The Ceratophryidae, also known as common horned frogs, are a family of frogs found in South America. It is a relatively small family with three extant genera and 12 species.[1][2][3] However, fossils of the giant Beelzebufo from Cretaceous Madagascar suggest the taxon may have once ranged throughout the prehistoric supercontinent of Gondwana.[4]

Temporal range: Late CretaceousHolocene, 93.60–0 Ma
Argentine Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ornata)1.JPG
Ceratophrys ornata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Clade: Hyloidea
Family: Ceratophryidae
Tschudi, 1838

3 extant genera, see text.

Despite the common name, not all species in the family have the horn-like projections at the eyes.[citation needed] They have a relatively large head with big mouth, and they are ambush predators able to consume large prey, including lizards, other frogs, and small mammals. They inhabit arid areas and are seasonal breeders, depositing many small eggs in aquatic habitats. Tadpoles are free-living and carnivorous (Ceratophrys and Lepidobatrachus) or grazers (Chacophrys).[5]

Some species (especially from the genera Ceratophrys and Lepidobatrachus) are popular in herpetoculture.[citation needed]


Placement of this clade has varied considerably over time, having been a subfamily within the Leptodactylidae for a long while. Later on, it has been raised to family level, either broadly defined, including the Telmatobiidae and Batrachylidae (as subfamilies Telmatobiinae and Batrachylinae, respectively[5]), or as now is commonly accepted, as a smaller family with three genera.[1][2][3]


The extant genera are:[1][2]

In addition, a number of fossil taxa are included in this family, at least provisionally:[3][6]


  1. ^ a b c Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Ceratophryidae Tschudi, 1838". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Ceratophryidae". AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. 2014. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Blackburn, D.C. & Wake, D.B. (2011). "Class Amphibia Gray, 1825. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3148: 39–55.
  4. ^ Dybas, Cheryl (2008-02-18). "Scientists Discover 'Giant Fossil Frog from Hell'". Press Release 08-025. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  5. ^ a b Vitt, Laurie J. & Caldwell, Janalee P. (2014). Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles (4th ed.). Academic Press. pp. 496–497.
  6. ^ Martín, C. & Sanchiz, B. (2014). "Lisanfos KMS. Version 1.2. Online reference accessible at www.lisanfos.mncn.csic.es/". Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN-CSIC, Madrid (Spain). Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.