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Name: Megophrys nasuta is commonly called the Malaysian Horned Frog in the hobby, although common names include Large horned frog, Bornean Horned Frog, and Horned Toad. These frogs are moderately easy to keep (as long as you can balance their ventilation and humidity needs), but can be very difficult to breed. Overall, these mostly brown to red frogs are relatively shy and have a loud, barking call. They have excellent camo, blending in well with the leaf litter of their native forest homes.
Recommended Vivarium Size: Housing adult Horned frogs can be tricky as females can reach over 5” and need a lot of space to move around. A 40 breeder is adequate with larger being even better for a male/female pair. Make sure the tank is at least 16" tall - any lower and your frogs will bump their "horns" on the top occasionally, resulting in a bald frog! Exo Terra's 36"x18"x18" tank is a great size for a pair, and provides fantastic cross ventilation. Solomon Island Leaf Frog substrate is suitable for this species with a water feature being optional but definitely appreciated - make sure to at least provide a large water bowl for soaking. The frogs will trample any live plants that you provide for them, so plants that grow on the background or artificial plants would be the way to go. These frogs love large cork tubes or rounded flats. These frogs should be provided with a 5.0 or UVB100 bulb.
Temperature: They prefer to be kept in the low to mid 70s. Additional heating is not recommended, as these frogs do not like it warm. If you can't keep them below 76F or so, reconsider keeping this species.
Humidity: Malaysian Horned Frogs can handle a wide range of humidity levels but prefer to stay higher than many other frogs. Eighty percent or higher is not going to cause harm to this species, as long as there is adequate ventilation. Automatic misting, using a MistKing or Exo Terra Monsoon, is a great option if you're unable to mist your horned frogs at least 2 times a week. Wet, stagnant conditions for long periods of time will kill this species, but you cannot allow them to dry out. Make sure to keep track of temperature and humidity with a digital thermometer and hygrometer.
Size: Adult Megophrys nasuta are some seriously big frogs, and there is a large size difference between males and females. An adult male may reach about 7.5cm / 3 inches SVL (snout to vent length). Females will be larger and bulkier than a male, and measure 13cm / 5.5 inches SVL. Juvenile Horned frogs will be about 1” long when they are sold at Josh’s Frogs. All reports state that this is a fairly quick growing species, and can reach maturation in 2 to 3 years.
Age: There is not any reliable data surrounding the average lifespan of Megophrys nasuta but like most other ground dwelling frogs they will most likely live for at least 5 years and probably longer with ideal care.
Feeding: Malaysian Horned Frogs are capable of eating crickets of varying sizes their whole lives. This can be supplemented with dubia roaches, Silkworms and Horn worms. At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our Horned Frogs primarily crickets and dubia roaches. Make sure any prey items are properly gutloaded with a quality insect food, and dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. These frogs are voracious eaters that grow quickly - providing a nutritious, complete diet is vital to their growth and development. These frogs also take to tong feeding really well. This is a great way to ensure your frogs are eating, while keeping loose insects out of the enclosure. Plus, it's fun!
Sexing: Sexing adult Megophrys nasuta is fairly straightforward once they’re older, but can be difficult on younger animals. Once the frogs are nearly mature they display obvious sexual differences. Females are about 60% larger than males, much more rotund, and have a larger head in relation to their body than the opposite sex. Males are smaller, more slender, and typically call when kept in a rain chamber set up. We do not expect captive bred Malaysian Leaf Frogs to be sexable when available at Josh's Frogs. Wild caught animals are nearly always male, as it's much easier to hunt noisy males down in the forest.
Color/Pattern: Megophrys nasuta are light brown on their backs with some having black spike-like protrusions on their flanks. Their throats are brick red or dark orange with mottling of either black or cream. Think fall leaves, and you've got a great idea what colors these frogs display. They may initially look drab (standing out in the wild results in being eaten!), but a cryptic pattern and bits of red and orange really give these frogs a unique, subdued appearance. Except when calling, these frogs do a great job blending in with leaf litter. Set them up in a large enclosure with a lot of leaf litter and watch them disappear!
Social Behavior: As with most frogs, Megophrys nasuta will be mostly solitary but can be kept in small groups with little aggression being displayed outside of the breeding season. We've had good luck housing 1.1 pairs and 2.1 trios together. Watch your animals carefully - the larger females can quickly hog any food.
Breeding: Megophrys nasuta will breed year round in small streams but in captivity they can be persuaded to breed when set up in an enclosure that has a rain chamber. The rain intervals should be set with longer bouts occurring at night and small “showers” occurring during the day. We settled on 72"x18"x18" tanks for breeding trios, which allows plenty of space for a large water feature. We settled on 72"x18"x18" custom tanks to house 2.1 trios for breeding attempts.Amplexus will happen sporadically but may not always result in a breeding event.
When a female lays eggs she will affix them to emergent structures or vegetation just below the water’s surface. The female lays the eggs (over 2400 in our first clutch) in a long, spread out clump. Initially, we failed to provide enough surface area for the female to deposit eggs on and she deposited eggs on top of eggs when the cork log was full. This resulted in most of the eggs becoming smothered by eggs laid on top of them, and a small hatch - only about 200 tadpoles.
Development of the eggs can be visible to the naked eye within 24 hours of the eggs being laid but very quickly becomes impossible to notice. In fact, the eggs don't really appear to change much for the first 4-6 days. The eggs develop very slowly and tadpoles are free swimming for almost 2 weeks. After this it can take anywhere from 4-7 months for the tadpoles to fully develop into froglets.
