It’s pretty unusual to hear defame about the cannibalistic nature of tree frogs. When you keep several tree frogs as pets and notice a smaller member missing one day, you might suspect the older tree frogs. Hence, people often ask anxiously in frog forums- can tree frogs eat each other?
Although tree frogs are insectivores, these frogs can eat each other. Generally, tree frogs tend to gobble up their tadpoles. Sometimes, tree frogs eat the smaller frogs of their species due to starvation, lack of space, assuming potential competition, etc.
In this article, I’ve explained the extent of the cannibalism trait of tree frogs, why tree frogs eat each other, etc.
Are Tree Frogs Cannibalistic?
The answer is yes. Like other frogs, cannibalism is present among tree frogs.
Usually, tree frogs are carnivores. Smaller frogs of their species are not included in the regular diet of tree frogs. But, the cannibalistic trait can be seen among larger species of tree frogs. Such cases happen when these tree frogs are a stake of food.
For this reason, the experts suggest not to coexist all species of tree frogs in the same tank. You must not keep smaller species of tree frogs in a similar tank to larger tree frogs. For more information, you should go through this article: can you keep multiple tree frogs together?
If you keep big-eyed tree frogs with American Green tree frogs, the American green tree frog may eat the big-eyed tree frog. These frogs can eat each other not only in the wild but also in captivity.
Do Tree Frogs Eat Their Tadpoles?
There are records of tree frogs eating their tadpoles. But, it is an unusual occurrence.
Instead of eating their species, frogs prefer other meat-based diets, including bugs, insects, larvae, worms, flies, grubs, etc. When there is a shortage of food, tree frogs meet their hunger for anything.
Because of being omnivores, tree frogs eat anything that fits in their mouth. In the scarcity of food, tree frogs may eat tadpoles. It includes not only tadpoles of other frogs but also owns tadpoles.
When Do Tree Frogs Eat Each Other?
Several species of tree frogs have a tremendous appetite. Although tree frogs are not picky eaters, these frogs are mainly insectivores. Since tree frogs are communal, they do not usually end up eating each other.
There are several reasons why tree frogs become cannibalistic. Let’s check these out.
1. Scarcity of Foods
Tree frogs may get into cannibalism when food is scarce. When enough foods are not available in the ecosystem, the bulky frogs will devour the smaller frogs.
Hunger provokes cannibalism among frogs, like all cannibalistic animals. Otherwise, tree frogs prioritize alternative food sources over their fellow species of frogs.
2. High Population Density
When the frog population increases in a small area, there will be fewer resources. Due to the lack of food, frogs will try to reduce their population density. To avoid starvation, tree frogs will get involved in cannibalism in such cases.
3. Due To The Lack Of Space For Development
If there are too many tree frogs in a dense area, these frogs will not get sufficient space for development. Overpopulation may make these frogs stressed. It can lead them to eat each other.
Moreover, these frogs do not get sufficient quality food in an overpopulated place. These factors may trigger tree frogs to eat each other.
4. Competition for Resources
When there are lacking of resources, the tree frogs may get involved in the competition. In such cases, the weaker tree frogs fall prey to the bigger frogs. These tree frogs may try to decrease their competition for food and territory by eating each other.
If you have other tree frog species with White’s tree frog, the White’s tree frog will eat those smaller frogs. After all, these White tree frogs grow up to around 3-4.5 inches whereas other tree frogs reach up to around 2 inches on average.
If you want to know a detailed care guide about tree frogs, you can check out this write-up: how to pet tree frogs safely
I hope this article helped you know when tree frogs eat each other. You should ensure that your tree frogs do not face scarcity of foods to eat each other.