The Basics of a Red-eyed Tree Frog’s Diet

A Red-eyed Tree Frog’s diet in captivity mainly consists of crickets since these are readily available – you can find them easily in pet shops, or you can raise them yourself.  In the wild, these species have also been known to feed on other worms and insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, flies and moths.

It is important to feed your frog appropriately-sized food – ideally smaller than the head of your frog so that they can easily swallow and digest the prey.  If you are feeding them smaller insects, then simply increase the portions accordingly.

Remember that this is a nocturnal species, so they will be feeding mainly at night. 

Gut Loading Crickets

“Gut loading” the crickets before actually feeding them to your frogs is often done to ensure that your frog gets the necessary nutrients and vitamins that it needs – despite the lack of variety in its diet if you are feeding it mainly on crickets alone.  This is done by feeding the crickets or “loading” them to ensure that your frog is getting all the nutrients it needs.  There are a number of cricket diets available, and you can feed them at least 24 hours before offering them to your frog.

Another way of ensuring your frog’s good health is to “dust” the crickets with calcium powder, vitamin D3, and a multivitamin supplement.  You do this by placing the crickets in a bag together with the vitamin or calcium product, and shaking the bag gives the crickets a good coating of the said product.  This supplement is especially important for the smaller frogs that still have a lot of growing to do. 

Tips for Feeding Your Red-eyed Tree Frog

Feeding times can be done every other day, with a meal size of about 3-4 crickets per feeding.    For juveniles, however, feeding should be more frequent as they need more nutrition to help their growth and development.  

To feed your Red-eyed Tree Frog, simply throw in some 3-4 crickets (depending on how many frogs you are keeping) into their tank every other day.  They will eat if they are hungry, and will simply ignore the food if they are not hungry.  Uneaten food that dies in the cage should be removed – frogs usually only eat moving food, and any dead insects within the enclosure may eventually contribute to the growth of bacteria or fungus inside the enclosure. 

While some keepers simply throw the prey into the cage and trust that their frogs’ instincts will lead it to catch the food, others prefer to use a feeder, which is basically a container from which the food will not be able to escape.  Either method is feasible as long as your frog is able to feed well.  Using a feeder, however, can keep the crickets from escaping – especially if your frog’s tank is topped by a locking screen.

While they are still tadpoles, they will feed primarily on algae.  It is after they have grown in size metamorphosed into frogs that they begin to feed on insects such as small or flightless fruit flies and pinhead crickets.

Tiny frogs whose hunting instincts are still not well-developed can be given flightless fruitflies or bloodworms. As they grow into juveniles, they can eventually transition to crickets.  Again, remember that food you give them should be selected carefully based on size, and should, in no instance, be larger than your frog’s head.  It is true that some have been known to eat smaller frogs and even other reptiles or lizards, but on the whole they prefer smaller prey that can be easily swallowed.

While some frogs will simply ignore food when it is not hungry, there are some that have been known to overfeed.  This is unhealthy, and even dangerous to frogs as they can literally eat themselves to death.  On the other hand, frogs that are not eating could be a symptom of some other serious illness.  Try to provide them a little variety in their food by offering them other insects, or moving insects if so far what you have been giving them are unmoving prey.  If they still refuse to eat, bring them to a veterinarian to determine if their lack of appetite may be a symptom of an illness or disease.

Finally, don’t forget to keep your frog’s habitat well supplied with clean and fresh water.  Changing their water daily prevents them from drinking or soaking in dirty or contaminated water.

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