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Pixie Frogs

Ultimate Pixie Frog Care Guide: Diet, Enclosure & More

Have you ever heard a frog’s call from a mile away? That’s the sound of a male pixie frog during mating season. Also known as African bullfrogs or Pyxicephalus adspersus, pixie frogs are one of the largest species of frogs in the world, with adult pixie frogs reaching up to 10 inches in length. These amphibians are fascinating creatures that have unique characteristics, such as their cannibalistic tendencies during the tadpole stage, making them challenging to breed in captivity.

Pixie frogs are popular pets among amphibian enthusiasts due to their distinctive appearance and behavior. However, it’s important to know how to handle and care for these wild animals properly.

Table of Contents

Species Summary: Overview of Different Types of Pixie Frogs

Pixie frogs are a popular species of African bullfrogs that are known for their large size and aggressive behavior. These frogs can grow up to 10 inches in length and weigh over two pounds, making them one of the largest frog species in the world. Despite their intimidating appearance, pixie frogs can make great pets for experienced frog owners who are prepared to provide them with the proper care and habitat.

Types of Pixie Frogs

There are several different types of pixie frogs, each with its own unique characteristics and traits.

Giant Pixie Frog

The giant pixie frog is the largest type of pixie frog, growing up to 10 inches in length and weighing over two pounds. These frogs have a brownish-green coloration with dark spots on their back and sides. They are native to central Africa and require a large enclosure with plenty of space to move around.

Ornate Pixie Frog

The ornate pixie frog is smaller than the giant pixie frog, growing up to six inches in length. These frogs have a distinctive pattern on their back that resembles an intricate maze or labyrinth. They are native to West Africa and require a warm, humid environment with plenty of hiding places.

Painted Pixie Frog

The painted pixie frog is named for its bright colors, which include shades of yellow, orange, red, and black. These frogs grow up to eight inches in length and are native to southern Africa. They require a similar environment as other types of pixie frogs but may be more sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity.

Care Requirements for Pixie Frogs

Pixie frogs require specific care requirements that must be met in order for them to thrive in captivity. Here are some important factors to consider when caring for your pet pixie frog:

  • Enclosure: A large enclosure is necessary for pixie frogs, especially the giant pixie frog. The enclosure should be at least 40 gallons and have plenty of hiding places such as rocks, logs, or plants.
  • Temperature: Pixie frogs require a warm environment with a temperature range of 75-85°F during the day and no lower than 70°F at night. A basking spot with a heat lamp can help maintain the proper temperature.
  • Humidity: Pixie frogs require high humidity levels between 50-80%. This can be achieved by misting the enclosure daily or using a humidifier.
  • Diet: Pixie frogs are carnivorous and will eat anything they can fit in their mouth, including insects, rodents, and even other frogs. They should be fed a varied diet that includes gut-loaded insects such as crickets or mealworms.
  • Handling: While pixie frogs may look intimidating, they are not aggressive toward humans unless provoked. However, they should still be handled with care to avoid injury to both the frog and the handler.

Enclosure Size and Dimensions: Longevity and Growth Considerations

Pixie Frog

Pixie frogs are fascinating creatures that many people enjoy keeping as pets. However, it’s important to understand that providing them with the proper enclosure size is crucial for their longevity and growth.

Why Enclosure Size Matters

Pixie frogs can grow to be quite large, with adult females reaching up to 8 inches in length and males growing even larger at up to 10 inches. As such, it’s essential to provide them with an enclosure that’s big enough for them to move around comfortably. Failure to do so can cause stress and health problems, which can ultimately lead to a shorter lifespan.

Moreover, pixie frogs are known for being voracious eaters. They have a tendency to overeat if given the opportunity, which can lead to obesity and other health issues. A spacious enclosure with plenty of room for exercise will help keep your frog healthy and active.

Recommended Enclosure Dimensions

So just how big should your pixie frog’s enclosure be? The answer depends on the age and size of your frog.

For baby pixie frogs (up to 2 inches), a 10-gallon tank is usually sufficient. However, as they grow into juveniles (3-4 inches) or adults (5 inches or more), you’ll need to upgrade their living space accordingly.

Many keepers opt for enclosures that are at least 20 gallons in size for adult pixie frogs. This provides ample room for them to move around freely while also allowing you space for substrate layers, hiding spots, water dishes, and any additional decor you may want to add.

