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Pixie Frog – scientifically known as the Pyxicephalus adspersus – is a beautiful species of a giant frog. It is also known as the African Bullfrog, where African represents the origin of this species, while the Bullfrog represents the giant size of this species. It is found throughout the African continent. This species mostly lives near the rivers and ravines in their natural habitat. It is a territorial amphibia species, which means they spend most of their lives roaming on the ground and rarely go near the water. It is also one of the species that is known for its peaceful, calm behavior and is loved by the pet keepers for its unique size, shape, and behavioral traits.

The Pixie Frog is a very common pet species that you can find in many pet shops online and offline. They can be very large, for example, the average size of this frog is more than nine inches, while their average weight is about 1.4 kg. If you want to keep the Pixie Frog as a pet, it is better to learn about them before buying them. This knowledge will help you get a basic idea about how you can take care of them. The article below contains a complete guide on how to care for this species, and how to house, feed, breed, and keep them healthy.

Basic Facts Table

Lifespan20 to 45 Years
SizeAbout 10 inches
ColorsOlive Green and Bright Yellow
Habitat SizeEnclosed 20 gallons tank
Care LevelBeginner Level

Species Overview

The Pixie Frog has many common regional names. They are called Pixie Frogs because they belong to the Pyxicephalidae family. Other common names include African Bullfrog, which refers to the place of origin and the size of this frog. It has a very long lifespan and can remain alive for more than 4 decades. It is one of those species that can adapt to a variety of living conditions. The Pixie Frog can live in dry and wet savannah, tropical, subtropical regions, freshwater lakes, marshes, and pastures. They just need a little humidity in their habitat, and soft soil to dig burrows.

The Pixie Frog is one of the largest species of frog, both by size and weight. According to researchers, they are the third biggest and heaviest species. It is a carnivorous species that like to eat a variety of insects, and small animals alike. The Pixie Frog is also known for being friendly to humans. That means you can pick them with your hands and they won’t mind. But, before you can do that, you will have to build a strong bond with them. The more time you spend with them, the more comfortable your interaction with the Pixie Frog will become.

It is one of the few species of frogs that are available in pet shops. It is also one of those species that are easy to keep and breed in captivity. This makes them a perfect species even for those who are new to this hobby. As mentioned earlier, in their natural habitats, they can live for more than four decades. However, in captivity, they won’t last that long unless you take very good care of them.


The Pixie Frog or African Bullfrog is one of the largest species of frogs that you can get as a pet. It is a species that is known for its olive green and lemon-yellow skin. The males and females in this species are different in size and also display different colors. Male Pixie Frog is larger than the females. Sometimes, males are double the size of their female counterparts. The females have a heavier belly, and their skin is pale in comparison to the male Pixie Frog. When tadpoles emerge from the eggs, they only have a head and a tail. Their tail at this stage is longer, meanwhile, their head is shaped like sperm.

From this tadpole state, they morph into a legged tadpole with a tail. Slowly, this tail fades away as they gain size and weight. Their legs become stronger and they can quickly move and jump. After a few months, their tail completely goes away and they become a complete frog. At this stage, you can identify the males and females separately as they start showing the differences in their appearance. Once the frogs reach a mature age, these differences become clearer. Most females are about 5 to 6 inches long and wide, meanwhile, most males in this species are about 9 to 10 inches. But their size can increase based on their age.

The upper part of their bodies is different from their lower part, as the upper part or back of the frog contains slimy skin. Also, their back contains a lot of small bulb-like extensions. However, their lower part is smooth. The color in their lower part is also different from their back. The Pixie Frog has a whitish, yellow color on its belly. When a frog sits on its legs, you can easily see the lower part below its face. They have two large bulging eyes that provide them with a wide-angle of sight. The inner circle of the eyes is black, while the outer circle has multiple colors. 


This is a species of frog that is found in many countries throughout the African continent. It lives in those places that are near water bodies. For example, it lives in dry and wet savannas, near lakes and rivers, and woodlands. They are not found in desert regions of Africa as they cannot survive the hot conditions outside in those regions. The Pixie Frog spends a lot of its time on the ground and rarely visits the water. Mostly, they go to the water bodies for breeding. Its tadpoles cannot survive without water. The Pixie Frogs dig the soil near the water bodies and spend most of their day hiding in those holes. They come out of their holes mostly during the night and hunt. Its natural habitat is mostly full of insects, and animals that it eats. So, they have easy access to food throughout the year in their natural habitats.

