To see a red eyed tree frog feeding is certainly an amazing sight. This frog is a nocturnal carnivore that stealthily hides in the foliage of the forest awaiting prey. They ambush crickets, flies, moths and even smaller frogs, capturing them with their quick, sticky tongue. The feeding for red eyed tree frogs in captivity differs slightly from the way in which they feed in the wild.
Feeding in the Wild
The red eyed tree frog is a carnivore, so it eats only other animals. It relies on the nourishment of insects such as crickets, flies and moths, occasionally also ingesting other smaller frogs. Young frogs feed on fruit flies and pinhead crickets. The frog must rely on its mouth for capture of prey, specifically its tongue. The tongue of the red eyed tree frog is attached to the front of its lower jaw, enabling it the maximum length for catching prey.
When the prey comes in close range to the frog, it flicks its tongue at the insect. The insect sticks to the frog’s tongue and the frog very quickly flicks its tongue back into its mouth, swallowing the insect. The frog will also use its eye muscles to help push the prey down its throat.
During red eyed tree frog feeding, they rely mainly on their sight; however, they also have a well-developed sense of smell that assists them in identifying prey. Oddly enough, frogs do have teeth. They are very weak and are primarily used to grind up food before swallowing. However, the tongue does most of the work.
Feeding in Captivity
Red eyed tree frog feeding recommendations for those in captivity should be followed precisely for the optimum health of your pet frog. The red eyed tree frog’s best meal in captivity is crickets. They are readily available, making them the ideal staple for your frog’s diet. You can also feed your frog mealworms or wax worms. Wax worms should be fed infrequently due to their high fat content.
It is advised to “load” the crickets before feeding them to the red eyed tree frog. This refers to feeding or dusting the crickets with vitamin and mineral-rich food or supplements to ensure that your frog is getting the required nutrients.
Adult frogs should be fed every other night with three to six crickets or other food items. Juvenile frogs should be fed every night with loaded or supplement dusted insects. They generally require more food in order to grow healthy.
Provide your pet red eyed tree frog with fresh water daily. Do not use water straight from the faucet. It needs to be treated to rid it of chlorine and chloramines. Bottled water can be used. Place the water in a dish large enough for the frog to soak in as well.
In the wild or in a habitat designed especially for the pet frog, red eyed tree frog feeding is quite interesting to watch and their meals are generally the same. The world of the red eyed tree frog is unique and fascinating. If making a home for the frog, be vigilant about its feeding habits in order to keep this wonderful creature healthy.