If you have multiple pixie frogs or plan on breeding them in the future, you’ll need an even larger enclosure. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of space per inch of frog, so keep that in mind when selecting your tank size.

Other Considerations

In addition to the size of the enclosure, there are a few other factors to consider when creating a suitable habitat for your pixie frog. These include:

  • Substrate: Pixie frogs require a substrate layer that’s at least 2-3 inches deep. Coconut coir, sphagnum moss, and eco-earth are all good options.
  • Hiding spots: Provide your frog with plenty of hiding spots to help them feel secure. You can use artificial plants, rocks, or logs for this purpose.
  • Water dish: Pixie frogs need access to clean water at all times. A shallow water dish is ideal, as they prefer to soak rather than swim.
  • Temperature and humidity: Pixie frogs require warm temperatures (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit) and high humidity levels (70-80%). Be sure to monitor these factors closely using a thermometer and hygrometer.

Habitat Design: Cleaning, Aquatic Habitats, and More

Pixie frogs are fascinating animals that require a spacious and well-designed habitat to thrive in captivity.

Spacious Aquariums for Pixie Frogs

Pixie frogs require plenty of space to move around and burrow in their habitat. A minimum of the 20-gallon aquarium is recommended to provide enough space for your pixie frog to swim and explore. However, larger tanks are always better as they allow more freedom of movement for the animal.

There are a few things you need to consider. First, make sure that the tank has a secure lid or cover to prevent the frog from escaping. Second, ensure that the tank is made of sturdy material that can withstand the weight of rocks and other decorations.

Regular Cleaning Is Essential

Regular cleaning is vital. Without proper cleaning techniques, parasites and bacteria can build up in the tank and harm your amphibian.

It is recommended that you clean your pixie frog’s tank once every two weeks or so. During cleaning time, remove all decorations from the tank before emptying out all water completely. Scrub down all surfaces with warm water (no soap) before refilling with fresh water treated with a de-chlorinator.

Mimicking Their Natural Habitat

Mimicking their natural habitat is crucial. Rocks, plants, and swimming areas should be included in their habitat design as these mimic their natural environment.

For example:

  • Provide rocks or caves where they can hide.
  • Include live plants like Java moss or Anubias.
  • Add a shallow pool area where they can swim and soak.

Feeding Your Pixie Frog

Feeding your pixie frog a balanced diet is crucial to its overall health. Insects and birds should be included in their diet, as this stimulates their hunting instincts. You can feed them crickets, mealworms, or even small mice.

It is important to note that you should not overfeed your pixie frog as they have a tendency to become overweight easily. Feed them two to three times a week with the appropriate amount of food for their size.

Heating and Lighting Guidelines: Temperature and Lighting Requirements

Pixie frogs are fascinating creatures that require specific environmental conditions to thrive. One of the critical factors in their care is providing appropriate heating and lighting. Here are some guidelines on how to maintain the right temperature and lighting for your pixie frog.

Temperature Requirements

Pixie frogs are native to Africa, where they live in warm, humid environments. To replicate their natural habitat, you need to keep the temperature in their enclosure between 75-85°F during the day and 65-75°F at night.

To achieve this temperature range, you can use a low-wattage heat source like a ceramic heat emitter or an under-tank heating pad. These options provide gentle heat that won’t dry out the air or harm your pet.

It’s crucial to monitor the temperature regularly using a thermometer or thermostat. This way, you can ensure that it stays within the recommended range and adjust accordingly if needed.

Lighting Requirements

Unlike other reptiles or amphibians, pixie frogs don’t require UVB lighting as they get all their necessary nutrients from their diet. However, providing a low level of light during the day can help regulate their sleep-wake cycle.

You can achieve this by using a low-wattage bulb or LED light that emits minimal heat but provides enough illumination for your frog. Avoid using bright lights as they may stress out your pet and disrupt its natural behavior.

It’s also essential to maintain a regular day-night cycle by turning off any lights at night when it’s time for your pixie frog to rest. This helps simulate its natural environment and promotes healthy habits.

Other Considerations

In addition to maintaining proper temperatures and lighting, there are other things you can do to ensure your pixie frog stays healthy:

  • Provide hiding spots: Pixie frogs like to burrow and hide, so make sure you have plenty of hiding spots in their enclosure.
  • Keep the humidity levels high: Pixie frogs need a humid environment to stay healthy. You can achieve this by misting their enclosure regularly or using a substrate that retains moisture.
  • Clean the enclosure regularly: Regular cleaning helps prevent bacterial growth and keeps your pet healthy. Make sure you remove any uneaten food, feces, or debris promptly.

