8 Budgett’s Frog Facts – the Hissing and Screaming Frog

While the Vietnamese mossy frogs are well known for their camouflage ability, the Budgett’s frogs are famous for their big mouth along with their big call. This species is one of the most popular pets. What’s unique and interesting about this frog? Let’s dive into 8 Budgett’s frog facts!

Budgett's frogs
Scientific name: Lepidobatrachus laevis
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Genus: Lepidobatrachus

1. The Budgett’s frog has a big head that’s one-third of its body

Budgett’s Frog is a big frog with a flat body. These features, along with the short legs, give them the appearance of being larger than they are. Despite having short legs, these frogs can jump extremely high, they even jump on intruders.

When fully mature, these frogs can weigh roughly half a pound and have a size of 6 inches in length. What’s interesting about this frog is that its head is roughly half the size of its body! The females are bigger, they mostly develop to 5 inches, while the males are smaller at 4 inches in length. Besides the size, the difference between the two sexes is a dark pouch on the male’s throat. During the mating season, this pouch is most visible.

The budgett's frog is the frog without bumps

Regarding the color, juvenile Budgett’s frogs may have brilliant green patterns around their eyes and face, but they will diminish as the frog grows older. Whereas, the adults have a greenish-brown or grayish-pink body with a white or yellow belly and eyes. If you notice, there’s a yellow line over their lips.

Unlike other frog species, the Budgett’s frogs don’t have bumps. Their skin is smooth and mucus which aids in moisture retention.

The Budgett’s frogs can absorb a wide range of substances, including chemicals, through their skin.

2. Habitat and behavior

The Budgett’s frog lives in the Gran Chaco region, a semiarid region that includes southern Paraguay, northern Argentina, and part of Bolivia.

This creature belongs to the Ceratophryidae family. Unlike terrestrial frogs, it needs water to survive. In summer from February to October, Budgett’s frogs live in ephemeral puddles (pozos).

Because their skin can absorb oxygen, these frogs can breathe underwater. This characteristic gives them the advantage to stay underwater for extended periods. Not only do they live in the water, but Bugett’s frogs can also swim. In fact, they are fantastic swimmers!

These amphibians, like hippos, frequently sit in the water with only their eyes and nose visible, waiting for prey. This activity has earned them the moniker “hippo frogs.”

These frogs will hibernate during the winter months of November to February. When the ponds dry up, the animals dig into the soft mud with their big tubercles on their rear legs. And then, they will lay dormant there, under the ground in a cocoon made up of shed dead skin. This cocoon will protect itself from water loss until it starts to rain.

During the spring and summer, rains create many pools which are home for Budgett’s frogs. After the pools are created, the frogs emerge from the ground to eat and meet partners.


3. They’re very aggressive

Because of its lengthy fingers and aggressive nature, the species is known as the Freddy Krueger frog! They are also well-known for their defensive tendencies.

If they are provoked or get angry, they will expand their bodies and stand as tall as they can. If they are only touched, they will hiss, squeak, and even scream! If this doesn’t work, they will jump to their opponent, bite, and shriek sharply. These frogs’ bites are not poisonous. However, the bite can be painful because their jaws contain huge toothlike ridges and two sharp fangs.

They are so hostile that this species was given the Guarani name kukur-chin, which means “the toad that shrieks.” They are look-but-do-not-touch pets, even for experienced keepers.

Since these frogs are very aggressive, it’s not very smart to keep more than one Budgett’s frog in the same place. No matter the sex, they are almost certain to end up fighting and causing significant injury to one or both parties.

Males and males, females and female pairings are not recommended. Except for short, monitored spats for reproductive purposes, keeping females and males together is a horrible idea. When meeting, they will almost probably fight.

4. They are cannibalistic

Budgett’s Frogs are carnivorous. They will consume anything that fits in their large mouths. This means that they feed on a variety of species, such as insects, tadpoles, lizards, cockroaches, snails, earthworms, wax moth caterpillars, snakes, mice, other amphibians (like frogs), and even fish. They are also known as cannibalistic amphibians.

Budgett's frog are cannibal

As nocturnal creatures, hippo frogs hunt at night. To get food, these frogs use the ambush strategy. They hide themselves in the soft mud or in the water, with only their eyes and nose showing. They stay immobile, waiting till the prey passes by and attacking them with their strong, muscular jaws. They eat the prey entirely.

5. Reproduction

The breeding season takes place throughout the wet season. To attract the female Budgett’s frog, the male will call. The reproductive progress occurs quickly, eggs are placed in pools. A female frog can lay up to 1400 viable eggs in a single clutch.

Their tadpoles are also carnivorous/Cre: On pic

The embryos grow quite quickly, approximately in two weeks. Tadpoles are hatched before the rainy season ends, and start to feed nearly instantly. Like the adult Budgett’s frogs, tadpoles are carnivorous and cannibalistic. They also have nearly adult-like jaws which are supported to extend laterally to form a wide, open mouth. The tadpoles use this mouth to devour their meal completely.

The frog reaches sexual maturity within 1 year. Its usual lifespan is from 15 to 20 years.


6. Hipppo frogs are threatened

The Lepidobatrachus laevis is classed as a Least Concern animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, records reveal that their population is declining.

Budgett’s frogs are threatened by habitat destruction caused by agriculture and livestock in areas where they occur. They are declining, as are most frog species, due to habitat loss from deforestation or logging activities, as well as pesticides, fertilizers, and pollution. They are also sensitive to chytridiomycosis.

7. They’re named after a zoologist

John Samuel Budgett – an English zoologist – traveled to Argentina to look for lungfish. However, instead of lungfish, he found a new species. In an 1899 publication, he described this unusual frog for the first time. And this frog has been named after him since then.

Over 100 years since the first Bugett’s frog was discovered, people bred them in captivity. Private breeders initiated a captive breeding project in the early 2000s.

Hippo frogs are intelligent and lively creatures with an outgoing and curious nature. They resemble another famous pet frog, the Pacman Frog.

8. They make good pets

As a pet, the Budgett’s frog is extremely popular! It’s also known as the Wednesday frog! You can buy them on the internet at an affordable price, about $40. However, some of the more expensive breeders can cost you double that – $80.

Budgett’s frog meme is very viral

Here are some general suggestions on how to take care of a Budgett’s frog:

Enclosure: Budgett’s frogs require a big enclosure with a dual-environment setup. Your tank size should be at least 30 gallons, divided into dry and wet sections. The watery part must be deep so that the frog can fully submerge. You should choose the glass aquariums with screen lids.

Substrate: You should avoid pebbles. Rocks or a mixture of coconut fiber and soil are better.

Hiding spots: You should create more places for your frog to hide under or inside. It can be gardening pots, hollowed logs… Just make sure to sanitize them before putting them in the enclosure.

Temperature should be kept between 70-77oF (21 – 25oC). The water needs to remain between 76-82oF (24 – 27oC). It is advised to use an aquarium heater.

Lighting: You don’t need to give the Budgett’s frog light at night. In the morning, daylight is enough.

Humidity level should be between 60%-70%.

Cleaning: These frogs generate a large amount of waste. It is critical to clean the enclosure.

Feeding Budgett’s frogs: If possible, you should feed your hippo frog a varied diet. Because these frogs are susceptible to metabolic bone disease that weakens the bones, every diet should be sprinkled with a mineral and calcium supplement.

The young can be fed five times per week, whereas adults should only eat three times per week.

9. Infographic

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