- Frogs are normally carnivorous. However, there are some frogs that are herbivorous! A good example is Izecksohn's Brazilian Treefrog (Hyla truncata). This small Brazilian treefrog eats brightly coloured fruits and then later excretes the seeds (it is thought that this frog is instrumental in aiding seed dispersal for the fruit plants it eats).
- Frogs swallow their food whole - so that they are only limited by the size of their mouth (that is, frogs do not chew their food, but swallow it whole).
- Frogs normally eat insects, worms, spiders, and centipedes, although large frogs may eat mice or small snakes. The important thing for keeping frogs is that they don't normally eat dead insects. You need to provide them with insects which are at least still struggling. In order to catch insects, a suggestion is to rig up a low wattage bulb over a funnel to attract insects and then drop them into a frog aquarium.
For captive frogs, mealy worms are a favourite (you can normally get these from pet shops and feed them on flour, oatbran and/or unprocessed bran) - but make sure they're not too big for your frog!). You might also add some carrots to moisten the feed a little (potatoes, apples etc. will tend to make the feed too moist and encourage mites). However, you should note that there are a few problems with using mealworms as a food item:
- they have no calcium
- they are mostly fat
- they may cause constipation in smaller frogs
It is best to only use mealworms for frogs larger than 5cm and to coat them with vitamins (get this in powder form from your pet store) before feeding them to frogs.
- Frogs don't drink, but absorb water from their surroundings through their skin (by osmosis).
- A frog's tongue is covered with mucus so that prey sticks.
- A frog often retracts its eyes when it swallows food (normally one at a time) to force food down its throat.
- For small species of frogs, fruit flies may be used as feed. Also, a dish of mosquito larvae may provide small frogs feed as the mosquitoes emerge.
- Don't feed your frogs insects which have been sprayed with insecticide (it can kill them). This is especially important to keep in mind with large cockroaches. They move considerable distances, picking up insecticides at every other house and store chemicals in their bodies without ill effect (even if you don't use baits other people nearby may!).
- Don't mix small frogs with large frogs since the large may eat the small.
- Don't mix small mammals, birds, snakes or any other frog with an adult horned frog (Ceratophrys ornata):
The horned frog is even thought to be cannabilistic! It comes from South America and is almost the girth of a large dinner plate and is a mean frog. It lies in wait for prey, half buried, and then jumps out to gobble down whatever has the misfortune to come by.
- When frogs eat something that is poisonous or otherwise bad for them, they can throw up their entire stomach. That is, the stomach actually protrudes through their mouth and they wipe it with their right front leg.
Why the right front leg? The stomach of frogs is slightly towards their left side. When the stomach is ejected, it pulls to the right (since the membranes holding the stomach in place are shorter on that side). Since the right front leg can reach the stomach (and the left can't), frogs use their right leg to wipe the stomach and get rid of whatever nasty material is disturbing them.
- Of course, this all explains why frogs normally are so happy! They eat whatever bugs them.