Do Snakes Eat Frogs? (15 Snakes That Eat Frogs)

Do Snakes Eat Frogs (Snakes That Eat Frogs)

The idea of a snake eating a frog is one of those weird ideas about these reptiles that seem to have come from some alternate version of reality. 

After all, who could imagine a stoic, slow-moving creature like a snake going after something as fast as a frog?

But here we are wondering: Do snakes eat frogs?

Several species of snakes eat frogs. Examples are the Asian pit viper, night adder, garter snakes, etc. Even more, some species like the dragon snake have frogs as their primary food source.

Read on to learn more about the subject and species of snakes that eat frogs.

Do Snakes Eat Frogs?

Close Up Snake Eating a Frog
Credit: Angelo-Spillo / Getty Images

The first thing you should know while answering this question is that not all snakes are venomous (this is because most frog-eating snakes are non-venomous).

Only 2% of the world’s snakes can deliver a lethal dose of venom. Of those, only a few are considered dangerous to humans.

Hence, whether snakes eat frogs depends on if they can ingest a frog in the first place.

Snakes are opportunistic hunters — they will most likely eat anything that comes their way.

It is pretty easy for snakes to prey on frogs, and they will do this if need be, but most snakes will rather eat other larger animals.

However, a frog is not a snake’s first choice when looking for something to eat for a few reasons — a frog’s skin is poisonous (e.g., the poison dart frog), and it is a very tricky prey to capture.

Are There Any Species of Snakes That Eat Frogs?

Eastern Garter Snake Eating a Frog
Credit: DArthurBrown / Getty Images

There are about 3,400 species of snakes on earth, if not more, and all of them are strictly carnivorous.

But, not all the species enjoy eating frogs, while others will gobble up a frog the minute they come across it in the wild.

As we mentioned, a snake’s ability to eat a frog depends on its species. There are, however, a few species of snakes that eat frogs. 

The most common of these is the native species of the North American bullsnakes. These snakes are not venomous and feed primarily on frogs, toads, lizards, and mice.

The Asian giant snake is also capable of eating frogs, as are the two types of pythons native to the United States.

Panda snakes, on the other hand, are not capable of eating frogs because they lack the proper digestive enzymes to process the frogs’ strong muscles.

Many snakes that live near water bodies like water snakes will love eating frogs because frogs are abundant in that environment.

Some Water snakes species that eat frogs include:

  • Green Water snakes
  • Diamondback Water snakes
  • Banded Water snakes
  • Brown Water snakes
  • Salt marsh Water snakes
  • Plain belly Water snakes

There are other snake species that eat frogs; they don’t reside permanently in water bodies. They include:

  • Asian pit vipers
  • Garter snakes
  • Madagascan hognose snake
  • Amazon tree boa
  • Night adder
  • Elephant trunk snake
  • Ringneck snake
  • Pythons
  • Grass snakes

What Kind of Frogs Do Snakes Eat?

Frogs are not always a snake’s first choice when looking for what to eat, but that doesn’t rule that snakes won’t go after them if the opportunity presents itself.

Some of the most common frog species that snakes eat include:

  • Bullfrogs
  • Pool frogs
  • Leopard frogs
  • African dwarf frogs
  • Spring keeper
  • Wood frog
  • Grey tree frogs

Why Do Snakes Eat Frogs?

The good news is that while snakes eat frogs, they don’t like their taste. Frogs are easy to catch and swallow, making them an excellent food source for these reptiles.

They are also very nutritious and packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins, which is why many cultures have these amphibians on their menu. Frogs are a staple food in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia.

Asian countries are home to many species of snakes that eat frogs, so it makes sense that the two would go hand in hand.

However, not all snakes that eat frogs are native to Asia. The Garter snake is native to North America and can be found across the country.

It is carnivorous, so it will happily eat frogs, salamanders, and other small aquatic creatures; hence, it is often found near water.

