If you're not sure and cannot find a caresheet on the type of frog you have, always start with crickets.
Crickets are easy and basic. You can even make a cricket house so you don't have to touch those icky bugs! See Dealing with Crickets for the Squeamish Pet Owner for more information.
Most frogs and toads will eat all sorts of bugs and wiggly jiggly things that most people would cringe to see crawling on their bedroom wall at night... so if in doubt, start with crickets, and add anything else you find them interested in eating. The big fatties sometimes eat goldfish and guppies, and some will even eat mice!
As for teeny tiny frogs, you can try baby crickets or flightless flies or even live bloodworms placed in an upside down milk-cap (or some sort of shallow dish that has a bit of water for the worms.
For tadpoles, see the How to Raise Tadpoles page for more information.
If you've got an aquatic frog (i.e. it stays underwater all the time), start with frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp.
This is probably one of the most common questions that I get asked. Your best bet is to experiment and try out how much food seems to be good for your frog. Try dumping in 3 or so crickets per feeding session per frog, and see whether the frogs seem to still be hungry or starts to look underfed. Remember, frogs really do seem to have distinct behaviors, even within a species! Some will gorge themselves on any available tasty morsels regardless of need, while others will only eat once in a while when hungry. Excessive feeding is not healthy for many frogs, though some simply choose to ignore excessive food when not hungry. Determining how much to feed the frog is often a matter of understanding your frog's personality!
Other types of food can be tried (ex. mealworms, waxworms, grasshoppers,etc.) But crickets seem to be the "food of choice."
There are some guideline recommendations listed on the Dealing With Bugs page.
Some frogs will only eat moving food. Some may be eating but you just
don't see them do it...(I have often seen my Firebellies sit around with crickets
hopping all over their tank and seem not to eat...yet somehow the cricket population
in my frogtank is gone within the next few days...(and I'm positive that the
crickets haven't found an escape route!)
More often than not, however, lack of appetite is a side effect of other illness.
Usually, when the frog recovers from illness, the appetite returns. (See the Frog Doctor page for more info on frog health) The first thing to
do in this case is to make very sure that the frog's environment is clean and to administer any relevant treatments for obvious diseases. In the meantime, you may want to try coaxing your frog to eat by hand-feeding.
First of all, you'll need to kill a cricket or whatever your frog usually eats, and have it ready in blunt forceps. (the kind with round-ball tips so your frog wont hurt himself on the tips)
Case one, where things aren't totally desperate: try just wiggling the food right in front of the frog. If this doesn't work, you may want to force-feed it.
To do this, hold the frog in your non-writing hand, with your thumb on the back of its' head, and your forefinger wrapped around under its neck. (Obviously, you should be sure to wash your hands really well both before and after this procedure!) Press firmly, but not too hard as to squish it.
With the other hand, get a drivers license, or stiff card, and with the rounded corner gently open the frogs mouth. When the card is in the mouth, just press the frogs' mouth together so the card stays in there.
Pick up the cricket (or whatever) in the forceps and by maneuvering the card, tilt it downwards, opening the frogs' mouth. When it is open, just place the cricket in the frog's' mouth. When the card is pulled out of the mouth it will eat the cricket with no troubles at all.
Be careful not to be harsh on the poor thing though, because if it's so bad that you need to do this at all, don't forget that your froggy buddy ain't feeling too hot in the first place!
If this doesn't help, or you'd rather not risk it yourself, I'd suggest you bring in your froggie to visit your local vet for a checkup.
For those unable to get super tiny crickets to feed their tiny tree-frogs, one visitor wrote with this great advice:
"My daughter went camping and brought home a couple tiny tree frogs not more that 1/2 inch long each. We were unable to buy crickets in our area that were small enough for them to feed on.
What we found out (actually my wife thought about it) was that we had plenty of food for them in our own back yard. We found it on our rose bushes ... aphids! The frogs seem to love them, and they've been doing just fine!"
One added note though: it probably wouldn't hurt to dust the aphids with some vitamin powder every now and then!
Yes!!! Don't confuse the natural process of growth with skin disease! I went to Poland for six weeks in the early summer and left my frogs in the care of a frogsitter, who, considerably nervous about undertaking the enormous responsibility of taking watch of my dearest, fell into an absolute panic when the African Dwarf Frogs started to shed their skin! While the African dwarf frogs skin just comes off every now and then, other species of frogs that don't swim underwater all their lives can look downright alarming when they shed! When my firebellied toad was shedding, he got into this really weird scrunched up or crouching position, and started looking like he was bloating up (either that or having some sort of coughing or epileptic fit) and then he started to look like he was coughing! Shortly, though, I realized that he was stretching himself so that the old skin would come off. He then started to eat the skin as it was coming off! (ick) But this appears to be a natural occurrence, and shedding seems to be connected with both weather and growth...so don't panic if your frog starts to shed its skin! Besides, afterwards, the frogs always look really clean and pretty with their new skin!
