of water to spawn.
Because of their aggressive nature, PacMan Frogs must be kept in separate terrariums. They are not very active, and will spend most of their time squatting in a corner. Layers of leaves or moss make an excellent bedding material. Provide your PacMan with a large water bowl so it can bathe and shed its skin. It may defecate in its water, so be sure to change the bowl regularly. PacMans enjoy a slightly humid 75 degrees, and appreciate a daily misting.
Be careful when feeding your frog, because it can jump much further than its size would suggest. It may grab for the food in your hand, miss its target, and accidentally bite your finger. Always use forceps when dropping food into your frog’s terrarium. PacMans will eat nearly anything they can get into their mouths: chunks of lean red meat, whole fish, mice, large insects, worms, and other invertebrates. However, be very careful not to overfeed your frog; obesity is a serious life-threatening danger to PacMans because they do end to be somewhat lazy.
With proper care and feeding, your PacMan frog will be a lifelong friend and companion (and an excellent conversation-starter at parties). Enjoy!