Why Do Frogs Chew Every Different? Exploring Amphibian Conduct


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You will have heard that aquarium frogs are peaceable creatures that may be stored in group tanks. So why are you seeing your frogs biting one another?

Whereas the ever-popular African dwarf frog is a docile, social species, there are different frogs which might be downright aggressive and can chew something that they will match of their mouths – together with their proprietor’s fingers!

Sadly, frog species are generally mislabeled in pet shops, and a few behaviors in frogs are extra harmless than they give the impression of being.

Let’s chew on this a bit collectively!

African Dwarf Frogs are Small and Peaceable

Firstly, it’s essential to know that African dwarf frogs (Hymenochirus species) are an overwhelmingly peaceable and docile household that may virtually at all times keep away from battle if they will!

Though African dwarf frogs are predatory, they solely develop as much as 2.5 inches lengthy (very not often as much as 3 inches) which means they don’t pose a lot menace to most aquarium fish, or different frogs.

In the event you’ve seen African dwarf frogs biting one another, it in all probability wasn’t out of aggression. These social creatures are used to spending time collectively and are not possible to attempt to combat one another.

Causes Your African Dwarf Frog Could Chew One other Frog

african dwarf frog care

Since aggression could be very unlikely to be the reason for a biting incident, we have to discover different causes that your dwarf frogs is perhaps biting each other.

Poor Eyesight

Have you ever seen how your African dwarf frog appears to stare blindly at you with these huge, bulging eyes? Nicely, the reason being that they’re pretty blind!

African dwarf frogs are infamous for having very poor imaginative and prescient, which means they will’t even see what’s swimming in entrance of them very clearly. Within the wild, African dwarf frogs largely reside on a weight loss plan of bugs, worms, and different invertebrates.

In the event that they see one thing flash by in entrance of them, they could suppose that their lunch is swimming by and lunge out to chew it. In actuality, this may very well be an aquarium fish or one other frog’s leg. Fortunately, since they don’t have tooth, they’re unlikely to do a lot hurt with their oral assault!


Frogs are frisky creatures, they usually’re not often seen so animated as throughout their courtship rituals.

Throughout mating, the male will climb on prime of the feminine and ‘clasp’ her beneath together with his entrance legs in an embrace referred to as ‘amplexus’.

Throughout this time, the frogs might swim collectively clumsily by the water and will seem like they’re combating or wrestling. In actuality, that is merely the character of their mating conduct.

From my experiences observing frogs, I wouldn’t be shocked if a feminine may give a warning chew in response to the unwelcome advances of a pushy male. Since dwarf frogs don’t have tooth, nonetheless, the bites are unlikely to trigger any severe hurt.

Consuming Pores and skin That’s Been Shed

Do you know that African dwarf frogs shed their pores and skin? They do that each 2-4 weeks, particularly continuously once they’re rising.

To recycle the vitamins within the lifeless pores and skin, your pet frogs will eat the pores and skin that they’ve simply shed. Not solely that, however their mates might generally be part of the celebration!

It’s not unusual to see multiple frog consuming pores and skin that’s being shed, however don’t mistake this conduct to your frogs biting one another. Your frog’s mates are merely having fun with the tasty process of discarding and recycling their pal’s outdated outfit that’s not wanted anymore!

You Have an African Clawed Frog, Not an African Dwarf Frog!

African Clawed Frogs

Once they’re younger, African dwarf frogs (Hymenochirus spp.) and African clawed frogs (Xenopuslaevis spp.) can look very comparable, however the likeness is simply superficial!

Whereas African dwarf frogs by no means exceed 3 inches, African clawed frogs can develop as much as 5 inches lengthy and are far more aggressive!

This makes all of the distinction when selecting your frog as a result of, whereas African dwarf frogs are mannequin group tank members, African dwarf frogs are fierce predators which are sometimes greatest stored alone!

How To Inform the Distinction Between an African Dwarf Frog and an African Clawed Frog?

Since pet shops generally mistakenly promote hobbyists African clawed frogs as an alternative of African dwarf frogs, you will need to know the distinction between them so that you don’t go residence with the improper frog!

The most important distinction between the 2 species is that whereas all toes of the African dwarf frogs are webbed, African clawed frogs solely have webbing on their again toes, however not on the entrance.

As well as, dwarf frogs have a extra flattened form and a extra pointed head.

Do African Clawed Frogs Chew Every Different?

Now, in case you’ve realized you may have an African clawed frog as an alternative of a dwarf frog, dangerous information. Do they chew one another? Sure. They usually’ll additionally chew and attempt to eat virtually the rest within the tank, too!

At 5 inches lengthy, grownup African dwarf frogs are formidable predators and will tackle all however the largest aquarium fish.

In case your pet retailer bought you African clawed frogs mislabeled as African dwarf frogs, attempt to take them again and demand a refund. These two species require a very totally different tank setup and care, and mustn’t be confused.

Different Pet Frogs That Chew

Since we’re an aquarium web site, I’ve centered extra on totally aquatic frogs that may reside in fish tanks. When you have a terrarium, vivarium, or paludarium, nonetheless, chances are you’ll be protecting different kinds of frogs.