As it turns out, this sort of info is very hard to come by!
There is, however, a web page dedicated to collection of data on longevity in which there are entries by all sorts of amphibian (and reptile) breeders about how long their particular specimens of frogs had lived in captivity. If you want to know how long your favorite type of frog might live in captivity, try looking it up by species in this database: REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS IN CAPTIVITY - LONGEVITY HOMEPAGE: FROGS
For some more general facts, check out the How Long Do Frogs Live? page, in the Weird Frog Facts section.
WHEN IN DOUBT, NO!
I can't stress this enough! Definitely some species do ok together, but in many cases this can have deadly consequences! One visitor wrote me with an anecdote about having a Firebellied Toad and a Pac Man Frog in the same tank. Even though the Firebelly was half the size of the Pac Man, after 15 minutes, she returned to the tank and in horror found the Pac Man Frog dead! The Firebellied toads have toxins in their skin (hence the neon warning on their bellies) which, while not harmful to humans, is quite deadly to some other species!
Similarly, Pickerel frogs, which look very much like Northern Leopard frogs except that their spots are more squarish, have very toxic secretions (hence should NOT be mixed with the similar looking Northern Leopard frogs.)
Cuban Tree Frogs have been known to EAT other types of frogs! NEVER NEVER mix a Cuban Tree Frog and a Green Tree Frog! Some Cuban Tree frogs will even eat members OF THEIR OWN SPECIES if they are big enough! (eeeew!)
And another thing to remember: a frog doesn't have to be bigger to eat another frog, just hungry!
If you're dealing with outdoor frogs from your area, there's no reason to "save frogs" from a temperature which they normally live in!
But, when you import a species of frog or toad which needs to hibernate, (or have one in your home), one method for dealing with creating the cold environment is refrigeration! Frogs and toads are the only species that can be hibernated reliably in a refrigerator, although it's recommended that you only attempt it with the hardiest species. One visitor wrote me with the following useful advice:
"It was really easy with the toads I have (Woodhouse toads), although I admit I was a little nervous about it. I live in an apartment with a little fenced in porch, and they lived out there all summer. I put some plastic storage boxes out there filled with dirt, peat moss, and vermiculite for them to bury in. When it started getting colder, they would bury. When it started getting below 38 or so, I brought the tubs in and put them in the refrigerator. I drilled holes in the lids and closed them in. They need to have fresh air in the refrigerator every day, and the soil needs to be moist, but they are doing just fine. I can see their white bellies in the bottom. They move around some in there, so I know they are doing okay. The temperature is not supposed to get below 38 or 39 degrees. When we are out of town, I just stick something in to keep the door from shutting completely so they will get fresh air. It seems to be working just fine!
For frogs or toads housed indoors, the process is probably a bit more tricky. You have to slowly cool them down and reduce their photoperiod over a couple of weeks, and stop feeding them (it is amazing how little they eat when they start cooling down.) Then you hibernate them in wooden or plastic tubs of dirt like I did. I am not sure how you are supposed to go about cooling them off gradually like that, which is why I have not tried it with my indoor toad.
I am also not sure how it works with frogs, who are more aquatic than toads, but the books suggest it can be done!"
Your best bet would be to consult a book on keeping pet frogs before attempting this yourself.
I get this question surprisingly often...
First of all, the word pregnant in the case of frogs seems fairly misleading.
Frogs and toads are in a sense, more like birds. They don't get pregnant and then have a baby...
They lay eggs.
Sometimes, a frog gets a little-bit bloated looking before it lays eggs. I guess this can be sort-of be called pregnant.
To the right are two pictures of a so-called "pregnant" dwarf frog. Click on them to see them full sized. Photo courtesy of Karen of the Aquababies website)
For more information, see the Life Cycle of a Frog in the Weird Frog Facts section.
How can you tell if your frog is pregnant? Well, if you use the term in this loose sense, it could be a slight fattening around the tummy. Often times though, you really won't be able to tell. If you are seeing really HUGE bloating, your frog is more likely sick...Consult The Frog Doctor section for more info.
Of course, with so many diverse species of frogs and toads, there are also exceptions to the rule (as there are to almost all the rules for frogs and toads!)...Most frogs like tree-frogs, dwarf and clawed frogs, and common toads, and so forth don't fall into the "exotic" category...so it's highly unlikely that your PET frog will be one that actually becomes "pregnant" in the true sense of the word...
