What Do Frogs Eat?

What do frogs eat? Frogs will eat flies, crickets, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, all sorts of insects and if there happens to be a smaller frog to hand, it will probably eat that too.  They will also eat small invertebrates, ants and forest mites.  Frogs in their adult stages are carnivorous.  Frogs also tend to be stimulated to eat by movement, and so their diet is mostly of live prey.  Frogs also like to eat snails, termites and earthworms.  They tend to eat what is available rather than being picky about what they eat.  

Some larger frogs will eat mice and small snakes, rodents and fledgling birds - but these frogs are being quite ambitious!

In their natural habitats, when frogs locate prey, it is usually studied for a short few seconds.  The frog may raise its front body up a bit in order to get a better angle to attack the prey and sometimes it will wiggle it toes while assessing the prey.  If the prey is standing still, the frog will wait.  Then, when the prey makes any movement at all, the frog will react.  Usually, though it depends of the type of frog that it is and what sort of tongue it has, but with most frogs, the tongue is located towards the front of the mouth, the tongue will be thrust out and as it is covered in a sticky mucus, the prey will be stuck to the tongue and eaten by the frog.     This all happens very quickly when a frog wants to eat and sometimes the feeding reflex of a frog is so strong that it will attempt to eat the prey without first checking to see if it is something that it should be eating, or not.  So if it tries to eat something and finds it disgusting and unpalatable, it will spit it out or regurgitate it later.

If you intend keeping frogs as pets they will need a healthy diet - one that is nutritious and well-balanced.  It is also very important that the right size of food and amount of food is given to your frog at the right time.

When a frog is in the water, it is highly sensitive to movement around it, and this movement stimulates feeding, and so it is better that the prey offered to the frog (and other amphibians) is live.    

  • The terrestrial amphibian's tongue is sticky and is located at the front of it's mouth, and so it is able to shoot it's tongue out quickly to catch it's prey on the sticky tongue.
  • Tree frogs and other amphibians stalk their prey and actively seek it.  Other frogs will use their camouflage skills and lay in wait undetected until their unsuspecting prey passes their way and then strike!

Sometimes, it is hard to know exactly how much food a frog should eat, and so when considering what do frogs eat, we also need to know, how much do frogs eat.  Younger frogs, froglets, generally would need food every day while they are growing.  This is a general rule really.  In a way it's similar to babies growing! Young babies need regular food offered thoughout the day and night, and so with baby frogs, they need to have a regular supply of food. 

As the frog gets older and more mature, it would probably need food offered to it a few times a week.  It's always a good idea to dust food with vitamins to make sure the frogs are getting a good nutritional supply.  Some food is more nutritionally beneficial than other types of food.  Also, frogs can vary in their appetites, again a bit like people, and some some will have better appetites than others.  You can keep an eye on your frog to see if it is thriving on the diet being provided to it.  If it starts to lose weight or is not interested in food, then you could take measures to ensure that the frog is keeping healthy and if concerned maybe take your amphibian to the vet for a quick check-up.  Keeping the frog's environment clean is vital to the health of your pet frog and will help in keeping any ilnesses away from your frog.  

Frogs are unable to produce vitamin A by themselves, and so they need this from their food.  To make sure that a pet frog has enough vitamin A in its diet, it is probably a good idea to feed it a live insect that has itself been feeding for over 24 hours on 'gut-loaded' substance - eg  fruit, vegetables and cereals.  This means that the insect is loaded with good, nutritious substance and therefore when the frog eats the insect, it will benefit from all the goodness that was within the insect.  

A Cane Toad

What Do Frogs Eat...

Live insects and dead insects can be bought from your local petshop

  • You can also feed your frog spiders, beetles and grasshoppers. It is really important that you give your frog or other amphibian food that has not been sprayed with insecticides.
  • Feeding times will obviously vary from species to species - a nocturnal species would probably enjoy something to eat when it wakes - nothing like a good breakfast to set you up for the day!

Depending on the size of the species will indicate how often it should be fed.  A small species will require probably daily feeding, a medium-sized species will require feeding maybe three or four times a week and a large species less than that.

Tiny, tiny frogs can have smaller food such as baby crickets and little flightless flies.    I read somewhere also that aphids have been fed to really small frogs successfully, which of course could be found in your garden and are often found on rose bushes.

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