Tree frogs are a common household pet but it is also important to keep in mind that their delicate nature means that they require very attentive care.
One of the staple parts of the tree frogs diet is insects and worms so this means that you can feed them mealworms; but there are other things that your tree frog will need to thrive. Owners must also be careful when feeding mealworms as too many could cause problems and they are better served as a treat.
In this article, we are going to be looking at whether feeding your tree frog mealworms is OK and how many of these they can safely eat as well a exploring some of the other important parts of their diet to ensure proper care is given.
What Do Tree Frogs Eat?
Tree frogs are carnivores – this means that they eat meat. The definition of a carnivore can vary to some degree, with many people believing that these animals eat meat exclusively.
But according to scientists, there are carnivores who will supplement their meat-based diet with plants, fruits and vegetables; wouldn’t this make them omnivorous? Perhaps, but that is a discussion for another day.
Where the tree frog is concerned, their basic diet consists of live insects and the most common offering insect for tree frogs in captivity is the cricket. These are in abundant supply in pet stores around the world and it is perfectly possible for you to breed your own crickets to give you a continued and free supply.
But what is most interesting about frogs; tree and otherwise, is that they begin their life as a plant-eating herbivore – the tadpole. They go through a process known as metamorphosis and this will have an impact on their diet and lifestyle over time.
As the frogs grow, their needs will change and a plant-based diet will no longer be suitable with adult frogs being the carnivorous animals we have discussed.
In the main, tree frogs will feed on insects and it is important to keep in mind that offering live food is the best way to encourage a captive frog to eat in the same way that it would in the wild.
These are predatory animals and will often turn their noses up at dead prey, simply because they are naturally wired to enjoy the thrill of the chase as well as chowing down on their catch.
It can be a little strange to offer live food if you have never done it before but it is an important aspect of your frog’s care and as a pet parent, something that you may need to get used to.
Can I Give My Treefrog Mealworms?
Yes, you can use mealworms as a way to provide your tree frog with an important source of protein and nutrition. However, it is important to keep in mind that these should not be the main food that you give and should be used as more of a supplement or treat.
In the main, you will give your tree frog live crickets but whatever you are feeding to the frog, it is vital that you prepare it correctly.
Buying your insects and worms from a pet supplier is the best way to ensure that you are getting the best quality but it you are raising your own, you must be sure to do the following:
- Make sure that the insects and worms are gut-loaded. This is far less complicated than it sounds and simply involves feeding the insects and worms a high protein diet for at least 24 hours before they are offered to the frog as food. This will ensure that they provide the best nutritional value for your pet. If you are buying insects or worms from somewhere like a fishing bait supplier, it is unlikely that they will have been gut-loaded, so do keep this in mind.
- You can dust the crickets and worms with a supplement powder before giving them to your frog and this is another great way to ensure that your pet is getting everything that he needs. Do be aware that if the live prey is not eaten right away then the powder may be dusted off; this is especially true of crickets and locusts so it is important to make sure that you only give your tree frog an amount of food that he will eat in one sitting.
What Other Worms Can Tree Frogs Eat?
Mealworms are one of the most easy to come by and common types of worms available in pet stores and for this reason, they are usually the go-to source of wormy food. However, you are not limited to feeding your tree frog mealworms as there are several other types of worm that can be offered.
Tree frogs are not overly fussy eaters and will likely snap up anything that is offered to them in terms of insects and worms. You might like to consider offering things like silk worms, red wrigglers and wax worms.
If you are going to provide wax worms, it is important to do this in moderation as these fatty worms have been known to contribute to obesity if they are given to the frog too frequently. It is a wise idea to use these as an occasional treat rather than a staple food.
Similarly, mealworms should be offered in small quantities or as a treat since too many of these could cause health problems for the frog. It has been observed that eating vast numbers of mealworms may affect the liver and this is due to their high starch content. Furthermore, their hard outer shell has been known to cause impaction when the frog eats too many.
Conclusion: Can tree frogs eat mealworms?
Tree frogs are carnivorous animals whose diet is based on meats and proteins from insects and worms. Pet owners are most likely to feed their tree frog a range of crickets, locusts and sometimes, mealworms.
This is entirely acceptable but it is important to remember that mealworms and other types of worm should not be offered as a main source of protein as too many may affect the health of the frog.
Instead, try offering your pet crickets as her main meal and treating her to the occasional small portion of mealworms as a way of mixing things up.