Substrate and Furnishings: Best Options Available


Pixie frogs are fascinating amphibians that require specific environmental conditions to thrive. One of the most important aspects of creating a suitable habitat for your pixie frog is choosing the right substrate and furnishings.

Best Substrate Options for Pixie Frogs

The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of your pixie frog’s enclosure. It serves several purposes, including providing a comfortable surface for your frog to walk on, absorbing waste and excess moisture, and promoting healthy microbe growth.

Here are some of the best substrate options for pixie frogs:

  • Coconut coir: Made from coconut husks, this substrate is affordable, eco-friendly, and holds moisture well.
  • Cypress mulch: A natural wood product that helps control humidity levels in your enclosure.
  • Soil: Organic soil can be an excellent choice as it promotes healthy microbe growth in your enclosure.
  • Paper towels or newspaper: These options are easy to clean up but don’t provide much cushioning or enrichment for your frog.

Avoid using sand or gravel as substrates as they can cause digestive issues if ingested by your pixie frog.

Recommended Materials for Furnishing Pixie Frog Enclosure

Furnishings in a pixie frog’s enclosure serve two main purposes – providing hiding places and climbing opportunities. Here are some recommended materials you can use to create a comfortable environment:

  • Cork bark: Provides hiding spots and climbing opportunities while also helping maintain humidity levels.
  • Live plants: Not only do live plants help regulate humidity levels in your enclosure, but they also provide enrichment for your pixie frog.
  • Branches and logs: Provide climbing opportunities while also serving as hiding spots.
  • Pond area: Pixie frogs love water! You can create a small pond area with non-toxic aquatic plants like duckweed or water hyacinth.

Use of Rocks and Gravel in Pixie Frog Habitat

While rocks and gravel can add aesthetic appeal to your pixie frog’s enclosure, it’s important to use them with caution. If ingested, they can cause digestive issues or even blockages in your frog’s digestive system.

If you choose to include rocks or gravel in your enclosure, make sure they are too large for your pixie frog to swallow. Alternatively, you can place them outside the enclosure where your frog can’t access them.

Prey Items as a Source of Substrate for Pixie Frog Owners

As odd as it may sound, some pixie frog owners use prey items like crickets or mealworms as a form of substrate. The idea is that the insects will burrow into the substrate and create tunnels for your pixie frog to explore.

While this may provide some enrichment for your pixie frog, it’s not recommended as the insects will eventually die and decompose within the substrate, leading to potential health hazards for your pet.

Feeding Habits and Recommendations: Schedule and Tips

Pixie frogs, also known as African bullfrogs, are large and robust amphibians that require a consistent feeding schedule to maintain their health. These frogs are voracious eaters known for their insatiable appetite, which means that providing them with the right diet is crucial.

Feeder Insects: The Staple Diet of Pixie Frogs

Feeder insects such as crickets, mealworms, super worms, roaches, and locusts should make up the majority of a pixie frog’s diet. These insects are rich in protein and other essential nutrients that help keep your pet healthy. It is important to ensure that feeder insects are gut-loaded before feeding them to your pet. Gut-loading involves feeding the insects nutritious foods such as vegetables or commercial diets before offering them to your frog.

You can also dust feeder insects with vitamin supplements to ensure your frog receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need. Calcium powder is especially important because it helps prevent metabolic bone disease.

Recommended Feeding Schedule for Pixie Frogs

Pixie frogs have different dietary needs depending on their age. Juvenile pixie frogs should be fed every day while adult pixies can be fed every 2-3 days.

It is best to feed your frog at night when they are most active since they tend to be nocturnal animals. Adult pixies can consume large prey items like mice or rats but avoid overfeeding as it can lead to obesity or other health issues.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy diet for your pixie frog:

  • Avoid overfeeding: Overfeeding can lead to obesity in adult pixies or digestive problems in juveniles.
  • Avoid feeding wild-caught insects: Wild-caught insects can carry parasites or diseases that can harm your pet. It is best to purchase feeder insects from a reputable dealer.
  • Provide fresh water: Always provide fresh, clean water in a shallow dish for your frog to soak in and drink from.
  • Monitor your frog’s weight: Regularly weigh your pixie frog to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight.

Water and Humidity Levels: Maintaining Optimal Conditions

Pixie frogs, also known as African bullfrogs, are fascinating creatures that require specific care to thrive. One of the most crucial aspects of their care is maintaining optimal water and humidity levels in their enclosure.

