3 Cool Facts about Pixie Frogs

Learn three cool facts about pixie frogs from reptile and amphibian expert Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.

Pixie Frogs as pets are very, very popular these days. It’s kind of a joke. The Pixie name actually comes from the Latin name of the frog, which is Pyxichephalus, which means small-headed. These are large bodied frogs. Pixie Frogs, or the South American Bullfrog, are actually the second largest frog in the world, both species coming from Africa. The Goliath Frog being the biggest. It’s really biggest because of its long legs. When you get to the girth, Pixie Frogs really are some of the biggest frogs on the planet.

I had the privilege of seeing these animals in the wild in the Kalahari Desert, which is a really strange place to see a frog. I was in Botswana and there was a shrinking pool there. And it was amazing to see them filled with these adult frogs all vying for territory, and really trying to stay alive. As in that area of the world, we see two seasons. It rains six months of the year, like someone turned the faucet on. The water just comes down and it floods. And then for six months, the water gets turned off up in the sky and it dries up. We’ve all seen those videos of animals migrating to try to get to the next water hole.

Well, Pixie Frogs, because of their small legs and heavy bodies, have no chance of doing that and they have to stay where they are. So, nature gave them a bunch of reasons to develop mechanisms to escape the heat. When the pool dries up, the Pixie Frog actually digs down under the ground and lives for about three months in a cocoon-like state. It secretes a gelatinous substance off its back and cocoons itself in, really, a case of water. It lives in there in kind of a suspended animation until the rains come again and it pops up on the ground and starts another life cycle.

So, the Pixie Frog, in the wild, is really an incredible creature that has adapted in one of the most inhospitable places on the earth. It’s amazing that an amphibian, which means water, can live in such a place, but the Pixie Frog has done it. African Pixies, or the South African Bullfrog.