Have you heard of the “Freddy Krueger” frog? If you haven’t, we bet you’ll always remember them after reading this blog article. These frogs are bizarre and entertaining which makes them not only memorable, but delightful pets. We’re going to focus on how to care for Freddy Krueger frogs.
Also known as Budgett’s Frogs (Lepidobatrachus laevis), the Freddy Krueger frog’s physical appearance is reminiscent of a blob of green, olive, or yellow-colored Jello. They are flat, fat, and sort of jiggly when at rest. They have tiny but protuberant eyes that sit atop their head as well as pretty long fingers…at least as far as frog fingers are concerned. We imagine that’s partially where they get their Krueger moniker.
When stressed, threatened, or upset, a Budgett’s Frog will puff itself up, rear up on its hind legs, open its big mouth as wide as possible, and emit what can best be described as a scream. The frog’s mouth is toothless with the exception of two tiny sharp protrusions on their lower jaw that make them look like they have tiny fangs. What an interesting and strange defense mechanism.
We actually sell quite a few of these unique blob-frogs at Backwater Reptiles. We think this is not only due to their comical appearance and screaming capabilities, but because they are great pet frogs overall.
Although their body shape might suggest otherwise, Budgett’s Frogs are mainly aquatic and prefer to stay in the water rather than to be on land. Their arms are quite strong making them adept swimmers. Because their eyes sit directly on top of their head, they can easily submerge themselves completely in the water and just leave their eyes poking out of the surface to see.
When kept in captivity, the Freddy Krueger Frog’s type of watery environment should be replicated as closely as possible. For a single, solitary, full-grown frog, we recommend a tank that is at least 12 inches wide and 24 inches long. Make sure the water you put in the tank is dechlorinated and in the range of six to nine inches deep. Although your Budgett’s Frog might not actually leave the water of its own accord, it is always recommended that a platform or place where the frog can escape the water completely and be on dry land is provided.
The water temperature for a Budgett’s Frog is also important. In order for the frog to thrive, the water should stay in the temperature range of 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be acheived by using a thermometer or thermostat and a small tank water heater. Because Budgetts frogs are hefty and can dislodge water heaters, we recommend a mounted heater that has a safety cut out, just in case.
It also should be noted that Budgett’s Frogs create a lot of waste for a frog. Their tank should have a filtration system in place, unless you want to change the water every few days. A good rule of thumb when it comes to water filtration systems is that you do get what you pay for. Depending on the frequency you want to change the frog’s water, it might make sense to purchase a pricier unit that filters better so you don’t have to change the water too often.
Because Budgett’s Frogs are such hearty eaters and therefore produce a lot of waste, we don’t usually line their tank bottoms with any kind of substrate. It makes it easier to handle the frequent water changes and also ensures that the frog doesn’t accidentally ingest anything it shouldn’t.
We recommend aquarium decor that is minimal as well as functional. Items that provide good hiding spaces and are aesthetically pleasing such as decorative caves purchased from a pet store, terra cotta pots, or similar items are all good options. Just make sure that whatever decor you do choose is too large for the frog to eat because they really are voraciously hungry and will try to ingest items you wouldn’t imagine they would.
No Budgett’s frog care sheet would be complete without mentioning their feeding habits. Due to their hefty appetites, you should feed your young Budgett’s frog as much as it will consume in a single sitting on a daily basis. Adults don’t require feeding quite as often – every other day is fine for a mature frog.
Budgett’s Frogs will eat invertebrates like nightcrawlers, crickets, roaches, and wax worms. They will also happily eat small feeder fish and de-shelled land snails. You can feed them in the water or place the food on their land platform. Because these frogs are not picky eaters, they will usually take whatever you offer them and feeding time is quite an entertaining event.
Budgett’s frogs grow quite large and will reach lengths of up to six inches, although three and a half to five inches is more common. They can live 15 to 20 years.
Freddy Krueger frog care – conclusion
We very highly recommend Budgett’s Frogs as pets. Not only are they visually interesting and appealing, they are also quite interactive and great eaters, sometimes even jumping out of the water to attack prey. If you’re ready to spring for a Freddy Krueger frog of your own, Backwater Reptiles has Budgetts Frogs for sale.