Budgett’s frog vs Pacman frog – Which one is the better pet?

Budgett’s frog vs Pacman frog: The Budgett’s frog (hippo frog) and Pacman frog are two of the most popular exotic pets in the market. They are all easy to maintain and have interesting features. So which one is more suitable for you? Let’s discuss it in the article below.

1. Appearance

– Body size: Both Budgett’s frog and Pacman frog have a big body and a big mouth. They are about 5 to 7 inches, the females are bigger than the males.

However, the Budgett’s frog has a flat body shape with a huge head that takes up 1/3 of the body size.  On the other hand, the Pacman frog features a rounded body and short legs.

– Skin: The Pacman frog has bumps on their skin like other frog species, whereas the Budgett’s frog doesn’t. Its skin is smooth and mucous.

– Color: While the Budgett only has grayish-pink color, the Pacman comes with multiple morphs like green, red, brown, teal, orange, sunburst, etc. You can know more about Pacman frog types at Ofacts.org. The male Pacman frog is usually more colorful than the female.

2. Budgett’s frog vs Pacman frog: Name

The Pacman frog is named after a video game character – Pac-man. This rounded character has a huge mouth and it consumes everything in its way. This characteristic is very similar to the Ceratophyrs species’ feature. That explains why they call the frog like that.

The Budgett’s frog, on the other hand, is named after a zoologist – John Samuel Budgett. This man was the one that found the species. He went to Argentina and find this frog, instead of lungfish as his first intention.

3. Location and Habitat

Budgett’s frog is found in a part of Bolivia, south Paraguay, and north Argentina. Compared to the hippo frog, the Pacman frog’s habitat is wider. These frogs live in Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

They can also survive in tropical and subtropical climates, swamps, lakes, or dry areas like meadows, and valleys. Conserve, the hippo frog needs to live in ephemeral puddles (pozos).

4. Hibernation

The Budgett’s frog hibernates from November to February. When there is no water in the pond, these frogs dig underground. They lay inactive there, in a cocoon made of discarded dead skin. The cocoon will prevent the frog from losing water. In the spring and summer, they come out when the pond is full again.

About the Pacman frog, it hibernates when food is scared or when the environment is cold and dry. They cover themselves in thick and tough skin. During this time, they stay completely motionless and slow their metabolism.  When the conditions are right, they emerge.

5. Temperature

The Bugett is the most aggressive frog species. They’re easy to get angry and annoyed. To defend themselves, these creatures stretch their bodies and stand tall as much as they can. If you touch them, they will shriek, squeak, and scream. If those are not enough, they leap at their rival, bite, and screech loudly.

Budgett’s frog is very noisy

The Pacman frog is not as aggressive as the Budgett, but it is also very noisy. They croak, squeak, cream, chirp, and shout, especially when being touched.  The female Pacman frogs are quieter.

6. Hunting

Both Budgett’s frogs and Pacman’s frogs are ambush predators. To catch the prey, they just stay still, wait for the prey to come, and suddenly attack them. As nocturnal animals, they usually hunt at night.

The Budgett mainly waits for its victims in the pond or in the mud. While the Pacman uses its color to camouflage in mud or in the leaves of the forests.

7. Budgett’s frog vs Pacman frog: Diet

There are not many differences between these two frogs’ diets.  Since they are carnivorous and have big mouths, they eat literally anything that fits their mouths.  They even eat snakes that are bigger than them. You can see the battle between Panman frogs and snakes here. Their food can include insects, lizards, snakes, other amphibians, tadpoles, worms, fish, mice, etc.

Pacman frog is eating a fish

They are also cannibalistic animals. This means they can eat their own kinds. The Pacman frogs often eat their mates after breeding. Usually, the females will eat the males due to their bigger sizes. However, sometimes, the males will try to devour the females.

Both Budgett’s frog and Pacman frog eat their prey by consuming them whole. This could occasionally cause them to suffocate.

8. Reproduction

Like other amphibian species, these frogs mate and breed in the wet season. However, the way they reproduce is quite different.

Like other frogs, the male Budgett’s frog calls to woo the female. The male then rides the female to put its sperm directly onto the eggs when they leave the female cloaca. The eggs are fertilized outside. This is external reproduction. The female then lays eggs in the pools, about 1400 eggs.

Conserve,  the Pacman frog does not externally reproduce. They reproduce internally by fertilizing the eggs directly inside the females’ bodies. The female then finds a wet place to lay eggs. The egg number of the Pacman is more than those of the Budgett, around 2000 to 2500 eggs per brood.

The eggs of the Pacman and Budgett develop and hatch in 2 weeks. Both their tadpoles are carnivorous and cannibalistic.

The Budgett’s frog reaches sexual maturity in 1 year. On the other hand, the Pacman frog’s maturity age depends on the food. It can be 1 year, or from 3 to 4 years.

9. Lifespan

The lifespan of the Budett’s frog can last for 15 to 20 years, while the Pacman frog can live for 15 years. However, to reach those ages, you need to give them a proper diet, a suitable environment, and daily check-ups.

10. Make good pets

Both Pacman frogs and Budgett’s frogs make good pets. These amphibians can do well in captivity, they are easy to maintain and easy to feed. You can buy food for them in any pet store. With the adult, you can feed them 3 times per week, while the young need to eat 5 to 6 times a week.

A tank for the Pacman frog needs to be at least 10 gallons. It should contain substances, plants, leaf litter, and a bowl of water.

The Budgett’s frog, on the other hand, needs a bigger tank that is at least 30 gallons. Because this frog species need water to thrive, the tank should be divided into 2 parts: the wet and the dry one. The watery space must be deep enough for the frog to fully immerse.

Budgett’s frog vs Pacman frog

When keeping these creatures, you should avoid touching them as least as possible. The Budgett’s frog is super aggressive, especially when you touch them. They hiss, scream, and even jump at you and bite for defense.  You can get hurt since the frog has sharp fangs.

Although the Pacman frog is not as hostile as the Budgett, it still can bite you when it’s hungry or scared. The Pacman is the only frog to have teeth so their bite can be pretty painful. Moreover, its skin is susceptible. The perfume, lotion, or other chemicals on your hand may cause them discomfort, significant damage, or respiratory blockage.

Don’t keep more than one Pacman frog or more than one Budgett’s frog in the same tank. They are hostile and cannibalistic, so they could end up in fighting and consuming each other. Even if you pair a male and a female together, this still happens.

If you want to breed them, make sure you pair them in their mating season. But you should monitor them carefully.

11. Price

The Budgett’s frog price is quite affordable. It can cost you about $40 if you buy it on the internet. If you buy the species from a high-quality breeder, you will have to pay $80.

A Super Pikachu Pacman Frog has a higher price

The Pacman frog price is cheaper for the typical type, from $15 to $30. However, the rare color type  (like teal, albino, or pastel) will cost you more, approximately $40 – $80.

12. Conservation status

The Budget’s frog (or Lepidobatrachus laevis) is listed as Least Concern species by IUCN. Their population is decreasing. Their habitat is destroyed by livestock, pollution, pesticides, and agriculture. They are also vulnerable to chytridiomycosis, an amphibian infectious condition.

On the other hand, the Pacman frog is classified as Endangered or Near threatened species. Because of its sensitive skin, climate changes and pollutants can harm the species, as they do for all frogs.

Final thoughts

Both Pacman and Budgett’s frogs are unique in their own ways. Each has amazing features to become an ideal pet for you. If you want a colorful or less-yelling pet, the Pacman frog is a more suitable option. Whatever you choose, these frogs are all good pets that can live with you as long as a dog does.


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