What eats frogs in the rainforest?

Written by nicole papagiorgio
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What eats frogs in the rainforest?
Most poison dart frogs only have to worry about snakes eating them. (Poisonous frog, Ronario Frog Pond, Costa Rica image by Oren Sarid from Fotolia.com)

The rainforest is home to a wide variety of frog species. Some of these frogs are poisonous and brightly coloured to ward off predators, but some predators are immune to these poisons. Other frogs are eaten by a range of predators at all stages of their life cycles, with fish that eat frog eggs and tadpoles and birds and snakes that eat adult frogs.

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Snakes

One snake in particular, Leimadophis epinephelus, is found in the rainforest and only eats frogs. It is able to eat deadly poison dart frogs because of a resistance to their skin toxins. This snake is the only predator of adult poison dart frogs, but is one of many predators of other frog species.

Poison dart frogs make their poison by eating toxic fire ants and other arthropods in the rainforest. In captivity, poison dart frogs are fed non-toxic feeder insects and are completely harmless. In this state, they can be predated by nearly anything.

Birds

Many frog species found in the rainforest make perfect-sized prey for larger bird species, such as parrots. Some birds in the rainforest also have the ability to dive into the water to grab swimming frogs. The quetzal is another bird that lives in the rainforest and can eat up to half its weight in prey, including frogs and lizards, every day.

Tarantulas

In the tropical rainforests, certain species of tarantulas are large enough to eat frogs. One such species is the goliath bird-eating tarantula.

Fish

During the beginning stages of a rainforest frog's life cycle, it may be eaten by fish, insect larvae, shrimp or other aquatic animals that eat frog eggs and tadpoles.

Bats

While many species of bats eat only insects or fruit, the rainforest is home to a species called the frog-eating bat. This bat includes insects and fruit in its diet, but primarily eats frogs. The frog-eating bat also has the unique ability to differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous frogs. It determines which calls are from frogs that are safe to eat, and it homes in on their calls. The frog-eating bat avoids calls from poisonous frogs.

Other Frogs

There are some species of frogs in the rainforest that eat other frogs. The red-eye tree frog, for example, eats insects and smaller frogs when the opportunity arises.

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