What Eats Frogs and Tadpoles in the Tropical Rainforests

How many of you know what eats frogs and tadpoles in the tropical rainforests and ponds? There are millions of animals that pursue different amphibians like frogs and tadpoles and eat them—so that the frogs and tadpoles are the common fodder of the entire animal kingdom. According to scientists, almost every animal will feed on frogs perhaps due to the fact that many amphibians are defenseless against potential predators; besides, they are slow movers of all creatures. There are several species of mammals and birds that feeds on frogs and tadpoles; predation by invertebrates is hard to calculate and scientists have only investigated few species that feeds on these amphibians.

What Eats Frogs

Invertebrates Eats Frogs

Several invertebrates feed on frogs and tadpoles. Some of the most common invertebrate predators are leeches, crayfish, crabs, spiders, amblypygids, aquatic bugs, dragonfly naiads, adult aquatic beetles, caddisfly larvae, and many other families of flies. Some other invertebrates include wasps, flatworms, crickets, mosquito larvae, and mantids—although they rarely feed on frogs but they have a real impact on the frog’s population in certain habitats. Invertebrates normally take on their prey by sucking or chewing. They are also the most frequent predators of frog’s eggs and larvae.

Preying Aquatic Eggs

Caddisflies larvae are the common invertebrate predators of frog’s eggs in ponds lacking fish. According to a study, the predation of different amphibians helps caddisflies larvae to grow more rapidly and enable them to pupate speedily as compared to when they only feed on plants matter. Caddisfly larvae frequently prey on frog’s eggs which is the best source of gaining protein for a short period during spring breeding seasons. Leeches seldom feed on frog’s and tadpole’s eggs. Many other species of freshwater crayfish are known to prey on frog’s eggs. Due to the introduction of various crayfish in native habitats, the population of frogs becomes threatened.

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Fish Eats Frogs | What Eats Frogs

Fishes are the important predators for frogs and tadpoles in rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. Some species feed on frog’s eggs while others prey on adult frogs. Sirens, for instance, commonly feeds on anuran tadpoles that are deemed to be distasteful to many vertebrate predators.

what eats frogs and tadpoles - snakehead fish
snakehead fish
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Turtles Eat Frogs

Central American turtles are known to consume frogs and tadpoles in a varied diet of invertebrate and vertebrate prey. Many turtles feed on aggregations of toad tadpoles in southern Africa.

what eats frogs and tadpoles
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Lizards Eat Frogs | What Eats Frogs

Lizards are perhaps the least important reptilian predators of frogs. While many lizards are primarily insectivorous, others are generally herbivorous. Besides, lizards are diurnal and are often found in dry habitats, whereas frogs and tadpoles are largely nocturnal and mainly prefer moist habitats. Nonetheless, monitor lizards being a carnivorous species, feeds on frogs in South Africa. Some other species like Varanus inhabiting Australia and Africa, also feeds on frogs but they typically constitute less than 5% of the lizard’s diet. Bengal monitor lizard, although insectivorous and lives in dry habitats, is known to prey 20 species of frogs and tadpoles but it does not constitute more than 1% of its diet. V. flavescens is another monitor lizard species that primarily resides in marshy habitats in India, feeds mostly on frogs, toads, and tadpoles, with 40% of all recognized prey items being anurans.

what eats frogs and tadpoles
Monitor Lizard
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Crocodiles Eat Frogs | What Eats Frogs

With an exception of adult crocodiles, young Nile crocodiles feed on anurans in the first three to four years but when these crocs reach a length of 2.5 meters they never feed such prey items since they are too small to be profitable for such large predators. Dwarf crocodiles are also known to prey frogs even though in a little quantity. Caiman crocodilus in the wet season in Venezuela takes on 66% of frogs in their diet.

what eats frogs and tadpoles

Snakes Eat Frogs

Snakes are by far the most frequent potential predators of amphibians in general; and frogs and tadpoles in particular. Many snake species inhabiting tropical and temperate forests largely feed on frogs. Almost 50% of more than 100 snake species across United States and Canada consumes frogs and tadpoles. There are 28 species of Chinese snakes that feed on frogs.

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snake eating a frog

Ducks and Swans Eat Frogs | What Eats Frogs

Many species of ducks and swans generally feed on frogs and tadpoles. This is particularly true for birds living in the northern Hemisphere.

what eats frogs and tadpoles
spot-billed duck
image courtesy of birding.in

Hawks, Kites, and Eagles Eat Frogs

Many birds of prey typically prey frogs as their primary source of food. Asian hawk is one of the raptors that frequently take on frogs and tadpoles. Some other birds of prey include kites, Accipter, falco, harriers, bald eagles, black hawks and savanna hawks etc.

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Bald Eagles

Bats Eat Frogs | What Eats Frogs

Many bats species exclusively feeds on frogs and tadpoles. In the Old World, false vampire bats often prey on frogs. Megaderma and Cardioderma cur are probably the most common bats feeding on frogs.

what eats frogs | batsPrimates Eat Frogs

Even though primates do not primarily feeds on frogs but these amphibians really offer a considerable amount of protein for few primate species. Many species of African monkeys are found to consume frogs, tree frogs especially. These monkeys also feed on adult anurans. Japanese macaques are known to prey frogs and lizards.

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Old World Primates
Image Courtesy of macalester.edu


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