Natural Habitat

It is an amphibious species, and its habitat consists of both land and water. But they don’t spend a lot of time in the water. It is also known for living underground for most of the year. They come out of their underground habitats after the rainfall. It is a species that is capable of living in various conditions. This makes it easy for you to create a habitat inside the tank for them. There are only a few things that you will have to maintain when you create a habitat for them, and these include the availability of water, humidity, and temperature.

Pixie Frog Lifespan

The Pixie Frog is a species that is known for its long lifespan. It can live for more than four decades in its natural habitat. According to researchers, this frog can live for more than 45 years. But inside the captivity, their lifespan depends on the type of care that you are providing them. If you are offering them the best care, you can expect their lifespan to be between 25 to 35 years. Meanwhile, if your care is mediocre, then you can expect a shorter lifespan of fewer than 25 years. With minimal care, this frog can live for about 15 to 20 years. For that reason, it is very important to learn about the proper ways to take care of this frog. So that you can extend its lifespan in your vivarium.

Habitat Setup

As mentioned earlier, the quality of your care determines the lifespan of Pixie Frogs, and the habitat setup and living conditions are a part of that care. So, you need to be very careful when creating a habitat for this species of frogs. There are a few things that can help you throughout this process of making a setup. Read below to know more about this.

Habitat Size

When creating a habitat for the Pixie Frogs, you need to start by selecting a tank or vivarium. There are a lot of sizes of the tanks available and you need to be very careful. You want to select a tank that is capable of housing a large frog. As you know, it can grow more than 10 inches in size. You need to select a tank that is big enough to accommodate the size of this frog. Most pet keepers use a smaller tank when these frogs are small and later change to a larger tank as the frog gets bigger. But this is not a sound strategy as you will have to work on creating the tank multiple times. For that reason, you should select a large tank from the start.

A 20 gallons capacity tank is considered big enough for the small frogs, but the larger ones may need an even bigger tank of up to 40 gallons. Also, if you want to add more than one frog per tank, you will have to select a larger tank. It is always a good idea to keep the number of frogs in mind when selecting a tank. You want to select a tank that can house all of your frogs, and is easy enough for you to clean and maintain. A very small tank would create a problem of overcrowding, meanwhile, a larger tank would be difficult to maintain.

Habitat Setup

After you are done with the selection of the right tank size, you will have to start working on creating a habitat inside that tank. As you know that they live in an arid environment with dry conditions. You need to create a habitat that offers them these conditions. You have two options to follow, you can create a partially aquatic habitat with one side being submerged in the water while the other side remains above the water. This type of habitat works for most amphibious species. But if you don’t want to have an aquatic habitat, you can just use the dry conditions to your advantage.

You can use a glass vivarium or aquarium type of tank. A 20 to 40 gallons tank would be enough as it can house multiple frogs and is comparatively easy to maintain and clean. You will have to decorate your tank to make sure it looks similar to their natural habitats. It is possible to do that by using different types of stone, wood, and other decorations. You can use leaves, compressed coconuts, and many other household items as the substrate for this species. You will have to use a lot of sandy soil in the bottom layer. So that they can comfortably play with it. If you do not add any sand or soil to the bottom, your frogs might end up scratching the surface below.

It is better to add small stones, and pebbles to the mix of sand and soil to make it look and feel more natural. Other important things that you can add to their tank include a water pot to provide them water. You will also have to add a temperature monitoring and controlling device. There are specific types of lights and ventilation systems that are available for vivarium that you can get from your local shops and online.


You should maintain the humidity of a Pixie Frog habitat between 70% to 80%. You can do that by spraying water in their habitat and keeping a water bowl inside the tank. Make sure to use a fluorescent light in the tank as it would allow the water to evaporate and will make the habitat more humid.


It is required that you maintain the temperature of their habitat to around 75 F. For this purpose, you can use a heater if you live in a cold region. It is important to maintain the temperature in their tank as they cannot regulate the temperature by themselves.

Tank Cleaning

It is also important that you periodically and properly clean their habitat. It is better to do the cleaning and changing of pots every day. If you don’t maintain proper hygienic conditions, there is a risk of infection and diseases that can kill your frogs.

