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CB Budgett's Frog


Scientific Name

Lepidobatrachus laevis


Habitat: Distribution/Background

The Budgett's Frog Lepidobatrachus laevis was first described by Budgett in 1899. The Budgett's Frog occurs naturally in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Other common names for the Budgett's Frog are the Hippo Frog and the Freddie Kruger Frog.



The Lepidobatrachus laevis is on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species as Least Concern (LC).

At its current levels, the Budgett's Frog is not considered to be threatened by the pet trade. It is common in the northern portion of its range but is rare and declining in Argentina. The exact reasons for its decline are unknown, but may be affected by fires and over-grazing by livestock. Habitat destruction for agriculture is also a threat in Argentina.



The Budgett's Frog resembles a squashed, bumpy pancake. Though not reaching more than 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) in length, this frog more than makes up for its short length in its width. This frog is a wonder to look at with an olive green background coloring, patterned with splotches of tans and darker greens, and has webbed hind feet.

In the juvenile stage the color is not as bright, but its long comical mouth will more than amuse you until it reaches that bright shade of olive green. Babies cannot be visually sexed, but as adults the male's throat is dark and on a female it is gray or whitish. The female is also the larger sex. They can live for more than 5 years.


Food and Feeding

As with a lot of other frogs, the Budgett's Frog will eat crickets (and small mice as adults), but they are semi-aquatic and so have also branched into the world of fish. All items offered as food should be dusted with a calcium and mineral supplement, as these frogs are sensitive to metabolic bone disease, a deadly softening of the bones.

The larger your frog grows, the larger prey items you can begin to offer. If you do try and feed even a small mouse, kill the prey item before you offer it to your frog. A live mouse can do a lot of damage to your frog before getting eaten. Very small mice, fed only once a month or less, are recommended.



A ten to twenty gallon aquarium is well-suited for the Budgett's Frog. Smooth river rocks are the best substrate to fill the bottom of the aquarium. Regular aquarium gravel, often sold for fish, can cause digestive problems for the frog if they are ingested accidentally with prey. The river stones are larger and smooth and don't run the risk of being ingested.

The rocks in the enclosure should have a sloping design, producing a large area for the frog to get out of the water, but providing an equally large area of water for the frog to occupy. A twenty gallon long is the ideal size to accomplish this design. The water placed in the tank and used to rinse the river rocks should be decholrinated with any of the many commercially available products.