Frogs are voracious predators of insects and other small, scuttling creatures.
While we often think of frogs hunting down a fly or cricket, some are capable of handling much larger prey. Frogs don’t just eat insects!
If the frog is large enough, anything that fits in its mouth is fair game!
Some frogs eat fish, other frogs, reptiles, or even small mammals – like mice!
So, what are some frogs that will eat mice?
There are several species of frogs that eat mice. The goliath frog, the largest frog in the world, will eat mice. Large bullfrogs (African, American, and South American), Pacman frogs, White’s treefrogs, Chilean giant frogs, and cane toads will also eat small rodents if they get the chance.
Before we learn more about these rodent-devouring frogs, let’s talk about why mice are on the menu.
Do Frogs Eat Mice?
As you probably know, most frogs are carnivores – they eat other living creatures. While some other carnivorous animals are specially adapted to pursue one kind of prey, frogs are generalists.
Frogs will eat anything that fits into their mouths!
A frog’s choice of prey is limited only by its size.
A large frog will eat mice if given the opportunity. There are several species of frogs that are known to eat mice and other small mammals in the wild. Some pet frogs can be fed the occasional pinky mouse. Some frogs are large enough to eat adult mice or even small rats!
8 Frogs That Eat Mice
The frogs below are known to eat mice in captivity, in the wild, or both! The frogs on this list are large enough to take down mice.
1. Goliath Frog
The largest frog in the world, the goliath frog can reach lengths of up to 13 inches (33 cm) from snout to vent. While some other frogs (like the Chilean giant frog) can reach similar lengths, the goliath frog is by far the heaviest. The largest individuals can weigh over 7 pounds (3.2 kg)! Unlike many other frog species, male goliath frogs are larger than females.
Goliath frogs’ large size means that they have a lot of options when it comes to prey, so they are the first on our list of frogs that eat mice.
Like nearly every other anuran on the planet, goliath frogs eat insects. However, these huge frogs are known to eat mice and other small mammals – including bats! They also chow down on fish, birds, and even other amphibians.
These giants require a very specific standard of care – including lots of room – and so they are not common in captivity.
2. African Bullfrog
The next huge, mouse-eating frog on our list is the African bullfrog, also known as a pixie frog. While they aren’t quite as big as goliath frogs, African bullfrogs are another one of the largest frog species in the world.
Like their bigger cousins, male African bullfrogs are larger than females. They can be up to 9.6 inches (24.5 cm) long and weigh up to 4.4 pounds (2 kg).
Their large size and sharp teeth enable them to be voracious predators. In the wild, these frogs eat mice and other small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and small birds. Of course, insects and other invertebrates are always on the menu!
Captive African bullfrogs aren’t too difficult to care for, as you can see in the video above. Pet pixies are fed a diet similar to what they eat in the wild. They can be fed a variety of insects, including grasshoppers and crickets, Dubia roaches, super worms, and earthworms, as well as fish.
Mice can be fed occasionally – no more than once or twice a month. Like other frogs, the African bullfrog is prone to obesity. Mice are high in protein and consuming them too often can cause your frog to develop serious health issues.
3. American Bullfrog
The largest frog native to North America, the American bullfrog is another frog big enough to eat mice. Females are bigger than males, and they can be as heavy as 2 pounds (0.9 kg) and reach lengths of up to 8 inches (20 cm) – but they usually only get around 6 inches (15 cm) long.
American bullfrogs are found in or around bodies of brackish or freshwater. Ponds, lakes, swampy areas, drainage ditches, and canals: almost nowhere is off-limits to the American bullfrog! While they prefer stagnant or slow-moving water, they are also found along the shores of lakes and streams.
As you can see in the video above, this frog is highly adaptable to different environments and has a diet to match!
They have been known to eat various invertebrates, birds, other frogs, lizards, newts, snakes, and even small turtles. American bullfrogs also eat mice and other small rodents.
In captivity, their diet is similar to that of the African bullfrog. They can be fed various feeder insects, as well as crayfish, shrimp, small fish, snails, and mice. Again, mice should be fed sparingly to prevent obesity and other health issues.
American bullfrogs’ large size, diverse diet, and tremendous adaptability have enabled them to become invasive in areas outside of their native range (central and eastern United States). They easily outcompete other frog species and are now classified as invasive in the state of California.
4. South American Bullfrog
Also known as smoky jungle frogs, South American bullfrogs are another example of frogs that eat mice. They are often found in rainforests in South America near slow-moving streams. However, they are largely terrestrial and live in burrows. Sometimes they are found far away from water sources.
During the daytime, frogs of this species stay tucked away in their burrows or buried in the leaf litter, their reddish-brown skin and black markings camouflaging them against the forest floor. Fully nocturnal, they do all of their hunting at night.
