Do African Dwarf Frogs Eat Each Other? [Yes & No?]

The new aquarists often remain worried about the cannibalism trait of their aquarium pets. When African dwarf frog enthusiasts want to keep these frogs as pets, they might imagine the nightmare of losing some of these frogs due to their species. So, beginners often ask around frog forums- do African dwarf frogs eat each other?

Generally, African dwarf frogs do not eat each other in the wild. But, these fully aquatic frogs might eat each other for various reasons. Poor eyesight, competition for food, living in a small space, and several other reasons can make African dwarf frogs eat each other. Adult dwarf frogs usually gobble up the eggs and babies of African dwarf frogs.

In this article, I’ve tried to explain details of the cannibalistic nature of African dwarf frogs, the prevention, and so on. So, I urge you to go through this article to know elaborately about this matter.

Before going into the conclusion, you should know about the temperament of the African dwarf frog. It’ll help you know the natural behavior of these frogs.

The Temperament of African Dwarf Frog

The temperament of the African dwarf frog is peaceful, docile, and calm. Also, these frogs are active and playful.

You might get wondered to know that these aquatic frogs are enlisted in the list of toothless frogs. There aren’t any claws of these aquatic frogs. So, generally, African dwarf frogs do not suppose to be threats to their species.

These dwarf frogs can’t make other species mad by nibbling them with claws or teeth. As a result, there doesn’t remain any risk of fighting among dwarf frogs and other inhabitants due to getting on their wick.

But, there are several cases where African dwarf frogs show aggression toward smaller fish. If the needs of African dwarf frogs aren’t fulfilled in captivity, their temperament may turn to the opposite.

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But, these are pretty unusual. The experts’ comment that people might confuse aggressive African-clawed frogs with docile African dwarf frogs.

You can also pay a visit to this article to ensure whether African dwarf frogs are aggressive or not.

Will African Dwarf Frogs Eat Each Other?

African dwarf frogs are known as extremely peaceful frogs. There is a saying that these frogs do not have an ounce of anger since they are weaponless.

Because of being clawless and toothless, these dwarf frogs do not show any aggression toward their species. So, it’s pretty unusual for these frogs to attack their species or other inhabitants of the aquarium.

Due to having a peaceful temperament, African dwarf frogs do not usually eat each other. But. Cannibalism isn’t absent in the traits of these species.

Sometimes, the larger African dwarf frogs may gobble up the smaller dwarf frogs. But, such action doesn’t happen out of hostility. The most common reason for African dwarf frogs’ eating each other is competition over food. So, you can say that these fully aquatic frogs may each other.

Will African Dwarf Frogs Eat Their Eggs?

Unfortunately, African dwarf frogs consume their eggs and babies. These dwarf frogs do not have any parental affection. So, it’s pretty common to hear of them eating their eggs before the eggs get hatched.

Not only this, African dwarf frogs tend to eat their tadpoles too. So, you should separate the eggs of African dwarf frogs as soon as the eggs are laid.

Why Will African Dwarf Frogs Eat Each Other?

Although it is not expected for African dwarf frogs to eat each other, several factors may trigger these aquatic frogs to do so. Let’s see the probable reasons why African dwarf frogs eat each other.

1. Mistaken Identity

You might be aware of the poor eyesight of African dwarf frogs. These fully aquatic frogs can see better only at a distance of 3 inches. For this reason, these frogs do not recognize their foods well all the time.

As a result, African dwarf frogs might mistake their species for their food. Being omnivores, African dwarf frogs consume anything that fits in their mouth. This mistaken identity affects the fries of African dwarf frogs as these fries can readily fit in their mouth.

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So, these dwarf frogs might eat smaller dwarf frogs mistakenly. You can’t categorize this reason for cannibalism as a matter of aggression.

african dwarf frog care

2. Competition For Food

It’s pretty normal to get desperate when you don’t get enough food. The same thing goes for African dwarf frogs.

African dwarf frogs may eat each other in search of food too. Hunger can lead these frogs to consume their species.

If you provide these dwarf frogs less than their needs, these frogs will compete over this short amount of food. As a result, the larger frogs will try to consume anything that fits in their mouth let alone the smaller frogs, tadpoles, etc.

3. Stress

Stress is a significant factor that triggers African dwarf frogs to resort to cannibalism. When you keep too many African dwarf frogs in a small space, it’ll make them stressed.

Keeping with aggressive tank mates may also stress them. Check out this article to know about 25 suitable tank mates of African dwarf frogs.

Due to living in a small tank with limited food, African dwarf frogs may consume the smaller frogs. In this way, the smaller dwarf frogs become the prey of the larger dwarf frogs.

If you want to know more reasons for African dwarf frog death, you should click here.

Can You Put 2 African Dwarf Frogs Together?

Since African dwarf frogs are social, these frogs do their best in groups. You can put 2 African dwarf frogs together in the same tank. But, you should not keep the baby African dwarf frogs with the adult dwarf frogs.

For details, you can go through this article.

Why Do My African Dwarf Frogs Keep Biting Each Other?

There might be several reasons responsible for the unusual behavior of African dwarf frogs. In the wild, these fully aquatic frogs tend to stay in groups.

So, these dwarf frogs would like to stay in groups in captivity. When African dwarf frogs stay in a group, they create a hierarchy with a lead dwarf frog. That’ll help them maintain order in the group.

To establish the hierarchy, the dominant African dwarf frog may bite other members of the group. It is not territorial behavior.

On the other hand, African dwarf frogs may bite each other when they’re under stress. Besides, poor eyesight might lead these frogs to bite other dwarf frogs mistaken for food.

See also  How Long Can African Dwarf Frogs Hold Their Breath?

How Can You Prevent Your African Dwarf Frogs From Eating Each Other?

It must be shocking to find that your African dwarf frogs have eaten their species in your tank. To avoid such an unwanted scenario, you must take some strict steps. Let’s see how you can prevent your African dwarf frogs to eat each other.

1. Keeping Frogs Of the Same Size Together

As mentioned before, keeping African dwarf frogs of different sizes is risky in the same tank. The adult African dwarf frogs might eat up the smaller ones or tadpoles because of being nearly blind. Also, there might be some other triggering reasons.

No matter what can be the reasons, the smaller African dwarf frogs will be at risk. So, you should remain concerned about the size of dwarf frogs before keeping them together.

2. Feed On the Right Amount

The next thing that you should keep in mind is to keep your African dwarf frogs well-fed. If you provide food in the right amount, these dwarf frogs won’t need to compete over food. So, there will be less risk of cannibalism among African dwarf frogs.

If you’re a beginner, you can take help from this article to know details about the African dwarf frog diet.

3. Provide Lots Of Hiding Spaces

You should provide lots of hideouts in the tank of your African dwarf frogs. Keep lots of driftwood, rocks, PVC piping, hollow flower pots, plants, etc.

It’ll help these frogs minimize their stress level. So, stress will not trigger African dwarf frogs to eat each other.

4. Avoid Overcrowding

The next tactic is to avoid overcrowding the tank of your African dwarf frogs. When dwarf frogs live in a congested environment, these frogs will be stressed.

As a result, they might be desperate to hurt each other by being aggressive. It will lead to cannibalism. So, you should ensure not to overcrowd your frog tank.

Final Words

I hope you can conclude after finishing this article. If you keep your African dwarf frogs happy, your dwarf frog will not kill each other. Not to mention, you should separate the eggs and babies of dwarf frogs from the adults.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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