Whereas there are a lot of kinds of pet frogs, with totally different temperaments, there are just a few species which might be particularly famend for biting!

Do Pacman Frogs Chew?

Pacman frogs are in all probability essentially the most infamous biters of the frog household. These fierce amphibians have large mouths lined with tooth and an extremely highly effective chew for his or her measurement!

Since homeowners of Pacman frogs repeatedly get their palms bitten, the one secure strategy to feed them is with a pair of wood tongs or chopsticks (metallic might harm their mouths).

Whereas some homeowners have tried protecting multiple Pacman frog collectively, these carnivorous frogs will suppose nothing of consuming a smaller Pacman frog or some other smaller frog that you just put of their tank with them!

Do Budgett’s Frogs Chew?

One other frog with a fearsome fame is the bizarre-looking Budgett’s frog. These critters have monumental mouths for his or her measurement and received’t hesitate to chew their proprietor’s palms or different frogs of their neighborhood. Like Pacman frogs, they’re additionally cannibalistic.

Positively, a frog greatest left to superior hobbyists and professionals!

Do African Bullfrogs Chew?

The large African bullfrog can develop to a whopping 10 inches lengthy and reside for over 20 years! Extra of a battleship than a cute amphibian, these guys can activate reptiles, fish, different frogs, and even small birds, and mammals for meals!

Whereas they could appear to be spectacular pets, these fierce predators can pack a punch with their chew and needs to be left to skilled or skilled amphibian keepers solely.

Peaceable Pet Frog Species That Don’t Chew

After listening to all concerning the aggressive frogs which may attempt to lunge at your palms or one another, chances are you’ll be disheartened, wishing there have been frogs that you may hold peacefully.

The excellent news is that there are a lot of. Tree frogs and leaf frogs are small, delicate amphibians which might be comparatively innocent. Despite the fact that they could chew in self-defense if provoked sufficient, they’re so small that their bites would really feel extra like a innocent peck.

Is It Secure To Deal with Pet Frogs?

One of many causes chances are you’ll be searching for a peaceable frog is when you may have the want to deal with them. Whereas peaceable frog species like tree frogs received’t chew you, do not forget that your palms might nonetheless harm them!

As a result of frogs have such delicate pores and skin, they shouldn’t be dealt with too usually. Think about carrying rubber gloves if you wish to deal with your frog, and at all times maintain them in a secure place the place they will’t fall too far in the event that they all of a sudden bounce!

After all, toxic frogs with toxic pores and skin are an exception. Poison dart frogs for instance can poison your pores and skin with severe results!

Frog Biting FAQs

Can an African Dwarf Frog Chew a Betta Fish?

As I’ve defined, African dwarf frogs are peaceable creatures that solely are inclined to feed on small prey gadgets. Sometimes, nonetheless, they could chew different kinds of fish that swim previous.

Fortunately, most aquarium fish species are lots robust sufficient to withstand the toothless chew of this tiny frog, however that doesn’t imply that fish with fancy fins received’t get broken.

Betta fish are significantly weak, and it’s additionally not unattainable that your dwarf frog might additionally chew an aggressive fish in self-defense!

How Exhausting Can a Frog Chew?

Research measuring the energy of the South American horned frog chew discovered that this outstanding creature might chew at a pressure of 30 Newtons. That’s the equal of getting three liters of water balanced on the tip of your fingernail!

If we scaled these frogs as much as the dimensions of predatory mammals, their chew can be in the same league to that of lions and wolves. Which means round 75% tougher than the human chew!

Does a Frog Chew Harm, Is It Harmful?

Though frogs can chew down fairly onerous for his or her measurement, frog tooth usually are not very sharp, and their bites are not often harmful.

Even frogs with small tooth will not often draw blood, though bigger frogs like African bullfrogs are able to inflicting a painful chew that could be surprising, particularly to younger youngsters.

Are Frog Bites Toxic or Venomous?

Though some amphibians just like the poison dart frog have toxic pores and skin, scientists are but to find any frogs with a venomous chew.

That doesn’t imply that they are going to by no means be discovered although! As just lately as 2015, scientists within the Amazon found two species of venomous frogs that use spines of their noses to headbutt and inject venom into would-be predators when threatened!

Fortunately, neither Bruno’s casque-headed frog (Aparasphenodon brunoi) nor Greening’s frog (Corythomantis greeningi) are sometimes stored in captivity, however this outstanding discovery makes for fascinating studying. Try the total article on the British National History Museum’s website!


African dwarf frogs are a really peaceable species of frog that may virtually by no means chew one another willfully.

The simply confused African clawed frogs, nonetheless, are far more aggressive creatures that may assault and eat not solely different frogs however fish and invertebrates, too!

Together with these two generally stored aquarium frogs, a number of vivarium frogs are able to biting one another, in addition to their proprietor’s palms!

To seek out the final word tank mates to your African dwarf frog, try our devoted information here!

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