Why Won’t Some Snakes Eat Frogs and Toads?

While some snakes will eat frogs and toads because they are all carnivores, others won’t do that because of how poisonous these amphibians can be.

There is one toad that snakes would rather not eat, and that’s the cane toad—it is a giant and poisonous neotropical toad. Its toxins can kill dogs, humans, and even snakes.

How Do Snakes Hunt Frogs?

Snakes are slow-moving creatures, and that’s why most of them don’t enjoy hunting frogs that move so swiftly (in some cases).

A snake would wait patiently for frogs to cross its path before attacking, and they do this with great speed and accuracy.

How Does a Snake Eat a Frog?

Wild Tree Snake Eating Bull Frog by Constriction
Credit: Placebo365 / Getty Images

The way snakes eat frogs depends entirely on the kind of snake. Venomous snakes will eat frogs by a process called envenomation

When the snake bites the frog, it releases enough toxins to kill it, and after the frog dies, the snake swallows it whole.

Nonvenomous snakes use the constriction method to suffocate their prey and feed on it.

What Other Animals Do Snakes Eat?

A snake is a carnivorous animal that will also feed on other animals and humans, as the case may be.

They are opportunistic hunters and eaters, and if an opportunity to feed on even larger animals comes, be sure that they wouldn’t pass up on it.

Some animals that snakes will eat are:

  • Insects
  • Birds
  • Fishes
  • Gerbils
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Rodents
  • Other reptiles

Do Frogs Eat Snakes?

A snake would not always be the predator. The hunted (frogs) can become the hunter on some days. Out there in the wild, they follow the “Survival of the fittest” rule. 

Yes, some frogs can eat snakes! Giant frogs are known for their ability to feast on animals ten times their body size, including snakes.

Here is a list of frogs that can eat snakes when it’s convenient for them:

  • Horned frogs
  • American bullfrog
  • Australian Green tree frog
  • Goliath frog
  • Pacman frog
  • Poison dart frog

How Do Frogs Defend Themselves From Snakes?

Although some frogs are tiny, they are intelligent and agile enough to know when in danger and defend themselves.

They don’t have too many defense mechanisms but can still find a way to escape their predators.

  • A frog’s body is slimy, so if it ever finds itself in a snake’s grip, it can wriggle itself free.
  • When in danger, frogs can decide to fall on their backs to act dead for a few minutes to discourage and deceive their predators.
  • A frog’s pee stinks badly; they can use this offensive odor to escape being attacked.
  • When a frog sense that a snake or other predators threaten it, it darts into the water to escape (if there’s water close by.)
  • Frogs can jump great distances with their athletic hind legs, which is one standard method they use to escape attacks.

Related Questions

Can snakes eat frogs?

Yes, there are many frog-eating snakes. Some snakes, like the dragon snake, prey exclusively on tadpoles, frogs, and fish.

Although snakes prefer warm-blooded prey, their habitats and food availability influence their diet; they can eat frogs anytime.

Can I feed frogs to my pet snake?

Some pet snakes will enjoy a frog meal, but it is not advisable to feed them live animals, so sit this one out. Mice, rats, insects, and other feeder animals are more appropriate meal options.

Can frogs eat snakes?

While most frog species are too small and weak to prey on snakes, some large and strong ones can eat snakes. Examples are bullfrogs, horned frogs, and Goliath frogs — they can conveniently feed on smaller snakes.

Do snakes eat toads?

Generally, snakes won’t eat toads as toads have poisonous secretions on their skin that make them inedible.

Still, some snake species can feed on toads. An example is the Keelback snake, whose body is immune to the toads’ poison (only tiny toads).

Conclusion

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not snakes eat frogs, the answer is yes! A few types of snakes eat frogs, primarily bullsnakes and pythons. 

While a snake’s diet largely depends on its species and habitat, it’s safe to say that if a snake exists in your area, it’s probably eaten at least one frog at some point in its life span.

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