While those cute little dart frogs make for adorable miniature pets, what if you want a whopper amphibian to fill your tank? There are plenty of pet frogs out there that can grow to unimaginable sizes.
What are some of the biggest pet frogs you can own?
From the four inch Amazon milk frog to the ten inch goliath frog, a handful of different frog species make great pets. Giant frog species tend to require larger living spaces and not all large frogs can be kept as pets due to their vulnerability status.
We’ll review nine of the biggest pet frogs that pet lovers tend to own including the largest one on the market. Additionally, we’ll mention a few large toad species that are favorites among amphibian pet owners and some giant wild frogs that are better off in their natural habitat rather than captivity.
What Is the Biggest Frog You Can Own?
Of all the pet frogs, the goliath frog is the largest one known to exist. Topping out at thirteen inches and up to seven pounds, these behemoths are native to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea rivers
These amphibians are not for the amateur frog owner. They require a specific environment to thrive including enough space to be comfortable. They typically eat all kinds of insects but can also dine on smaller amphibians and reptiles as well.
Goliath frogs can live up to twenty years in captivity if well cared for. If you think you’re ready for the challenge, you better be willing to pay a lot for these frogs which typically cost around $500.
More Big Pet Frogs
These next eight frogs may not be as giant as the goliath frog but they are still quite large compared to the average two to three inches that most frogs attain.
1. Amazon Milk Frog
One of the smaller species on our large pet list, the Amazon milk frog can grow up to four inches long. Amazon milk frogs are one of the biggest tree frog species – most tree frogs don’t grow larger than two inches.
Also called the panda bear tree frog because of its black and white coloring, Amazon tree frogs are great for beginners since they are very easy to care for. Typically, a twenty gallon tank is enough space for Amazon milk frogs to thrive and they can live up to ten years as pets.
2. American Bullfrog
At eight inches long, the American bullfrog is not only one of the most common large frogs to find in nature in America, but they also make fantastic pets. Since American bullfrogs are prone to obesity and cannibalism and need a special semi-aquatic enclosure, this species is more appropriate for advanced amphibian caretakers.
However, American bullfrogs make rewarding pets. They are very vocal and snack on live insects as well as small mammals and other amphibians. These frogs have very powerful back legs so be careful when handling them as you might find they’ll easily jump out of your hands up to six feet away!
3. Pixie Frog
The pixie frog is actually another species of bullfrog known as the African giant bullfrog. They can grow larger than their American cousins, topping out at ten inches long, making them the second largest pet frog after the goliath frog.
Pixie frogs can live up to twenty-five years and tend to thrive as solitary creatures. Since pixie frogs are native to the African jungle, they require a high humidity environment and temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s degrees Fahrenheit.
Be aware that if you try to house two together, you may end up with only one in the morning as they are cannibalistic!
4. White Lipped Tree Frog
White lipped tree frogs are distinguished by the signature creamy white stripe on their lower jaw and can reach up to six inches in length. They can live up to fifteen years in captivity and are simple to take care of.
Since they are arboreal, a vertical tank with plenty of branches to climb is best for the white lipped tree frog. One of the features that make these little amphibians so unique is their ability to sound like other animals. During mating season, they will bark like a dog, and when they are startled, they tend to meow like a cat.
You can check out the barking croak of the white lipped tree frog in the video above (and don’t forget to turn your sound on!)
5. Gladiator Tree Frog
At four inches long, the gladiator tree frog may seem on the small side, but for a tree frog, four inches is pretty big. Native to Central and South American rainforests, gladiator tree frogs are excellent climbers with handy suction cups on their digits.
A vertical enclosure is best for this species with lots of branches to climb. Unfortunately, gladiator tree frogs are not long lived compared to other large frog species. In the wild, they only live for about a year, but in captivity, they may be able to survive for a little bit longer.
6. Pacman Frog
Pacman frogs get their name from their large mouths and the tendency to eat everything in sight. Although most pet stores sell baby Pacman frogs no bigger than a quarter, they won’t stay that small for long. Pacman frogs can usually grow to be seven inches in length.
