When thinking about what frogs eat, we often think about the iconic image of a frog’s tongue shooting out of its mouth to grab a fly.
While insects make up a large part of a frog’s diet, they eat lots of other things, too! Some frogs have been known to eat other frogs, small mammals, and fish!
If you’re looking to add some fishy variety to your frogs’ diet, guppies are a great option. They are small and packed with more nutrients than other feeder fish, like goldfish or rosy red minnows.
But do all frogs eat guppies?
Only some frogs eat guppies. African clawed frogs, African dwarf frogs, American bullfrogs, and Pacman frogs are just a few of the frogs that eat guppies. However, African dwarf frogs will eat baby guppies, because the adults are too big for them. Guppies are high in protein, so they should be fed sparingly.
Before we get started, let’s learn a little bit more about guppies, why some frogs do and some don’t eat them as well as the process of feeding guppies to your frogs!
What Are Guppies?
Guppies are small, peaceful freshwater fish that can reach a maximum of 2 inches (5 cm) long. Guppies are livebearers – they give birth to live, fully formed young rather than laying eggs.
Depending on her age and size, a female guppy can give birth to anywhere from 20 to over 100 fry (baby fish) at a time, and she can have babies every month if she has mated once within the last 6 months – that’s a lot of babies!
Guppies are easy to breed and care for, making them a popular choice for pets as well as feeder fish. Guppies and other livebearers are better feeder fish than goldfish due to their higher nutritional value and lower fat content.
Now that you know a little bit about guppies, let’s talk about whether or not frogs can eat them.
Why Don’t Some Frogs Eat Guppies?
The biggest reason some frogs don’t eat guppies is because of their size. Frogs should be fed food that is not much bigger than the distance between their eyes, and definitely no larger than the width of their mouths. A lot of frogs are simply too tiny to eat guppies!
Another reason is that fish don’t make up a part of their natural diet, and their bodies cannot process that much protein.
For example, tree frogs and poison dart frogs only eat small invertebrates and insects like ants, crickets, fruit flies, termites, and beetles in the wild. They should be fed a similar diet in captivity. Guppies are too rich in protein for these kinds of frogs to eat.
However, some frogs do eat guppies!
Frogs That Eat Guppies
Many frogs will eagerly attack anything that moves and fits into their mouths. Frogs that live near or in water are likely to prey on guppies and other small fish if they are large enough.
1. African Dwarf Frog
African dwarf frogs are popular pets due to their small size, docile nature, and adorable, derpy little faces. These frogs are fully aquatic and can live with peaceful fish, making them a great choice for someone who has experience with aquariums and is looking for something a bit different!
If you are considering keeping African dwarf frogs with fish, you may be wondering: do African dwarf frogs eat guppies?
African dwarf frogs will eat only the tiniest guppy fry – if they can catch them. These frogs only get 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long, so adult guppies are off the menu and make great tankmates for ADFs.
The majority of your African dwarf frogs’ diet should consist of frozen bloodworms, live blackworms, and high-quality commercial pellet food (fed in a dish so that the pellets don’t make a huge mess if they disintegrate).
2. African Clawed Frog
Another fully aquatic species, African clawed frogs get quite a bit bigger than ADFs, getting up to 5 inches (12.7 cm) long. These frogs eat anything they can get into their mouths – living or dead. In the wild, they eat aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles, small fish, and even young frogs.
African clawed frogs eat guppies in captivity. They also enjoy earthworms, bloodworms, freshwater snails, and small crickets.
These frogs should not be kept with guppies or other fish. If the fish is too small, they can become lunch! If the fish is too large, they may nip at or harass your frog.
3. American Bullfrog
The American bullfrog is another frog species that eats guppies. Like other bullfrogs, the American bullfrog will eat whatever it can catch and that will fit into its mouth. In the wild, American bullfrogs eat insects, fish, smaller frogs, and even snakes!
Due to their high protein content, vertebrate prey items like guppies and mice should be fed sparingly. Adult bullfrogs are prone to obesity, and their diets should be closely monitored.
4. Pacman Frog
Famous for being voracious eaters, Pacman frogs are another species of frog that eats guppies. These frogs’ unique patterns and comical, extra-wide mouths make them a popular amphibian to own.
Pacman frogs’ large mouths enable them to take down all sorts of prey. Not only do they eat insects and fish, but they also consume small mammals, other frogs, and small reptiles. Pacman frogs are also known to cannibalize their mates.
In captivity, Pacman frogs eat guppies, crickets, earthworms, mealworms, mice, and waxworms. Like bullfrogs, Pacman frogs are prone to obesity. Guppies, mice, and waxworms should be fed sparingly to help make sure your frog doesn’t develop any serious health problems!
Things To Consider Before Feeding Guppies To Your Frog
While the list above isn’t comprehensive, it gives you a good idea about what kinds of frogs eat guppies.
As you have seen, frogs that live near or around water will eat guppies if given the opportunity. Frogs will also eat guppies if they are large enough. While African dwarf frogs are about the same size as adult guppies, they will snack on babies if they can catch them.
Regardless of the species of frog, guppies should be offered sparingly.
Frogs consume a diet of primarily insects and other invertebrates, and too much protein, the wrong diet, or overfeeding can lead to serious health issues like obesity or corneal lipidosis, a condition in which fat gets deposited on the eyes.
Remember to consult your veterinarian before feeding your frog guppies or other new food!
It is also important to note that the best way to get new feeder guppies is to breed them yourself. Guppies (and other feeder fish) bought from the pet store may carry parasites or diseases that can harm your frog.
You should always ensure the health of fish before feeding them to another animal.
How Do I Feed Guppies To My Frog?
If you have discussed varying your frog’s diet with your veterinarian and feel comfortable feeding guppies to your frog, you may be wondering how exactly to go about it.
Your frog will eat guppies from a set of feeder tongs, as the Budgett’s frog tadpole does in the video below:
For land-dwelling species, you can also place the guppy in a small dish with water so that the guppy has space to swim around and trigger your frog’s predatory instincts while still being contained so that the frog can catch it.
While it takes this small Pacman frog several tries, he eventually snatches the guppy!
Species that are fully aquatic can be fed guppies with tongs (as in the tadpole video), or the guppies can be dropped into the frog’s aquarium, and the frog can catch its food all by itself!
Guppies are nutritious feeder fish and are easy to breed and care for. While some frogs do eat guppies, others are too small or are otherwise not built for it. For the frogs that eat them, feeding guppies occasionally is a great way to add more variety to your pet’s diet.
Remember that guppies are high in protein and should be fed sparingly!
Feeding your frog guppies you buy from the pet store can introduce pathogens, so it is recommended to get feeder guppies from a reputable source and/or breed them yourself.
As always, consult your veterinarian before introducing guppies – or anything else new – to your frog’s diet!