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Argentine Horned Frog

Scientific name: Ceratophrys ornata

Distribution: Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil

Habitats: Rainforest, flooded plains

Similar species: Cranwell’s horned frog- Ceratophrys cranwelli

Species description:

The Argentine horned frog is a very large ground-dwelling species that can grow up to 15cm in length. Males, like the smaller one the Manchester Museum currently has on display, are usually around 10cm. This frog is beautifully marked and is typically bright green with red markings, though dark green specimens do occasionally occur.

The Horned frogs’ most prominent feature is its mouth, which accounts for roughly half of the animal’s overall size, it is also easily identified from its prominent horns that are located above each eye.

Habits and ecology:

A closely related species, Cranwell's horned frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli) (c) Matt Wilson

This species of frog is nocturnal and spends the majority of its time sitting motionless on the rainforest floor where it waits for passing prey such as insects, lizards, other frogs and even small mammals. It is extremely well camouflaged and is very difficult to see in the wild as it sits amongst fallen leaf litter.

In captivity it is also difficult to spot and will also attempt to eat anything that passes in front of them, including the hand of their keeper.Many visitors to The Manchester Museum fail to see and appreciate this amazing amphibian that is on display and was first discovered by Charles Darwin on his voyage to South America.


This frog is becoming increasingly rare in the wild as rainforest habitat is being destroyed.

Find out more about rainforest destruction & what you can do to help Here

See the Museum’s Horned Frog Exhibit Here

Andrew talks about Horned frogs & Darwin Exhibition Here

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