Argentine Horned Frog
Argentine Horned Frog.jpg
Conservation Status
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Leptodactylidae
Genus: Ceratophrys
Species: Ceratophrys ornata
The Argentine Horned Frog is a carnivorous species of frog in South America.


This frog is a very large one; females can grow up to 16.5cm from snout to vent, and males can grow to 11.5cm. Although this is quite short for a frog, C. ornata has a very wide, plump body, which is occasionally wider than its length. Over half of the area of the frog is taken up by the mouth when it is open, making it the most characteristic feature of not only this species, but also the rest of the genus.


The Argentine Horned Frog relies mostly on sight to ambush prey, as it has a thin layer of transparent skin which is involuntarily controlled to help the eyes push prey deeper into the throat, and also act as a form of protection.


Like all members of its genus, C. ornata is a voracious predator which typically hunts by lying motionless and waiting for prey to come closer; frogs may also use their hind limbs to attract inquisitive prey. Horned frogs have a voracious appetite: they have been known, reported and mentioned to feed on insects, scorpions, spiders, small rodents (fully grown female Argentine horned frogs can easily swallow a rat), small reptiles and fish (though fish is not commonly preyed on due to the fact that this species is terrestrial), and can swallow prey up to their own size.

When a prey item comes close, the frog extends its tongue and engulfs and seizes the prey, and retracts it to pull the item into the mouth. It then proceeds to suffocate the prey, and then swallow it (sometimes alive). It also has a tendency to take a deep breath before pulling it further into the mouth, to manipulate the tail of the prey, and to use its own weight to immobilise prey. It can also use its eyes to push prey deeper down its throat.