African Pyxie Frog. Pyxicephalus adspersus

African Pyxie Frog

Scientific Name: Pyxicephalus adspersus

Total Length: Females can get up to 5 inches while males up to 10 inches.

Range: Southern Africa

Habitat: They may be found in dry areas such as semideserts, steppes, savannahs, and dry brushland.

Sex Determination: Males are about half as big as females.

Reproduction: Intense mating takes place after heavy rains in temporary waterholes. Females lay 4,000 – 5,000 eggs per clutch. Adult males stay in the water near the eggs and aggressively defend them and later defend the tadpoles.

It is possible to breed Pyxies in captivity. You can get them to mate by misting them for several evenings. Some people use children’s pools as breeding containers for these frogs. In warmer climates, mating could occur naturally.

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Care In Captivity:

  • Tank Size: A 20 gallon tank is good for one adult male measuring about 10 inches. We have two 3 inch Pyxies (one male and one female) in a 10 gallon tank.
  • Substrate: We suggest that you use a deep, loose substrate so the frogs can burrow in it. Gravel or soil can be used.
  • Decorations: The less decorations the better because Pyxie Frogs tend to ruin your setup and knock most of the decorations over. You can have a log, bark, sticks, rocks, sphagnum moss, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die.
  • Water: A water bowl should be placed in one area of the tank. A plastic container is the best for this because it is easy to clean and inexpensive. Fill up the water so the frogs’ eyes and mouth are above the water.
  • Tank Lid: You can have a flip top lid, a screen, or any other type of lid on the tank. There should be good ventilation.
  • Heating: You can use a heat rock, a heating pad, or an electric blanket to heat the tank.
  • Lighting: No additional lighting is needed but you may use a bulb with ultraviolet radiation if you want.
  • Temperature/Humidity: The temperature should be around 85 degrees F in the day and slightly reduced at night. In the winter, three months at 37-39 degrees F will stimulate hibernation. Doing this makes them healthier and encourages them to breed. You should have an air thermometer in the tank. It should have moderate humidity. You may use a humidity gauge which will show you how much humidity is in the tank.
  • Feeding: The diet should have variety. They will eat anything that they can overcome and swallow. Adult males have been know to eat rats. Feed Pyxies crickets, feeder goldfish, mice, chicks, earthworms, other frogs (can be cannibalistic), moths, locusts, cockroaches, and other invertebrates. They should all be sprinkled with vitamin and calcium supplements. Do not overfeed them or they will become obese and will die early.
  • Maintenance: Keep the tank clean and change the water bowl when needed (about every couple of days).

Other Information: The African Pyxie Frog is much less nervous than the American Bullfrog. The Pyxie, a poor jumper, does not often jump into the glass sides of its terrarium if frightened.

Adult Pyxies are calm and laid-back.

There are large tooth-like projections on the lower jaw. Large adults can give vicious bites.

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