Common predators of frogs, specifically green frogs, include snakes, birds, fish, herons, otters, minks and humans. Wood frogs are also known to be preyed upon by barred owls, red-tailed hawks, crayfish, large diving beetles, Eastern newts, blue jays, skunks and six-spotted fishing spiders.
What is a frog's main predator?
Adult frogs have many predators including storks, birds of prey, crows, gulls, ducks, terns, herons, pine martens, stoats, weasels, polecats, badgers, otters and snakes. Some frogs are killed, but rarely eaten, by domestic cats, and large numbers are killed on the roads by motor vehicles.
What eats little frogs?
What do frogs and tadpoles eat? Small frogs eat insects such as flies and moths, as well as snails, slugs and worms. They use long tongues and sticky saliva to catch prey that passes them by. Tadpoles eat algae in the ponds they grow in.
Frogs have to watch out for all kinds of enemies in the wild. There are a wide variety of frog predators. Animals that eat frogs for snacks include snakes, lizards, birds, and various small animals like hedgehogs. Even under water frogs cant be safe from hungry sharp toothed fish, swimming mammals like water shrews, and even diving birds! As if that wasn’t bad enough, frogs even have to watch out for other hungry frogs!
Now that nature has become an ever more important part of our lives, due to the worldwide lockdown, I have been spending a lot more time at our local park.
Tarantulas are masters of disguise and utilise hunting strategies that involve silence and stealth, perfect for a noisy rainforest. Water frogs have to consider a large variety of predators including gulls, ducks, weasels, snakes and storks amongst many others.
Marsh frogs are further disadvantaged, as they generally very small, and they have easily identifiable green and black spotted skin, and therefore they are not able to disguise themselves from predators effectively. Large bullfrogs, for example, are safe from most avian predators except for larger birds such as herons. For example, the poison dart frogs have developed exceptionally bright coloured skin, and this is used as a warning to their predators that they are not suitable to eat.
Both lizards and frogs are prevalent in almost every continent in the world, and therefore this prey-predator relationship exists in numerous different habitats. Bullfrogs and other larger breeds of frogs can stretch their mouth to a significant size in comparison to their bodies, and therefore they can eat prey, such as lizards, which are as big if not bigger than them. According to a study undertaken by a group of South African scientists, it seems that frogs if they are in the right place at the right time, will eat anything that moves.
The spotted bush snake doesnt have venom glands, and therefore they have to rely on speed and achieving the right grip on the victim to ensure that there is a successful kill. Frogs are also an easy target for many avian predators including toucans, owls, hawks, hornbills and in rare cases even eagles. Unlike numerous other frogs they do not produce a poisonous or distasteful skin secretion, and therefore they rely on speed to be able to escape their captors.
Frogs are often the prey for a number of different animals, but their survival is also threatened by other factors such as climate change. Also, the destruction of habitats can limit food supplies, and due to a frogs inability to move location, concern for their survival is heightened. The lack of food combined with an uninhabitable climate, frogs ability to survive is severely threatened.
For example, in South America, due to a decline in amphibian numbers, there has been an increase in the volume of algae infesting certain water supplies as the frogs are no longer there to eat it. Frogs are still a very common delicacy in France, the USA, many Asian and South American countries.
Although frogs have incredible defense mechanisms these do not always work against their hundreds of predators that are lurking at every corner. Frogs are especially vulnerable while they are still eggs or tadpoles.
But even bullfrogs are vulnerable to being eaten at any moment of the day underwater, on land, or even by a predator lurking in the sky above. Many terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial animals eat frogs including herons, storks, seagulls, crows, egrets, ducks, swans, geese, ravens, hawks, owls, cranes, blue jays, loons, reptiles, fish, small mammals and larger amphibians.
PredatorSpeciesEats Frogs HeronsBirdYesStorksBirdYesSeagullsBirdYesCrowsBirdYesEgretsBirdYesDucksBirdYesSwansBirdYesGeeseBirdYesRavensBirdYesHawksBirdYesOwlsBirdYesCranesBirdYesBlue JaysBirdYesLoonsBirdYesKingfishersBirdYesMonitor LizardsReptileYesGarter SnakesReptileYesAsian PitvipersReptileYesAsian Keelback SnakesReptileYesSnapping TurtlesReptileYesAlligatorsReptileYesSnookFishYesRedfishFishYesPikeFishYesCatfishFishYesWalleyeFishYesSmallmouth BassFishYesLargemouth BassFishYesSpotted BassFishYesMuskellungeFishYesMonkeysMammalYesFoxesMammalYesRaccoonsMammalYesWater ShrewsMammalYesCoyotesMammalYesOttersMammalYesOpossumsMammalYesStoatsMammalYesWeaselsMammalYesPolecatsMammalYesBadgersMammalYesMinkMammalYesPine MartensMammalYesCatsMammalYesDogsMammalYesHumansMammalYesSmaller FrogsAmphibianYesLarger FrogsAmphibianNoCaptive Pellet-Fed KoiAmphibianNo Birds that eat frogs include herons, storks, seagulls, crows, egrets, ducks, swans, geese, ravens, hawks, owls, cranes, blue jays, loons, and kingfishers. Herons, cranes, storks, and egrets like to wait quietly in the water to spot and catch frogs off guard. In North America, a variety of mammals like to feed on frogs including skunks, foxes, raccoons, water shrews, coyotes, otters, and opossums.
