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  The Worm Lady | keeping frogs as pets

 What do you feed your Pet Frogs?

Frogs in captivity can live a long life, with proper care, so be prepared for a long term commitment as life spans are typically 4-15 years, with some known to live even longer.

Most are omnivorous and you'll want to get healthy insects to feed them (some of the larger frogs will even eat pinky mice) so you'll need to find a reliable, reputable supplier of quality live feeder insects / worm feeders.

I typically feed my feeder insects carrots, oranges, apples, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, or collard and mustard greens.  Other fruits and vegetables can be offered too but I minimize those containing high levels of oxalates, such as spinach and kale, as Oxalates can bind calcium and thus prevent its absorption in a frog’s gastrointestinal system.

Good Frog Choices for beginners

Oriental Fire Bellied Toads : semi-terrestrial frogs that are fairly active and relatively easy to keep as pet frogs.
White's Tree Frog : terrestrial tree frogs are docile and easy to keep; however, they tend to be fairly inactive.
Green Tree Frogs : another good tree frog that is suitable for beginners, fun to watch it when chasing its live feeders.
Pacman Frogs : mostly terrestrial frogs that are easy to care for, but get quite large and are pretty sedentary.
Note: Terrestrial pets require less care and cleaning than aquatic frogs and most amphibians, which require an aquarium with live vegetation, thus requiring more care and cleaning,  Beginners therefore will find care and rearing of terrestrials much more enjoyable and simpler for the most part.

 Fire Bellied Toads (Bombina orientalis)

Oriental Fired Belly frogs grow to be about 2 inches (5 cm) in size and live 10-15 years (sometimes longer), are semi-aquatic and are a good choice for beginners since they need only a low level of care.  They are quite active and fun to watch as they run around their enclosure.

Fire bellied toads don't have extendable tongues so they use their mouth to grab their food and stuff it in their mouth with their forelegs.  They eat crickets and a variety of other insects, such as horned worms, silkworms, butter worms, super worrms, occasionally mealworms (in moderation because the're high in chitin), and even small feeder fish such as guppies.

All feeders should be gut-loaded and dusted with multivitamin powder.  Fired Bellied toads generally have a good appetite and usually don't have problems eating in captivity.  Adult Fired Bellied frogs only need to eat 2 or 3 times a week.  Watch that they do not become overweight.
Oriental Fire Bellied toad

 Photo by Cecil R. Schwalbe

The Oriental fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis) inhabits southern China, Korea, Thailand and other southeast Asian countries.

 Horned Frogs (Megophrys nasuta)

Malaysian Horned frogs can live up to 6 years and are originally from the rain forests of Southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Bintan Island, Tioman Island, the Natuna Islands and all parts of Borneo.  It has remarkable camouflage that blends very well into the forest floor.  Females grow to about 7 inches (18 cm) and males to 4 inches (10 cm).

Once Malaysian horned frogs are settled in a new environment, feeding is rarely a problem. They accept a variety of prey insects including crickets, cockroaches, silkworms, super worms, Phoenix Worms (BSFL) and wax worms, snails and scorpions, and the occasional small mouse.  You can typically feed your frogs three times a week and allocate about five feeders per frog.

As with any captive amphibian, the feeder insects must be properly gut loaded before being fed to your Malaysian Horned frogs.  Variety in diet is always essential to maintain a healthy amphibian.  Along with a nutrient-rich insect diet, it's also important to provide moisture in the form of fruit and vegetable matter: if the feeders insects are fed a good variety of nutritious foods like carrots, oranges, apples, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, or collard and mustard greens, then the frog will benefit from this healthy gut loading.  Other fruits and vegetables can be offered to both the feeders and to the frog, but only feed kale and spinach sparingly since they contain oxalates which bind to calcium making it hard for the reptile or herp's system to absorb it.  

