What do Frogs & Toads Eat?

By Snaketracks / September 24, 2020
what do frogs eat
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Is A Toad’s Diet The Same As A Frog’s Diet?

Both frogs and toads have similar feeding habits. In fact, toads are frogs. They are both carnivorous which means that they will eat meat. They eat insects that are readily available in the region of the world they live in.

Aquatic frogs eat brine shrimp and feeder fish.   However, some are omnivores and enjoy eating fruits as well.

Both look after alive prey: most will starve before eating a dead insect or animal. Another similarity is that frogs and toads tend to swallow their food whole.

Quick Reference Section

Some frogs have teeth called maxillary or vomerine teeth that help them hold the prey still. These teeth are only on the roof of the mouth and do not function for chewing capacities; instead, toads do not have teeth at all.

Since food is not masticated or chewed, the size of the prey depends on the size of the animal: small to medium-sized frogs eat insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths, and dragonflies.

Larger frogs will eat larger insects like grasshoppers and worms.  Some large frogs will even eat small snakes, mice, baby turtles, and even other smaller frogs!

Do toads and frogs eat mosquitos?

African bullfrog in the mud with open mouth
African bullfrog in the mud with open mouth

When it comes to mosquito control, while toads and frogs don’t typically eat mosquitos, there are three species of North American tadpoles that feed on mosquito larvae:  Spadefoot toad, Green tree frog, and Giant tree frog.

So if you have a swimming pool or live in or around any body of water and have mosquito problems, you might consider these natural mosquito population control aids.

What do toad/frog tadpoles eat?

Most tadpoles, including those from toads, feed on plant matter and algae. Some of them eat the yolk of their egg before they hatch. This is the only stage in which a toad doesn’t prefer to eat live prey. Tadpoles turn into carnivores when they grow legs and their tail begins to disappear.

What do baby toads/frogs eat?

amazon milk frogs (Gold Mission frog)
amazon milk frogs (Gold Mission frog)

Baby frogs and toads eat mostly the same thing adult individuals do but on a smaller scale.

If you have a baby toad or frog as a pet,  good feeding options are pinhead crickets,  mealworms, grubs, and wax worms.

What do toads/frogs eat in the wild?

Red Eyed Tree Frog hanging on purple flower
Red Eyed Tree Frog hanging on purple flower

As a general rule, a toad/frog can eat whatever it can fit into its mouth and in the wild, they are opportunistic feeders—eating whatever comes their way in the form of insects of any shape and size.

  • Toads and frogs are ambush predators. They take on a “lay and wait” approach to catching their dinner.

Typically, when small, they catch flies and ants, then when they turn adult they start searching for bigger animals and eggs. Slugs, snails, and even spiders are other popular prey. Vertebrate animals such as tiny mice and lizards can even be eaten by wild toads and frogs that are very big.

What do toads/frogs eat in captivity?

Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina Orientalis)
Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina Orientalis)
  • Live crickets (preferably gut-loaded and dusted with calcium and vitamins).
  • Live mealworms or wax worms
  • Depending on the species, they might eat fruits and vegetables (cut into small pieces).

Although you might feel tempted to collect wild insects outside to feed your pet amphibian, there is always a danger of introducing diseases or pesticides. In the end, it might be more convenient to obtain crickets and other feeder insects bred specifically for amphibian- and reptile keepers.

It is advisable to gut load feeding insects using Rep-Cal SRP00200.

  • Because the supplements come in powder form, it will cover the feeder insects in a thin layer. Don’t overdo it with the powder – add just enough to coat the feeders in a thin layer of powder.

Do toads and frogs drink water?

Close up of Green fire bellied toads eyes
Close up of Green fire bellied toads eyes

Toads and frogs do not drink water but absorb it through their skins.

  • Make sure they can easily get into and out of the bowl.
  • The water must be changed daily to prevent bacterial contamination which would cause your pet to become ill.
  • The water must be dechlorinated—tap water could poison them.
  • Either leave the water standing for 24 hours, preferably with an airstone bubbling through it, or use a water de-chlorinator (the same type used for aquarium fish).

How much and when to feed your pet amphibian:

The exact feeding schedule and amount for your frog/toad depends on your species, age, and activity level.

Just like humans, frogs and toads can become obese if overfed. So, be careful about feeding them. Frogs and toads are prone to eat whatever is in front of them whether they are hungry or not – they will just keep eating if it is there. So be careful as this can make your frog seriously ill.

 It’s important to feed your frog/toad the right amount to keep your pet healthy and fit.

  • High-energy frogs and toads (such as dwarf frogs and young froglets should have frequent access to food. Feed young frogs and high-energy frogs every day or even twice a day. This might mean leaving a bit of food, such as fruits or veggies, in the tank for the insects to eat.
  • Medium-energy frogs and toads should be fed every other day to every third day. In general, they should be fed about five crickets per meal. Ensure that you feed enough that your frog/toad doesn’t finish eating within seconds, but don’t feed so much that you’re seeing crickets the next morning!
  • Despite their size, larger frogs and toads should be fed less often. The large mouse-eating frogs might eat as infrequently as once per week or once every other week.
  • Feeding times will 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!

How do frogs eat?

The process of how frogs eat is slightly different depending on the species. For example, some frogs have tongues and some don’t. Some use their sticky tongues to catch their prey.

The video below shows frogs catching insects in slow motion.

Amazing Slo-Mo Video Shows How Frogs Eat:

Sometimes the feeding reflex of a frog or a toad 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.

How do frogs swallow?

Frogs use their eyeballs to swallow. Frogs eat their prey whole and their eyeballs sink into their mouth and push the food down into their throat.

Conclusion

Toads and frogs can eat anything they can easily fit in their mouth.  Besides live insects, some do also love to feed on fruits and vegetables and it has been noticed that they have a special craving of bananas. Some large frogs will also eat small rodents and can be fed with pinky mouses (live) once in a while.

Before you buy a pet toad or frog, make sure you will be ready to offer a steady supply of fresh prey, as they both eat live prey.  It is also advisable to sprinkle your pet food with calcium and vitamin supplement.

More About Frogs & Toads

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