What Do Pacman Frogs Eat? (South American Horned Frogs)

The Pacman frog, also known as the South American horned frogs, are certainly not hard to feed. They love their food and could pretty much eat and eat all day long. However, they are prone to putting on weight, so it’s best not to overfeed them. In the wild Pacman frogs will eat as much as they can at once, due to the possibility of going without food; however, a domesticated frog wouldn’t know this. 

Pacman frogs, also known as the South American horned frog, has a diet that consists of, crickets, roaches, fish, mealworms, waxworms and mice. Anything fed to a Pacman frog larger than the width of the head could possibly cause health problems.

Pacman frog food

  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Fish
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Mice

The amount you feed a Pacman frog will depend on the frog’s size, and if they are in brumation or not. You should never feed a frog, something that is bigger than the width of their head. Feeding them food that is bigger could cause a health hazard such as impacted intestines. 

Food a Pacman Frog eats

What is brumation?

Brumation is similar to hibernation of warm-blooded animals. It refers to a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression in cold-blooded animals and commonly takes place when the temperature drops during the winter months. 

A wild Pacman frog will go into brumation when in the temperature drops. When the frog is in this state, they will lose their appetite and refuse food. During the brumation period, the frog will not drink, eat, defecate or move, which could last for several weeks or months until the temperature is warm enough. 

A domestic Pacman frog will do the same if faced with low temperatures, however, if its a sudden change in temperture this could be dangerous as your frog hasn’t prepared himself for brumation. You will need to make sure that your frog is in a tank thats not near any drafts during the winter months.

How to get a frog out of brumation?

A Pacman frog will continue to be in brumation state until the temperature rises. During the winter, it is not uncommon for average household temperatures to be several degrees lower than normal. A tank should be about 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 65 to 75 Fahrenheit at night. Having a temperature checker will help you stay within the recommended temperature. Try to move the tank if possible to do so, into a warmer place of the house, away from drafts. You should also up the heating in the winter months and keep it at a stable level. If its hard to do this in the winter nights, you can use a heat lamp to increase the temperature. Never put the tank near radiators, direct sunlight, or by the fireplace. 

  • Increase the heating withing your house
  • Having a temperature gauge nearby
  • Move tank away from drafts, windows, doors
  • A heat lamp can help with at night.

The above should encourage your Pacman to come out of brumation and back to normal feeding. 

Pacman frog vitamins and minerals

A Pacman frog needs added vitamin and minerals, its very important to keep them nice and healthy. You can add them to Pacman’s diet by dusting their food with it, or you can buy crickets that have been feed with the vitamins, and they are then loaded with the vitamins and nutrients ready to be transferred to the Pacman frog.

  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A

Feeding your frog live food

It’s up to you if you feed your frog live food, however, if you do you must also keep an eye on them, as sometimes the live food like mice can injure the frog. I find it best not to give live food to a frog, not only can it been seen as cruel but can also hurt your frog as well. 

What food is best to feed a Pacman frog?

Crickets, mealworm, roaches and wax worm stuffed with vitamins and minerals, these are the best choices to feed a frog. A Pacman frog will get all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. 

How often should I feed a Pacman frog?

Depends on the size of your frog, smaller frogs will need to be feed daily on insects, and the larger frogs if eating larger foods should be every other day. You will be able to judge how much to give your frog by his or her appearance, if your frog looks to be getting to chunky, and moving less. Cut his food down, or just feed your frog insects for a bit and move onto the bigger items in a week or so. 

Female Pacman frogs are bigger than male frogs, so they will naturally need more food. So make sure you know the sex of your frog to be able to understand how big they will get to accommodate them with their food. 

Why are South American horned frogs called Pacman frogs?

Its as simple as the shape of them, they are very round with a large mouth which resembles the video game character Pac-Man.

Pacman frogs must be kept separate from other frogs

As we already know, Pacman’s love to eat; they love it so much that they will even eat each other. They are known to be cannibalistic so make sure you have them in a tank on their own, its only a matter of time until they start licking their lips at a roommate.


We now know that Pacman frogs have a diet that consists, crickets, roaches, fish, mealworms, waxworms, mice and anything fed to a Pacman larger than theses, could possibly cause health problems to your frog. Your frog will also not eat if they are in brumation, which is a type of hibernation but for the cold-blooded animals. Brumation can be dangerous for a domestic frog as they are not prepared for the period. You should try and bring them out slowly by raising the heat. If in doubt you should take your frog to your veterinarian who can give a bit of more personal advice for your frog.

Happy Frog Parenting 

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By Teresa Mine

Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. She loves binge-watching animal documentaries. Teresa has some pets; she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.