You might know that adult frogs of all species are carnivores. So, worms can be a significant part of the meat-based diet of frogs. On the other hand, mealworms are readily available as frog foods in almost all pet stores. Since dart frogs aren’t picky eaters, many owners ask in various frog forums- can dart frogs eat mealworms?
Mealworms are tasty treats for dart frogs. Dart frogs can eat mealworms as long as the size of the mealworms stays within the space between the two eyes of dart frogs. Since mealworms have a high level of starch, the experts recommend not feeding mealworms to your dart frogs regularly.
In this article, I’ve explained which types of mealworms are suitable for dart frogs, the number of feeding mealworms, the advantages and drawbacks of feeding mealworms to dart frogs, etc.
So, you should go through this write-up if you are concerned about the consequences of feeding mealworms to your dart frogs.
Can Dart Frogs Eat Live Mealworms?
The answer is yes. Dart frogs can eat live mealworms. These frogs go after such insects or worms that are moving. Mealworms are one of the best choices for dart frogs, which have higher protein levels than other worms.
While choosing live mealworms, you should look for the worms that shed their exoskeleton. Such mealworms have soft bodies. As a result, your dart frogs can smoothly eat those live mealworms.
But, you must collect live mealworms from trusted sources. The experts and experienced owners strictly forbid feeding wild-caught mealworms to dart frogs. The wild-caught worms carry diseases and parasites which may transfer to your dart frogs.
However, these live mealworms have poor nutritional values. If you feed live mealworms to your dart frogs without any additives, your dart frog will not be benefitted from having these treats.
Let’s see how you can make mealworms more nutritious.
How To Make Mealworms Higher In Nutrition?
It’s an open secret that the breeders of mealworms do not ensure wide varieties of diets for their captived mealworms. Their primary focus is on saving the cost of culturing mealworms. So, it’s pretty obvious that captive-bred mealworms are less nutritious than wild mealworms.
Since you must not feed mealworms to your dart frogs, you should manage to make the captive-bred mealworms more nutritious. To make your dart frogs healthy, the foods must be chocked full of good nutritional values, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Let’s check the following methods of making mealworms more nutritious for your dart frogs.
1. Gut Loading Mealworms
If the mealworms are healthy, your dart frogs will get the nutrition of the worms too. So, many experienced owners follow the method of gut-loading mealworms.
In this method, you should feed the mealworms highly nutrient-based foods within 24-48 hours of offering them to dart frogs.
You can gut load the mealworms in various ways. Some owners soak the mealworms in pureed vegetables and fruits. Among gut-loading items, there are leafy greens, apples, baby carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.
Otherwise, there are many commercial gut load formulas for mealworms. Also, you can gut load the mealworms with thirsty cricket and Mealworm chow. Warm up the worms in a separate bowl before offering them to your frogs.
2. Dusting Or Sprinkling With Supplementation
Before feeding mealworms to your dart frogs, you can sprinkle calcium powder on the worms. One of the most readily available calcium sources is calcium carbonate. You need to add calcium powder to a container.
Afterward, you should add mealworms to that container. Then, you have to shake the container gently. In this way, the mealworms will have a coating of calcium powder.
Besides calcium supplementation, you should dust the mealworms with vitamin D3 and other vitamin supplements. If your dart frogs get UVB lighting regularly, you can use low vitamin D3.
Can Dart Frogs Eat Dried Mealworms?
It’s pretty unusual for healthy dart frogs to consume dried or dead mealworms. Generally, frogs tend to hunt live prey. So, your dart frogs may reject those mealworms that are not moving or wriggling.
However, dried mealworms have a low amount of moisture and nutrients. So, your dart frog can get choked while eating dried mealworms. Besides, the chemicals and toxins of dried mealworms can make your dart frogs sick.
Advantages And Drawbacks Of Feeding Mealworms To Dart Frogs
Although you can feed mealworms to your dart frogs, you should not keep these worms in the staple diet of frogs. After all, mealworms contain some drawbacks as foods for frogs. Before going to the disadvantages, let’s see the advantages of feeding mealworms to dart frogs at the beginning.
Advantages of Feeding Mealworms
- Favorite treat of dart frogs.
- Mealworms contain around 20-53% of high-quality protein.
- Compared with other worms, these worms are filled with a higher level of fats, fiber, moisture, etc.
- Live mealworms are commonly available.
- Dried mealworms are easy to store.
Drawbacks Of Feeding Mealworms
- Live mealworms may bite your dart frogs.
- These worms contain low nutritional value.
- Mealworms have
- The exoskeleton of mealworms may get too hard to swallow for dart frogs.
Can Mealworms Hurt My Dart frogs?
There are possibilities that mealworms can hurt your dart frogs. When you try feeding live mealworms, these worms can bite your frogs.
Moreover, the hard exoskeletons of the mealworms aren’t smoothly digestible. As a result, mealworms can cause impaction to your dart frog.
Besides impaction, your dart frog may stop eating for several other reasons. You can take a look at this article to know why your dart frog isn’t eating.
How Many Mealworms Should Be Fed To A Dart Frog?
You must ensure to keep mealworms as a 20% share of the whole diet. Due to having low nutritional value, you can’t feed many mealworms to your dart frogs at a time. However, the feeding amount depends on the age and activeness of your dart frog.
If your dart frog is an adult frog, you can feed 2-3 mealworms at a time in a day. Make sure to keep the size of the mealworms accurate. You can reduce the number of mealworms if your dart frog leaves any worm uneaten.
You should chop off the large mealworms to make them perfect in size. But, you should not give mealworms to your frog daily. Overfeeding these mealworms can cause obesity in your dart frogs.
If you want a whole pack of nutrients and essential vitamins in mealworms, you can buy Fluker Gourmetstyle Mealworms.
How Do You Feed A Mealworm To A Frog?
For new owners, it might be a matter of confusion about how to feed a mealworm to a frog. I’ve shared a few ways of feeding these worms. Let’s check these out.
- You can leave the mealworms in the tank of your dart frogs. Your frogs will hunt their prey on their own.
- Sometimes, your dart frog may not find the mealworms that remain burrowed under the substrate. For this reason, you can serve mealworms in a small dish to your dart frog.
- If none of the above-mentioned methods works, you should use a tweezer to feed mealworms. Pick the mealworm with a tweezer gently.
- Afterward, you should hold the tweezer with the mealworm before your dart frog. Your frog will grab the mealworm when it notices it.
- You can directly feed the mealworms into the mouth of your frog by using a chopstick or tong.
If you want details of the diet of dart frogs, you should go through this write-up: Dart Frog Diet And Feeding Guide.
I hope this article helped you get a clear idea of what to feed mealworms to your dart frogs. Don’t forget to follow the methods of adding more nutritional values to mealworms before feeding them to dart frogs.