Vitamin and mineral supplements are important to amphibian health.  The key is to provide an appropriate source of calcium and Vitamin D3, especially when a UVB light is not provided (Phoenix Worms are fabulous in providing the ideal 1.5-to-1 Calcium-to-Phosphorous ratio).  New evidence also suggests that pre-formed Vitamin A is an important component in the diet of developing carnivorous amphibians.  The supplement Repashy Superfoods Calcium Plus ICB now provides a source of pre-formed Vitamin A.  Dust insects with an appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement once a week (every second feeding).

It's a good idea to move your Malaysian horned frog from its naturalistic enclosure to a container dedicated to feeding in order to prevent the ingestion of foreign materials.  These frogs are indiscriminate feeders and necropsies performed by veterinarians have revealed a variety of foreign materials within the gastrointestinal tract. A separate feeding container also prevents the buildup of decaying insect material in the vivarium water.  However, in simple enclosures with disposable and easy to clean flooring (or substrates) such as paper towel, then this separate feeding container is not necessary.

Malaysian Horned frog

Malaysian horned frogs live in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Borneo and south-east Asian countries.

Horned frog camouflaged on forest floor

 Horned frogs are camouflaged to blend right into the forest floor.

Published on Jan 3, 2013

Dr. Leonatti, one of the vets at Avian and Exotic Animal Care in Raleigh, NC examines an adorable 11 year old White's Tree Frog named Red.

 White's Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)

The White's Tree Frogs are a popular tree frog thought to originate from North-Eastern Australia, Southen New Guinea and many surrounding islands, and are an excellent frog for beginners because they are easy and simple to care for. They live an average of 16 years and are sometimes called Dumpy Tree Frog for their 'dumpy' appearance.  The adult can reach 4-5 inches (100-120 cm). Females are usually larger than the males and it is difficult to determine sex, even with older frogs.

White`s Tree frogs are very sedentary, content to quietly sit for hours staring out of their terrarium, until mealtime! Then they`ll move quickly, stalking their prey ... and chasing after them.  That will be the fun part of owning a White`s Tree Frog pet.  Beware, however, of overfeeding since they will eat a lot if you let them.  When the fold over its eyes grows enough to cover the eyes it`s time to put your pet on a diet.

They accept a variety of prey insects including crickets, cockroaches, silkworms, horned worms, super worms, Phoenix Worms (BSFL) and wax worms, and the occasional small mouse.  They`ll generally prefer going after the live feeders that will move the most.  You can typically feed your frogs two or three times (max) a week and allocate about five feeders per frog.  Remember that variety is important as are healthy, gut loaded, feeders!

White`s Tree Frogs are great with people, even kids, as they don`t mind being handled and love climbing on arms. You must always rinse your hands before handling your White`s Tree Frog, and thoroughly wash with soap and warm water immediately after handling, as their skin contains a toxin that can sometimes cause skin irritations.
White`s Tree Frog

White`s tree frog chilling out ...

White`s tree frog on my hand

White`s tree frogs don't mind being held!   

 Green Tree Frog (Hyla cineria)

American Green Tree Frogs originate from southern USA, grow to 2.5 inches (6 cm) and can live 10-15 years in captivity when properly cared for.  They are popular pets mainly because of their small size and undemanding conditions required for their care.  

Unlike most amphibians they don`t require artificial heating but do need a taller terrarium since they are arboreal, and the height of their enclosure is more important than the length.  It's also important to provide a variety of things for climbing, such as plants or branches, and a moist substrate such as commercial shredded bark or coconut husk bedding.  A substrate of dampened paper towels, although not the most aesthetically pleasing, is inexpensive and also easy to clean.

American Green Tree Frogs are insectivores usually consuming flies, mosquitoes and small insects, such as crickets, silkworms, horned worms, super worms, butter worms, wax worms, mealworms and Phoenix Worms (BSFL)

Green treefrogs have a voracious appetite and can become obese if overfed.  Gut loading crickets and other live feeders with a large variety of vegetables, and/or commercial gut load, is necessary to provide nutritious live food items.  A vitamin/mineral supplement is also a good idea with this species, especially for younger animals still undergoing rapid growth.  The 'gut-loading' and vitamin/mineral dusting of the live feeder insects will do well in maintaining the health of the animals’ skeletal system.