Behavior and Temperament

The Pixie Frog is a peaceful, calm, and docile species of frog. They allow the humans to pet them. Also, you can take them out of their tank anytime you want. Just make sure that you lift them properly as they can be heavy. Use both of your hands while picking them up and placing them back in the tank. This frog species shows a nocturnal behavior pattern, which means you will find them sleeping during the day and active during the night. It is non-aggressive towards humans, but it is extremely aggressive towards other species of toads, and frogs. They even show aggression towards the members of their species as well. It is better to not put two males in the same tank to avoid any confrontation. However, you can pair one male with several females.

If you have a large tank where these frogs can establish boundaries, then it is better to use that to keep multiple frogs in the same tank. This species is known for making different noises for different purposes. They communicate through those noises. For example, they have a specific type of sound that they make during the mating season to attract females. Also, they have a different type of calling when they want to show aggression towards others. When multiple males are kept in the same tank, the largest and strongest males would fight for their spot in the tank. Also, they fight over breeding with the females during the breeding season. It is also known that in this species, male frogs protect the tadpoles and baby frogs.

Breeding Pixie Frog

The Pixie Frog has a very peculiar breeding habit. Unlike most other species of frogs that breed annually during the breeding seasons, they breed randomly. They don’t breed during a specific season, instead, whenever there is rainfall, they would come out and start the breeding process. Here is how to breed the Pixie Frog.

  • Put multiple females in a tank with males, it would help you increase the chances of success.
  • Induce the rainy season conditions by lowering the temperature and showering the tank using water.
  • Make sure that there is water available in the tank where females and males can mate and the tadpoles can live.
  • You will notice that the male hops on the back of the female and insemination occur. After that, the female lays eggs that hatch, and tadpoles come out. They have a sperm-like shape, with rounded heads and large tails.
  • Male protected tadpoles and when they develop legs they can move on the ground as well.
  • There is a possibility that breeding may occur continuously for a few weeks. Females are known for producing up to 3000 eggs per session. Many of those eggs don’t hatch and the ones that hatch, not all of them survive. You can increase your success rate by making sure that you offer them high-quality care. 

Diet of Pixie Frog

The diet of Pixie Frogs is carnivorous. They can eat anything that they can find, including insects, birds, animals, fish babies, and even other species of frogs. But inside the captivity, they don’t have access to all of those types of foods. So, you need to make sure that you feed them properly. You should feed them pinky mice, and insects in your habitat. Baby frogs also have the same type of diet as adults.

Diseases of Pixie Frog

The most common diseases that occur in Pixie Frog and other types of frogs are viral diseases. They are mostly caused by the parasitic virus in the food. Once these viruses enter the body of a frog, you will notice that your frog has become lazy, and it won’t eat properly. There are also other signs of diseases that you might notice such as your frogs’ behavior will change and it would act strangely. These diseases are preventable by making sure that you are feeding a healthy diet to your frogs.

Conclusion – Is Pixie Frog Suitable for Your Vivarium?

Yes, the Pixie Frog is a suitable choice for your vivarium. It is a type of exotic amphibian pet. It is not a very common choice but there are a lot of people who love having a frog. It is a rare species of frog that allows humans to pet. It is a docile, calm, and very peaceful pet. They just lay in your vivarium and spend most of their time hopping from one part to another. Also, they are intelligent and show different types of behaviors in different conditions, which makes things even more interesting. It is also one of those species that do not require much attention and even a new pet owner can learn to care about them. Based on these reasons, it can be said that it is a suitable choice for your vivarium.


Question: Is Pixie Frog a good pet?

Answer: Yes, the Pixie Frog is known as some of the best species of frogs to keep as a pet. This is because of their peaceful, docile, and playful nature. They allow humans to touch and pick them.

Question: How long does a Pixie Frog live?

Answer: The Pixie Frogs can live for more than four decades in their natural habitats. But inside the captivity, their lifespan depends on the type of care you provide them. With minimal care, they can live for about ten to fifteen years, with good care they can live for 25 years and with excellent care, they can live for more than three decades in captivity as well.

Question: Why won’t my Pixie Frog eat?

Answer: There can be several reasons behind this issue, including the fact that the food you are offering them is not good. Other reasons include loss of appetite due to diseases and stress. Make sure to provide them with the type of food that they prefer such as insects and small animals.

Question: How big can Pixie Frog get?

Answer: Their size depends on their gender. If you have a female, it can grow up to 6 inches, males, however, can grow up to 10 inches or more depending on the age.

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