Reaching lengths of over 7 inches (18 cm), Adult South American bullfrogs are large enough to prey on lots of different things, including insects, amphibians, small reptiles, and small birds and mammals – like mice!
These frogs are not commonly kept in captivity, but they can be kept as pets! Captive South American bullfrogs eat the occasional mouse, as well as feeder insects and fish.
5. Pacman Frog
As you can see in this video, Pacman frogs are another example of frogs that eat mice. While they aren’t as large as some of the other frogs on this list, Pacman frogs are famous for their voracious appetites! Adult frogs only get 3-6 inches (8-15 cm) long, but they can be just as wide.
Pacman frogs are easily recognized by their gorgeous patterns, flattened physique, and huge mouths. That mouth is what gave Pacman frogs their name – their shape resembles Pacman from the popular arcade game.
Pacman frogs – also known as horned frogs – are frogs that eat mice and other small mammals. They also eat other frogs, small reptiles, small fish, and (of course) insects in the wild.
These frogs are popular pets due to their low space requirements, striking appearance, and ease of care. Adult Pacman frogs can eat appropriately sized rodents, but the babies are too tiny. Young frogs are mostly fed small insects and fish.
Sub-adult frogs can have the occasional pinky mouse. Larger adults eat full-grown mice or baby rats (like the frog in the video above).
Like other frogs, Pacman frogs are prone to health issues like obesity and corneal lipidosis – a condition in which fat is deposited on the eye and can cause your frog to go blind. Rodents should be fed to the frog sparingly.
Regardless of if you choose to feed your Pacman mice, you should always use forceps when offering your frog food by hand. Pacman frogs have teeth and may mistake your fingers for a tasty snack!
6. White’s Treefrog
Some treefrogs are large enough to eat mice, albeit very small ones. White’s treefrogs, also known as dumpy tree frogs or Australian green treefrogs, reach lengths of 3-4.5 inches (7-11.5 cm).
Since they are one of the bigger treefrogs, White’s treefrogs are able to eat small mammals like mice and bats in the wild – in addition to the standard froggy diet of insects.
Pet White’s treefrogs should be fed a diet of primarily feeder insects (like crickets, roaches, earthworms, etc), but fully grown frogs can be given the occasional pinky mouse no more than once or twice a month. As with all of the other frogs we have discussed, a diet too high in rodents can cause White’s treefrogs to become obese.
Luckily, it’s very easy to monitor your pet’s body condition! Locate the ridges just above your frog’s eardrum. If there are no ridges, the frog is underweight. If the ridges are prominent and beginning to sag, the frog needs to lose a few grams! Consult your veterinarian about putting your frog on a diet.
7. Chilean Giant Frog
The Chilean giant frog, also known as the helmeted water toad, is another jumbo anuran on our list of frogs that eat mice.
Almost fully aquatic, these 12.5-inch (32 cm) frogs will eat any creature that they can wrestle into their mouths. They are the largest member of the frog and toad family in the Americas and will consume a wide variety of invertebrates as well as other frogs and small fish, birds, and mammals.
Given the chance, a Chilean giant frog will definitely make a meal out of a mouse.
These unusual frogs are not kept in captivity. They are classified as vulnerable due to hunting, habitat loss, pollution, and competition with invasive species like the African clawed frog.
8. Cane Toad
The last “frog” on our list of frogs that eat mice is actually a toad! The cane toad, also known as the marine toad, can reach lengths of up to 9 inches (23 cm). Its large size enables it to eat just about anything it can catch.
Originally from Central and South America, cane toads’ voracious appetites have led them to become invasive all over the globe, including Florida and Australia. Unlike the other anurans on our list, this toad is an omnivore.
Cane toads eat vegetation, as well as insects, small birds, other anurans, lizards, or other small reptiles, snakes, mice, and other small mammals! They may also eat pet food or human table scraps if they have access.
Cane toads can make good pets if cared for properly. However, it is important to note that they secrete a milky-white toxin as a form of defense, and it is toxic to dogs and cats.
In captivity, cane toads are fed mostly feeder insects, fish, and crayfish. They can also be fed mice on occasion.
As you have learned, there are a lot of frogs that eat mice. The biggest determinant of whether or not a frog can eat mice is its size.
If you do feed your frog mice, remember to do so sparingly. Frogs are primarily insectivores, and so bugs should make up the majority of your frog’s diet – unless you have one of the few pet frogs that don’t have to eat bugs.
Furthermore, just because your frog can eat mice, doesn’t mean it needs to eat mice. Your frog can have a well-rounded and nutritious diet without mice!
If you have frogs that eat mice, remember to feed mice sparingly. In the wild, while the frogs on this list eat mice and a whole bunch of other things, they expend energy to hunt and catch their prey. Pet frogs don’t have to move very much for their food, so they are more likely to become overweight.
As always, do your research before feeding anything new to your frog, and consult your veterinarian about the best diet for your amphibious friend!