Why High Humidity is Essential for Pixie Frogs

High humidity levels are essential for the health and well-being of pixie frogs. These amphibians are native to humid regions of Africa, so replicating those conditions in captivity is crucial for their survival. Without sufficient moisture in the air, they can become dehydrated and suffer from skin problems.

Moreover, proper humidity levels enable pixie frogs to breathe correctly. Unlike other amphibians that absorb oxygen through their skin, pixie frogs have lungs and need moist air to breathe adequately. If the air is too dry, it can cause respiratory problems and even death.

How to Maintain Optimal Humidity Levels

To maintain optimal humidity levels in a pixie frog’s enclosure, several factors must be considered:

Water Bowls on Both Sides

Water bowls should be provided on both sides of the enclosure wet and dry – to ensure proper hydration and moisture throughout the entire area. The water level should be shallow enough that your frog can sit comfortably without drowning but deep enough that it can soak if necessary.

Misting with Dechlorinated Water

Misting the enclosure with dechlorinated water helps keep humidity levels high during periods of low moisture or dry weather. It’s essential to mist only when necessary because over-misting can lead to stagnant water pools or mold growth.

Rainy Season Considerations

During the rainy season, heavy rainfall can provide enough water for pixie frogs to drink and soak in naturally. However, it’s crucial not to let the enclosure flood, as this can lead to stress and disease. If necessary, use a hand pump or siphon to remove excess water.

Room Temperature

The temperature of the room where your pixie frog’s enclosure is located also affects humidity levels. Higher temperatures increase evaporation rates, reducing humidity levels in the air. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a consistent room temperature between 75-85°F.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Optimal Conditions

In addition to the above factors, there are other things you can do to help maintain optimal conditions for your pixie frog:

  • Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels regularly.
  • Provide hiding places and multiple layers of the substrate (e.g., coconut fiber) that retain moisture.
  • Use UVB lighting for 10-12 hours per day to promote natural behaviors and life processes.
  • Avoid handling your pixie frog too much as it can cause stress and dehydration.

Potential Health Issues and Lifespan: What to Watch Out For

Pixie frogs are fascinating creatures that can live up to 15 years in captivity. However, like any other pet, they are prone to certain health problems that you need to be aware of as a responsible owner.

Adult Females Prone to Health Problems

One of the most common health problems that adult female pixie frogs face is egg binding. Egg binding occurs when the female frog is unable to lay her eggs due to various reasons such as lack of proper nutrition or dehydration. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

To prevent egg binding, ensure that your female pixie frog has a balanced diet with sufficient calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Also, make sure that she has access to clean water at all times and maintain the humidity levels in her enclosure between 60-80%.

Monitor Diet and Environment for Healthy Lifespan

Pixie frogs have a robust appetite and will eat almost anything they can fit into their mouth. However, it’s essential to monitor their diet carefully because obesity is a common problem among captive pixie frogs.

A healthy diet for your pixie frog consists of gut-loaded insects such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, super worms, hornworms, or silkworms dusted with calcium powder twice a week. You can also offer them frozen-thawed mice once every two weeks.

In addition to monitoring their diet, it’s crucial to maintain a clean environment for your pixie frog. Regularly clean their enclosure by removing uneaten food debris and feces from the substrate using spot cleaning methods or complete enclosure cleaning methods based on the type of substrate used.

Lifespan in Captivity

With proper care and attention given to maintaining a healthy diet and environment, pixie frogs can live up to 15 years in captivity. However, the lifespan of your pet frog can vary depending on various factors such as genetics, diet, and environmental conditions.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of male pixie frogs is typically shorter than females. Males usually live for about five years, while females can live up to fifteen years or more.

Aggressive Behavior: Understanding Their Nature

Pixie frogs are known for their aggressive behavior, especially the males. These frogs can grow up to 10 inches in size and may become defensive when feeling threatened. It’s important to handle these frogs with care as they can hide or jump away.


Male pixie frogs are usually more aggressive than females. They have a territorial nature and will fight other males over territory or breeding rights. If you plan on keeping multiple male pixie frogs together, it’s important to provide enough space and hiding spots for each frog.

It’s also essential to avoid handling male pixie frogs too much as they may perceive it as a threat, leading them to become defensive or aggressive towards you. If you need to handle them, do so carefully, using both hands and supporting their entire body weight.


