What do frogs eat?
Frogs are one of the carnivore amphibians that can survive inside or outside the water, it has a short body with no tail, and it is the reason why it makes a part of the “Anura” group, which literally means “without tail” in ancient Greek.
Frogs are known by: their smooth and permeable skin which they can breathe and drink through, by their sticky long tongue, and by their survival techniques such as camouflages or avoiding predators by carrying poison on their skin etc…
Frogs are also considered one of the ancient creatures that survived many environment changes in the world, these evolutionary creatures have been around since before the dinosaurs. By using their survival tactics, they managed to explode thousands of species on almost every place in the world each one is unique.
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What kind of food Frogs eat?
Frogs are predators that can eat almost anything that comes in their way in the wild, and almost any creature that fits in their mouth like: Crickets, Minnows, Hornworms, Waxworms, slugs, Snails, Locust, Grasshoppers, Blood worms, Black worms, Wingless fruit flies, Brine shrimp, Mealworms, Small snakes, baby turtles, Fuzzy mice (for big sized frogs)…
However, it is also depending on their species, activity level, sizes and age, for example small frogs eat smaller insects like ants, spiders, Wingless fruit flies, etc…
while medium and bigger sized frogs, prefer to eat big insects like worms and crickets…
In contrast there are also some frogs that are very big in size that may eat small snakes, butterflies, rats, baby turtles or even the smaller size of their own species.
And on another level, baby frogs that are under the age of 16 weeks are called tadpoles, and they eat the algae of the lake in which they live. But if they run out of food, they can even swallow up their fellow tadpole.
How do frogs eat?
Most frogs hide and wait for their prey to approach them, then they snatch it by using their sticky long tongue, a frog’s tongue is one third of its body length and it is covered with some of the stickiest saliva on earth, which make it can carry 1.4 times their own body weight.
The frog’s tongue is attached to the front of its mouth, so it allows it to launch almost the whole tongue out of its mouth and snatch its prey.
It is also super-fast. For example, a frog can snatch an insect with its tongue, and pull it back into its mouth in 0.07 seconds, which is five times faster than the human eye can blink, after that the frog swallow it without chewing, because it does not have teeth.
While swallowing the prey, the frog's eyes slide into the bones of the skull to push the food down the throat.
Their tongue is very soft and super flexible, and it can wrap itself around its victim and slithering it with the super sticky saliva.
As for drinking, frogs use their smooth skin and absorb water through it, because it is so thin and permeable. That's why frogs prefer to live in a hydrated environment and always be surrounded by water.
How often frogs eat?
Frog’s species can be so different from each other. Each one has its unique food system.
For example, some species have a very high metabolism, and considered as High-energy frogs, in this case they are always in the need of live insects once or even twice a day.
There are other frogs called Medium-energy frogs, these ones need to eat once every three days.
On the other hand, there are some other species which can eat only once or twice a week. Like some Larger frogs that should eat less often. And as we mentioned earlier these big sized frogs can eat rats, small snakes, baby turtles or even the smaller version of their own species.
And as for tadpoles, like High-energy frogs, they need to eat once to twice every day, because they need more nutrition in order to grow and become adult frogs, and then they start eating small insects.
So, the food schedule of frogs is depending on the frog’s age, species, and its activity level.
● In case you are thinking of bringing a frog as a pet to your house, you must know first some important rules concerning the proper way to feed it, and to keep it healthy.
It is also important to provide an aquarium with enough space in order to let your frog move easily and stay healthy and fit.
What can you feed your pet frog?
The pet’s diet can be a little different from the wild frog’s diet. Because, in order to keep it as healthy as possible, you must be more particular about what to feed it.
As we mentioned earlier each species and each size of frogs has a specific nutritional system. However, if you have a pet frog, you should provide variation in its diet by feeding it different preys, one type of insect is not going to be enough.
So, in general this is what you can feed your frog:
- Crickets: they are excellent for any size of frogs, and they are really essential for your pet frog’s diet. That is because they are so healthy and full of many nutrients, Vitamin “D3” (it can help protecting your frog from the Metabolic Bone Disease), vitamin “A” (which is really important for frog’s health, since the frog’s body cannot produce this vitamin by itself), and vitamin “B12”. Adding to that, crickets are easy to raise in your house in order to feed them alive to your frog.
- Small snakes, baby turtles, Fuzzy mice: only large species of frogs can eat this kind of food such as “African bullfrogs”.
- Mealworms: they are really healthy and full of protein and Vitamin “D3”, which helps the frog to gain energy, and it is easy to raise at home.
- Brine shrimp: will be suitable for aquatic frogs.
- Blood worms, Black worms: like with other worms these kinds are also healthy for frogs, and it is considered like snacks.
- Locusts: contains a high percentage of protein, dry matter, minerals and vitamins including Vitamin “D3”, and it is really good for prey variation.