In Europe, stoats, weasels, polecats, badgers, mink, and pine martens also like to feed on frogs. Pets including cats and dogs may also be predators to frogs and may eat them intentionally or unintentionally during play. Humans hunt certain types of frogs to survive in places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Frog legs are also considered delicacies in France, parts of Europe, South Africa, and the Southern regions of the United States. Sadly, humans do not always treat the environment with respect, and due to pollution, urbanization, overpopulation, deforestation, and climate change, environmental degradation is leading to habitat loss for all kinds of frogs (CTNF). Frogs have smart defense mechanisms against predators, like puffing up their bodies to intimidate and surprise them, playing dead, biting, screaming, urinating to cover their scent, camouflaging, jumping, leaping, or swimming away.
Frogs can be eaten by birds like herons, crows, and ducks; reptiles like lizards, snakes, and alligators; big game fish like bass and muskellunge; small mammals like skunks foxes, raccoons, otters, and monkeys, and water bugs, other frogs, and humans. Skunks, foxes, raccoons, water shrews, coyotes, otters, possums, stoats, weasels, polecats, badgers, mink, pine martens, monkeys, and pets including cats and dogs are predators to frogs and may eat them.
What Eats Frogs
Here is a quick overview of what eats frogs:
Reptiles Eat Frogs
Herons, cranes, storks, and egrets like to wait quietly in the water to spot and catch frogs off guard. The presence of these kinds of birds at a fish-free pond can be a good indicator of frogs being present.
Fish Eat Frogs
Big game fish including snook, redfish, pike, catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and muskellunge eat frogs. Fishermen often use plastic frogs as lures or top-water bait to attract and catch these kinds of fish. Smaller fish such as Koi, Goldish, and other bettas also eat frog eggs.
Small Mammals Eat Frogs
In North America, a variety of mammals like to feed on frogs including skunks, foxes, raccoons, water shrews, coyotes, otters, and opossums. In Europe, stoats, weasels, polecats, badgers, mink, and pine martens also like to feed on frogs.Pets including cats and dogs may also be predators to frogs and may eat them intentionally or unintentionally during play. Cats or dogs may become sick, vomit, or lose their appetite if they eat a frog. Somewhat like cats and dogs, in certain regions of the world monkeys may also play with frogs and eat them.
Other Frogs Eat Frogs
Yes, frogs do eat other frogs making them cannibals. Some larger frogs will gladly eat smaller ones and tadpoles. Frogs may even eat their own tadpoles. A scientific study found that “large invasive frogs that live in forests with high anuran diversity are most likely to have a higher proportion of anurans in their diet” (source). So in forests where there are more frog species, large invasive frogs are more likely to eat other frogs.
Water Bugs Eat Frogs
Dragonflies, diving beetles, waterboatmen, dragonfly larvae, and other large water bugs also eat frog eggs. One of the reasons frogs spawn so many eggs is because these eggs have no defense against hundreds of predators that are close by, or right in the water with them. These bugs have an advantage since they can easily access the eggs from above or directly within the water.Learn more about what frogs you can eat in this article on our blog.
Humans Eat Frogs
Some frogs are hunted and eaten by humans. Humans hunt certain types of frogs to survive in places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Frog legs are also considered delicacies in France, parts of Europe, South Africa, and the Southern regions of the United States.The pet trade is another way humans exploit frogs for profit. Although having a pet frog may sound very appealing, some frogs are endangered due to human influence, including the pet trade. For example, the Goliath Frog is an endangered species due to such activity, and the Equatorial Guinean government declared that no more than 300 goliaths could be exported per year for the pet trade (source).Learn more about frogs you can eat in this article on our blog.
Environmental Impacts of Human Activities
The way humans treat the environment is a threat to frogs. Sadly, humans do not always treat the environment with respect, and due to pollution, urbanization, overpopulation, deforestation, and climate change, environmental degradation is leading to habitat loss for all kinds of frogs (CTNF).A large number of frogs are killed every year on the roads by motor vehicles. Roads often cut patches of land in half degrading a frog’s natural habitat. To get back to the pond where it was born and reproduce, frogs may have to cross roads and are often killed in the process. Polluted water kills the organisms that help frogs and the rest of the ecosystem thrive.Learn more about frog defense mechanisms in this article on our blog.