These frogs love to burrow in the substrate and can live up to fifteen years in an optimal environment. Get ready to buy a lot of food for your Pacman frog because these amphibians are voracious eaters and will even consume shed-dead skin if left in their enclosure!
7. White’s Tree Frog
Also known as the dumpy tree frog, White’s tree frog can grow up to five inches long and are very social, preferring to live in groups. Their beautiful soft green coloring can sometimes contain gold or blue hues.
White’s tree frogs are a very hardy species and don’t require any specialized environment as long as they have enough space. They typically live for ten years in captivity but can live up to twenty and are great for beginner frog owners.
8. Cuban Tree Frog
At six inches long, the Cuban tree frog is the largest tree frog in America. They are easy to maintain and make great beginner pet frogs. They thrive in tall tanks equipped with plenty of places to climb since they are used to living in trees in their native environment.
Be aware that Cuban tree frogs are nocturnal and tend to emit loud noises in the middle of the night similar to a dog barking. If you aren’t thrilled by the prospect of waking up at 2 am to your frog singing to you, you may want to consider a different species.
What Are Some Big Pet Toads?
Like frogs, there are also some giant toad species that are kept as pets although beware because some of these may be a bit more than most beginners can handle!
1. Smooth Sided Toad
Unlike most toads which are known for their bumpy skin, smooth sided toads are aptly named. These toads can grow up to nine inches long and can live up to ten years in captivity. They typically feed on insects like cockroaches and worms and don’t require much specialized care.
Smooth sided toads can make great beginner pets for those who want a large amphibian and are just getting their feet wet in the world of frogs and toads.
2. Cane Toad
Cane toads are one of the most popular pet toads and can grow to nine inches in length. Cane toads are also voracious eaters and will consume large amounts of insects and worms.
These amphibians can easily become obese, so it is important to watch how much they eat. Cane toads also secrete a poison through their skin that can make you sick, so it is advisable to avoid handling them if at all possible.
What Are Some Large Wild Frogs?
Not all large frogs can be kept as pets. In fact, there are a few species that are larger than some of the pet frogs listed above; however, mostly due to their scarcity and status as endangered or threatened species, these frogs are better off staying in nature.
Chilean Giant Frog
Also known as the helmeted water frog, Chilean giant frogs can grow in excess of twelve inches long and are semi-aquatic, often found in ponds and rivers. Unfortunately, the Chilean giant frog is considered a vulnerable species because it is commonly hunted as a source of meat due to its large size.
Lake Junin Frog
Lake Junin frogs are unique in that they are considered endemic (only found in one place) to Lake Junin, Peru. Despite reaching lengths of seven inches, this frog is not large enough to fight the fact that it is critically endangered. Its lake habitat is a source of mining and the Lake Junin frog’s home has become an area in need of conservation.
Mountain Chicken Frog
The mountain chicken frog can reach up to eight inches in length and weigh up to two pounds. Like the Chilean giant frog, the mountain chicken frog is also famously hunted for its meat. Although not difficult to rear in captivity, the mountain chicken frog is critically endangered so it is not a species you would find in the pet trade.
Surinam Horned Frog
The Surinam horned frog is another giant wild frog reaching up to eight inches in length. It is easily recognizable by the horn like projections above its eyes and the wide mouth that rivals that of the Pacman frog. This species is native to South America and not typically held in captivity.
Smoky Jungle Frog
Smoky jungle frogs can grow up to seven inches long and are typically found near the water’s edge in South America. If a smoky jungle frog is threatened, it will stand on all four of its legs and inflate its body to appear large than it is. One of the biggest reasons why it’s not a typical pet is the loud shriek it makes when it becomes irritated.
Blyth’s River Frog
Blyth’s river frog is the largest frog found in Asia, measuring over ten inches in length. Like some of its large river frog cousins, it too is commonly hunted for its meat. Blyth’s river frog belongs among a family of fanged frogs, so called for the lower jaw bone projections that pop up like lower fangs.
There are lots of amphibians out there that make great pets, but why go small when you can go big?
From the goliath frog and American bullfrog for the more advanced pet keepers to the Amazon milk frog and white lipped tree frog great for beginners, there are plenty of giant frogs for all kinds of amphibian lovers.