- Grasshoppers: contains a high percentage of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and dietary fibre.
- Snails and slugs: these are an important source of essential fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and are a rich of vitamins A, E, K, and B12.
- Hornworms, Waxworms: super healthy snacks contains high percentage of protein, fats, and fibre.
- Minnows: it is healthy and helps to make a variation in the frog’s diet.
- Wingless fruit flies: wingless fruit Flies are one of the favourite feeder insects for a variety of exotic pets including frogs, especially for baby frogs, because of their small size.
But remember, the most important thing, is that you must always feed your frog only alive insects or other alive creatures according to the frog species, because they will not consider dead bugs as something they can eat.
In some rare cases frog pets can be offered occasionally frozen mice. But in the wild, alive moving preys are generally more accepted than dead preys.
Finally, your frog must have permanent access to the water, as mentioned earlier, frogs drink by absorbing water through their permeable skin, so they must stay in a hydrated place all the time.
How much and how often you can feed your pet frog?
What you do not know about frogs, is that frogs can grow too fast and become obese if they were overfed, especially if their activity level is low.
So, overfeeding is really dangerous for their health and can make them very sick.
Therefore, in order to keep your frog healthy, it is really necessary not to feed it multiple times per day, and feed it small quantities every time.
For example, if you have an adult frog, you may feed it around 5 crickets or other insects 2 to 3 times per week, however tadpoles must be fed once or twice every day.
If you want to feed your pet frog remember using only food that is smaller than its head, and it is preferable to make sure that the Prey is even smaller than the distance between the frog’s eyes, otherwise your frog will be at risk of suffocation.
In addition to that, your frog’s diet is considered incomplete without big amounts of fresh clean dechlorinated water, it is important to keep the humidity up.
Does your pet frog need any supplements?
Unfortunately, providing frog’s exact natural diet in the wild is really difficult.
So, if you want your frog to be healthy, you need to add some supplements to your pet’s food before feeding.
To avoid many diseases including Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which is the most common, you must dust food with some calcium supplementation powder before feeding, which is going to minimize the chances of this disease.
Metabolic Bone Disease can be caused also by the absence of Vitamin “D3”. So, calcium and Vitamin “D3” are both important to protect your frog from this disease. This vitamin is available in crickets, locusts, and mealworms…
It is also important to make sure that your frog pet will get enough Vitamin “A” in its food, because frog’s body cannot produce this vitamin on its own. (Crickets contain this vitamin as well)
You must also make sure to vary food for your frog, so it can get enough of Vitamin “B12”, “B6” and other nutrients that your frog need in a small portion to be healthier.
How to feed your pet frog?
To feed your frog you need: a small box, frog’s food (crickets or other insects for example), and calcium powder.
First, you put the selected food in the box, then you put calcium powder (an enough quantity to cover the food), after that you close the box and start shaking it gently, when you will open the box you will notice that the food is now fully dusted with the calcium supplementation powder.
Now after the food is ready for your pet, all you have to do is pour it one prey at a time in your frog’s aquarium, and do not throw the next one until the first prey was eaten. This method will make you able to notice if your frog is ill or if it is losing its appetite.
After feeding, do not forget to remove any leftovers or preys that was not eaten from the aquarium.
What frogs cannot eat?
In order to feed a frog, there are many varieties and choices, but unfortunately there is also a large list of forbidden types of food that frogs cannot eat.
● Human food: Frogs cannot eat any human foods. Be cause most of human food contains spices, seasonings and even butter. This might be really dangerous to a frog.
● Fruits, Vegetables: Adult frogs are completely carnivorous. It means that you should not feed your frog anything else other than alive insects or other alive creatures according to their species, and definitely you must not feed them fruits or vegetables because it causes death in the next few days if the frog was left without treatment.
●Raw or cooked meat: chasing down cows, sheep, chickens… this is not part of frog’s natural diet. Also, feeding your frog raw meat or chicken comes with high risk of food poisoning.
● Wild-caught bugs: You also should not feed your frog any bugs you catch inside or outside the house, because it could contain a lot of diseases and germs, which might be a reason behind the illness of your frog really.
●Food made for other animals: Food made for other animals could contain harmful additives and it can cause choking problem for your frog
●Prey larger than the distance between the frog’s Eyes: if the food is larger than the distance between the frog’s eyes it will cause choking hazard for your frog.
●The same food every time: you must vary your frog’s diet, and try not to feed it the same type of food every time, even if it is the best choice among the available food types, in order to make your frog healthier.
You might be surprised to learn that frogs eat insects, spiders, worms, small fish and tadpoles.
The frog’s diet is determined by the type of habitat they live in as well as their size. These include aquatic environments like lakes or ponds where they can find smaller prey such as mosquito larvae or larger creatures like mice and crickets on land if there are no water sources nearby.
It's a good thing these amphibians have excellent vision because most of what they consume is less than an inch long!
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