“Do Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?” is a question that most first-time frog owners tend to ask. Your frog does eat grasshoppers when they are nearby. This guide will explain:
- Do Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
- How Do Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
- What Type of Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
- How to Feed Baby Frogs?
Do Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
Yes, Baby frogs are not able to eat grasshoppers, as their tongues are not developed. Once they become adults, you can see them eating grasshoppers almost daily. It is important to give them a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits when they’re younger, then switch towards grasshoppers when they become older.
How Do Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
Want to know how your frog eats grasshoppers so fast? Frogs use a combination of their tongue mucus, length, and speed. We’ll explain further:
- Tongue Mucus
Frogs use their tongue to attack, capture and eat grasshoppers. Most of the time, frogs don’t have mucus on their tongues. The mucus creates a sticky base that makes it easy for the frog to capture the grasshopper.
When a frog sees a grasshopper, the mucus is produced inside its tongue before the frog strikes. After the tongue hits the grasshopper, it envelopes them, and the mucus penetrates through its exoskeleton.
In fact, a study on horned frog saliva was made in 2014. The results proved that the frogs could lift 1.4x their body weight. Because of this, frogs can grab the grasshopper straight out of the air.
- Tongue Length
On average, the frog’s tongue is about ⅓ the size of its body. Frogs have long tongues, but they are rarely more than 1 in long. The tongue has two muscles: the extender and the retractor. The extender muscle is used to propel the tongue towards the grasshopper; the retractor pulls the tongue back and gives the frog the ability to eat its prey.
- Tongue Speed
Frogs are known for their incredible tongue speed. The frog launches its tongue at a frog at a speed of 0.7 seconds. That’s five times the blink of a human eye.
The grasshopper is unable to defend against a frog’s quick tongue. Grasshoppers and other insects experience up to 12 times the force (12 Gs) of gravity when a frog’s tongue latches onto them.
Preparing Grasshoppers for the Frogs
First, you want to find your grasshopper from the right source. It’s best to buy them from the store, as they are clean and are made to ensure your frogs are well fed. Having a separate tank for the grasshoppers is a better option as it allows you to give them enough nutrients before giving them to your frog.
You’ll have to feed your grasshoppers to prepare them for your adult frog. Grasshoppers are herbivores, meaning that you should give them plants when they are growing up.
What Type of Frogs Eat Grasshoppers?
First, frogs can be separated into their age groups.
- Baby Frogs
Baby frogs have a similar diet as adult frogs but must eat their food in smaller amounts. When in captivity, baby frogs can eat insects. Once they become adolescent frogs, they start to eat prey such as grasshoppers, mosquitos, springtails, and fruit flies.
One benefit to grasshoppers is that the larger your frog becomes, the easier it is to catch them. If you currently have a baby frog as a pet, continue feeding it ants, fruit flies, and other small prey.
- Adult Frogs
Adult frogs are fully equipped to eat grasshoppers. They only go after active prey as they are not scavengers. When they hop towards a grasshopper, chances are they are about to eat them. At least once or twice a week, you should feed your adult frog 10+ grasshoppers.
- Pac Man Frogs
Pac Man Frogs are known for their light blue base skin and black spots. The frog receives the “Pac Man” moniker because its mouth is half the size of its head. When looking for grasshoppers, the Pac Man’s frog’s long mouth and sticky tongue, making it easy for them to make a snack out of them.
Plus, the Pac Man frog can reach up to 7 inches tall, which makes them aggressive and more likely to chase after the grasshopper. Make sure you wear protective gloves, as their sharp teeth can hurt if they bite you.
- Black Dart Frog
Black Dart Frogs have a green and black color on their skin. The colors are as a warning.These frogs can grow up to be 1.5 inches long, so they are quite small and energetic. You’ll see a black dart frog-eating ants and grasshoppers, and they are a great choice for beginner frog owners.
- African Bullfrog
African Bullfrogs can grow up to 10 inches long, a huge predator against grasshoppers. This popular frog needs a 20-gallon tank to suit its large size. They are easy to care for.
How to Care for Baby Frogs
Since baby frogs are unable to eat grasshoppers, there are some alternatives that you can give them.
- Herbs and Plants
As we’ve stated earlier, your baby frogs will not be able to catch grasshoppers until their tongue develops. You can give your baby frogs plants such as water lilies, ferns, and wildflowers.
- Limited Contact
First, you must give your frogs minimal contact. This ensures that you protect the baby frog’s skin. When a human touches frogs, our skin contains oil that can affect the frog’s mucosal layer.
You also have to consider limiting the use of pesticides in your garden if you have frogs outside. Add stones inside the tank to help reduce the sunlight exposure, as frogs like to live in darker habitats.
- Feeding Frequency
On average, feed your baby frogs twice a day. Depending on the species, you should give them around 5 insects a day. Doing so gives them the ability to be exposed to insects and eat them.
Once they become older, you’ll notice their need for flies. Start with 10+ flies a day to help your adolescent frog become an adult.
To conclude, adult frogs eat grasshoppers. As a frog owner, you should give them 3-10 grasshoppers a week. That way, your frog can be equipped to protect your garden from pests.