Tadpoles of this species have a unique mode of consumption. Their mouths are upturned and can only eat from the surface of the water, so only food that floats should be fed to them. At Josh's Frogs, we've had luck raising tadpoles primarily on our Tree Frog and Toad Tadpole Food. To prevent too much food from spoiling the water Corydaras Catfish can be introduced to eat any food that sinks to the bottom.
Natural Range: This species is native to southern Thailand (Yala Province) (Taylor 1962), throughout Peninsular Malaysia (Berry 1975, Dring 1979), Tioman Island, Singapore (Lim and Lim 1992, Leong 2000), Sumatra, Bintan, all parts of Borneo and the Natuna Islands. (IUCN). The animals present in the pet trade originate from Malaysia. Frogs often enter the country in rough shape, and it can be difficult to acclimate them to captivity. This is one of the big motivating factors behind our captive breeding attempts at Josh's Frogs.
History in the Hobby: This species was entirely represented by wild caught animals in the hobby up until recently. We're hoping to continue that trend by providing more bloodlines of this amazing anuran. Malaysian horned frogs have previously been considered difficult to keep, but this is largely due to the fragile nature of wild caught animals.
Links of Interest:
Reptiles article on Malaysian Horned Frogs
Malaysian Horned Frog Breeding
Josh's Frogs Malaysian Horned Frog Care Sheet
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I picked up a Malaysian Horned Froglet from Josh’s Frogs warehouse in Owosso MI about a month ago and I am beyond happy with my entire experience. Josh’s Frogs is in a league of their own, they are really doing something special here, it’s hard to put into words how great they are but I will try my best. First off they have a phone number you can call, they will answer or call you back for sure also you will be talking to a real human being that is knowledgeable, nice and very helpful, that alone is one thing no other online breeding company offers that I know of, you can also get ahold of them through email as well as live chat, I have used all 3 forms of communication. Anyway the most important thing, the Malaysian Horned Froglet (Megophrys Nasuta) has been healthy and happy since day one. This is one of my dream species of frog, one that I have always wanted as apart of my family. Most of the time pet stores/breeders who offer this species are offering wild caught or (field collected) animals, unfortunately if you are buying wild caught animals and not breeding them, you are contributing to the extinction of that species period. I do plan on breeding this species but I will be purchasing captive bred animals wherever and whenever possible, Josh’s Frogs breeds many different species along with their Captive Breeding Program which is another shining characteristic of their business. Josh’s also provides you with everything you need to care for the various species they offer, from a full care sheet to enclosures and supplies along with feeders they have it all. The only info that I have to add is if you are purchasing a Malaysian Horned froglet that is 1” inch or smaller I would recommend a small very simple enclosure, the froglet that I got was only about 5/8th’s of an inch when I got it, I have he/she in a large critter keeper with paper towel as substrate to avoid impaction, 3 medium to large leaves that curve in such a way that the frog can fit comfortably underneath for cover, too many leaves provides too many hiding spots for crickets/feeders and your froglet will have trouble catching them. Now here is a big secret when it comes to caring for a baby Malaysian Horned Froglet, for some reason it seems like their tongues are not fully developed or its not long at all at this age, I still have not seen my frogs tongue, he catches prey once it is in striking distance which is only about an inch or less, he leaps then grabs them with his mouth, babies do not shoot their tongues out like they can once they are older, another thing, I am feeding the 1/4 banded crickets that Josh’s offers, make sure you feed the smaller crickets ones that are small enough to fit between the length of your froglets eyes. If you are feeding crickets especially the very fast agile banded crickets, one of the most important tricks if you want your froglet to be successful during feeding time is to remove the back legs of the crickets, now this can be a frustrating task but I am telling you it is worth it, I do this by pouring about 6-8 crickets in a plastic bag along with vitamin powder supplements, I shake the bag up, lay the bag flat on the carpeting or table applying gentle pressure on the sides of the bag by using my thumb on one side of the bag and my middle finger on the other side, this makes it hard for the crickets inside to move, once you have a cricket trapped do not release the pressure then reach in with tweezers and remove the back legs, its hard because the crickets are so small they can be easily squished or ripped apart, you also have to be careful no other crickets escape while doing this, it definitely takes some practice but it can be done and it became easy for me by the 3rd feeding. My froglet went from catching maybe 3 crickets out of 10 to catching 90-100% of the crickets after removing the back legs. He barely grew before I assisted him in feeding, after assistance he has doubled in size in 2 weeks time and now he finally has that cute little potbelly. Another option if you have trouble with crickets is to feed very small mealworms or baby roaches, I did try Melanogaster fruit flies and my froglet would not eat those, I think they were too small and he seemed to extremely dislike when they crawled on him, I have yet to have success with tong feeding because he is scared of them but I hope to be able to do that once I move the frog into his adult enclosure which has cocoa fiber as substrate. Everything Josh’s recommends on their care sheet has been 100% accurate, there was a day when I was late turning on the air conditioning, temps got to 78 degrees for about 2 hrs, I immediately freaked out, checked the frog, he was fine but did seem a bit sleepy or sluggish so like Josh’s recommends I would not keep this species if you cannot maintain the temps at or below 76 degrees and like they say I have also experienced that this species is most comfortable at temps between 72-74 degrees, I keep my little friend at a constant 73 degrees. Overall I am extremely happy, I am so excited to finally have one of my dream frog species and Josh’s Frogs is by far my favorite breeding company hands down, they are top notch. I can’t wait to place my next order which I have already decided will be a Surinam Horned Frog. Thank you again Josh’s Frogs, I highly recommend their Malaysian Horned Froglets to anybody as long as you can put in a little bit of extra time and care, this species can be kept easily if you stick faithfully to a great care sheet like the one Josh’s provides.
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