The frog chooses its prey not by size but mostly on its activity level with 90% of the most active prey being eaten  in active pursuit.  The remaining 10% of the insects eaten are the ones that walk close enough to get snatched up by the frog.

A shallow bowl of fresh spring water should be provided so that the animal maintains proper hydration.  A live plant can be used as a hiding place and it also helps to maintain proper humidity within the terrarium.

American Green Tree Frogs are also the State Amphibian for Georgia and Louisiana.
American Green Tree Frog on leaf

American Green Tree Frog on a leaf. 

American Green Tree Frog

Pac-Man Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ornata)

The Pacman frogs are native to Columbia and Argentina and grow to a maximum of 4" for males and 6" for females (100-150 cm) in length.  Pac-Man frogs can live approximately 15 years in a captive environment, under optimal conditions.  They  are not an active species and are very happy in a small horizontally oriented terrarium.

An adult female, or a pair of Pacman Horned frogs, will thrive in a 20 gallon aquarium and may be maintained either terrestrially, or in a plain terrarium with only a half inch of water.  

With enough soil, they will quickly burrow and remain buried over 95% of the time, which leads many pet owners to keep them in a terrarium.  This type of setup does however require frequent, if not daily, cleaning as bacteria builds very quickly in this type of terrarium.  Pac-Man frogs spend the majority of their time buried in the cool ground.  In captive environments the substrate doesn’t provide the same protection, due to lack of depth and the ability for air to move under the tank, therefore, normal room temperatures of 65 to 85 degrees are recommended.

Pac-Man frogs will also use hiding spots, so they should be provided live plants.  Live plants, such as Pothos, not only provide hiding spots but also help to process feces and CO2.

A variety of several small feeders are better for your Pacman frog than one large one.  A frog at 3-4 weeks old can consume a pinky mouse, or several crickets or worms, every 3 to 4 days.  As the frog grows the size of the prey can be increased, gradually decreasing feeding frequency to one feeding every two weeks or so.  Adult frogs only need to eat one meal every two weeks or so.  

One tendency that sets Pac-Man frogs apart from other frogs is their voracious appetite.  A staple of crickets and/or roaches is best, but they can also eat fish, worms (silkworms, horned worms, super worms, or mealworms) and even small mice.  

The amount of food you feed them will be determined by the size and temperature of the frog.  If allowed to cool down and dry out a little Pac-Man frogs can enter a brumation state where they will refuse any food. The best gauge to determine how much to feed your Pac-Man frog is to study its appearance.  

You want your Pac-Man frog to be round so if your frog is looking unnaturally large cut back on the feeding.  In nature Pac-Man frogs gorge themselves when food is plentiful to compensate for seasons of food scarcity.
Pac-Man Horned Frog

Pac-Man Horned Frogs 

Pacman frog
Jason Wooten, author of

Red Eyed Tree Frog Secrets


World renowned Red-Eyed Tree Frog experts say ... "86% of Red-Eyed Frog fatalities in captivity are caused by inexperienced owners who are unintentionally sealing the ill fate of such beautiful creatures ..."

Did you decide to invest in a Red-Eyed Tree Frog, over a more conventional pet, thinking you could just put it in an aquarium and forget about it?  Do you want to own a Red-Eyed Tree Frog so you can have a really cool pet to play with and hold all the time?

If so my friend, you'll make many mistakes that will be detrimental to your beloved pet frog's health !

Become well informed and prepared to properly care for your Red-Eyed Tree Frog ...

Get your own copy of Jason's book Here >>>

Also, why not Get the 'Incredible KD Cloth' Sampler * for ONLY 40 cents! with Your Worm Order.

GO SEE the Incredible * KD CLOTH Sampler  (4" x 7") 

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