Although not as commonly known for aggression as males, female pixie frogs can also exhibit aggression, especially during the breeding season. Female pixies will defend their eggs and tadpoles aggressively against any perceived threats.

When caring for female pixies during the breeding season, ensure that they have ample space and hiding places where they can lay their eggs without being disturbed. Avoid handling them during this time unless necessary.


Handling your pixie frog is an essential part of taking care of them but should be done with caution. When picking up your frog, use both hands and support their entire body weight to avoid injuring them.

It’s essential to remember that these creatures are not domesticated animals like cats or dogs; therefore, they might not enjoy being handled frequently. It’s best to limit handling sessions only when necessary—for example, when cleaning the enclosure or administering medication.

If your frog appears stressed while being handled or jumps out of your hand unexpectedly, return it immediately back into its enclosure.


Pixie frogs are excellent at hiding; therefore providing plenty of hiding spots is crucial. Hiding spots can be created using rocks, logs, and other materials that provide cover.

If your frog hides for long periods or refuses to come out of its hiding spot, it may indicate that they are stressed or ill. In such cases, it’s best to consult a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals.

Do Pixie Frogs Make Good Pets? Pros and Cons

Are you considering getting a pet pixie frog? These large, colorful amphibians can make great pets for experienced owners. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons before making a decision.

Pros of Owning a Pixie Frog

Low Maintenance

One major advantage of owning a pixie frog is its low maintenance requirements. They are relatively easy to care for and do not require daily attention like some other pets. Pixie frogs only need to be fed once or twice per week and their enclosure only needs to be cleaned once every few weeks.

Long Lifespan

Pixie frogs have an average lifespan of 15 years in captivity, which is longer than many other types of pets. This means that if you are looking for a long-term companion, a pixie frog may be a good choice.

Fascinating Behavior

Pixie frogs have unique behaviors that can be fascinating to observe. For example, they will often burrow into the substrate or hide under objects during the day and emerge at night to hunt for food. They also have an interesting feeding behavior where they will lunge at prey with their powerful jaws.

Cons of Owning a Pixie Frog

Aggressive Behavior

One major drawback of owning a pixie frog is its aggressive nature. They are known for being territorial and will attack other animals that enter their space, including humans. It is important to handle them with care and respect their boundaries.

Large Size

Pixie frogs can grow up to 10 inches in length and weigh over two pounds when fully grown. This means that they require a large enclosure with plenty of space to move around. Transporting them can be difficult due to their size.

Researching Care Requirements

Before getting a pixie frog as a pet, it is important to research its specific care requirements. Here are some key factors to consider:


Pixie frogs require a large enclosure with plenty of space to move around. A 20-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for one frog, but larger is better. The enclosure should be kept between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 60-80%.


Pixie frogs are carnivorous and require a diet of live insects and rodents. Some suitable food options include crickets, mealworms, and pinky mice. It is important to feed them appropriately sized prey to avoid choking.


While pixie frogs can be handled, it is important to do so with care. They have delicate skin that can easily tear if handled roughly. They may become stressed when handled too frequently.


In conclusion, owning a pixie frog can be a fulfilling experience for those who are willing to put in the effort to provide optimal living conditions. It is essential to keep in mind that they require specific care and attention, such as maintaining proper heating and lighting guidelines, feeding habits, water and humidity levels, and understanding their aggressive behavior.

Habitat design, substrate, and furnishings, it’s crucial to consider longevity and growth requirements. Potential health issues should be monitored closely to ensure your pet lives a long life.

Pixie frogs make good pets for those who are committed to providing them with the necessary care. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

To learn more about Pixie Frogs or purchase one as your pet companion, check out some of these external links:


Q: What do Pixie Frogs eat?

A: Pixie frogs are carnivorous creatures that mainly feed on insects like crickets and roaches. They also consume rodents like mice or small rats.

Q: How often should I feed my Pixie Frog?

A: Younger frogs should be fed daily while adult frogs can be fed every other day or twice per week.

Q: Can I keep multiple Pixie Frogs together?

A: No. Pixie frogs are solitary creatures that will become aggressive toward each other if kept in the same enclosure.

Q: Do Pixie Frogs require a water source?

A: Yes. Pixie frogs require a shallow water dish to soak in and maintain proper hydration levels.

Q: How big do Pixie Frogs get?

A: On average, Pixie frogs can grow up to 10 inches in length and weigh up to 1.5 pounds.

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