However, of the exceptions, there are some, like the Costa Rican rain frog that lay eggs with fullgrown tiny froglets in them...others, like the Surinam Toad, lay eggs which then get rubbed into the folds of their skin and then indeed, tiny froglets emerge... See Weird Frog Facts for other strange frog breeding stories.
Well...putting poison on your lawn probably isn't the best idea if you want happy frog neighbors... Come to think of it, if you already have frogs on your lawn, chances are a lot of you bug problem should already be fixed! However, in answer, yes- most likely pesticide will hurt the frogs.
Further reading is available on the subject in the FROGLOG (Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force) newsletter: The Ghost of Pesticides Past?.
You might consider alternatives, such as getting a package of ladybugs and sprinkling them on your rose bushes (they eat your aphids without hurting the garden!)
In general yes, AS LONG AS the frog you are bringing in is NATIVE to your area! Many areas are suffering the unforeseen consequences of importation of non-native species of frogs. Cuban Treefrogs hitched rides on banana boats and came to the U.S. Now they are rapidly devouring every last American Tree Frog. Australia has suffered similar problems. In California, Clawed frogs aren't even legal as pets, because some got loose in the Californian water system and now those critters are eating EVERYTHING in sight.
First, if the reason you want to get rid of them is because of noise, take a moment to realize just how many mosquito bites you ARE NOT getting thanks to these big-eyed creatures! Most gardeners will tell you what a blessing it is to find a toad living in the garden because these are the best natural pesticide you can imagine! (They don't hurt plants, and eat the bugs!) Plus, you'll probably find that frogs make noise only for short seasons and usually folks get used to it and are sad when the breeding or rainy season ends and they don't get to hear the funny croaking anymore.
However, if the reason you are asking is because of a other pets such as a dog, I would FIRST look into training the dog NOT to treat toads as toys, as it can be DEADLY Cats are usually smarter.
Finally, if you insist, I was able to scrounge a link:
eHow to Rid Your Garden of Toads
What if it's a matter of not completely ridding the yard but of at least diverting the frogs from the pool, garage, or equipment that they might be getting themselves into? Well, actually, there may in fact be a good answer for that! A man in Florida has invented "Tree Frog Hotels," small houses built of compressed paper board that looks similar to a bird house, but serve as the daily home for up to four tree frogs. They are now attracting visitors and not only are they keeping the frogs out of the pool and pool equipment in his yard, they are also helping to keep them safe and sheltered. He's gotten so much interest in these hotels that he has actually set up a website where you can get more info: Tree Frog Hotel.
There were quite a few news stories about the guy - you can read one of the articles here.
Probably one of the most common questions I get is people that write to me saying that they found a frog and want to know what kind it is. Please realize that there are around 3,900 species of frogs in the world! Some frogs look very different yet they are the same kind, others look similar but are different kinds of frogs. There is simply no way I could answer your question, but what I would recommend is this:
I wish I could give you a standard test you could try here. Unfortunately, there's really no easy way to tell. It really depends on what type of frog you have.
Look in the FAQ About Pet Frogs: Species Caresheets section. If your frog isn't listed there, then it means I probably don't know. You might pick out a frog with similar characteristics (for example, if its a tree frog, look for the caresheet of a similar treefrog and use that as a starting point.) The other option is to do a web-search on the full name of the type of frog you have...
There is not one answer to this question. However, the following things should be considered. Frogs should not be taken from public lands as these animals are there for the public's enjoyment. While most, if not all states permit people to keep one or two wild caught frogs, you should be aware that some states do restrict the number that can be caught or kept. Although it is unlikely that any frog within your child's reach will be an endangered species, please use a field guide to check the identification of the animal and make sure that it is one of the common species. If you keep a frog with other species you should not return it to the wild as it can pick up diseases and spread them to its wild brothers and sisters. Always return a frog to the same area in which it was captured.
No; you should not release a non-native species into your area. There are several reasons not to do this. First, your amphibian may not be able to survive if released into an alien habitat. It may be unable to locate the types of food it depends upon to live. Your local climate may be inhospitable, and it may encounter difficulty finding shelter. It may not be able to escape unfamiliar predators. You may also harm native amphibian species in your area if a released non-native introduces diseases to which the native species lack immunity. Finally, non-native species can invade and permanently alter an ecosystem, outcompeting, crowding out, and even killing native species. Invasive species are a major threat to many ecosystems around the globe, and can cause serious environmental and economic damage. (To read more about invasive species and the threat they can pose, click here ).
If you can no longer keep a non-native amphibian as a pet, consider these options:
The Usenet newsgroups:
rec.pets.herp is a good place to find out about keeping frogs as pets,
and sci.bio.herp is the place to go for scientific discussion of frogs.
Try any of the books listed in the Recommended Reading listing.