Reptiles are fascinating creatures and there is a huge variety of these animals out in the world, all with unique characteristics and diets. You might have wondered, though: do lizards eat frogs?
Most lizards are known to eat frogs if they are small enough. The majority of all lizard species are either omnivorous or carnivorous and will feed on meat when they have the chance. And because lizards, as well as frogs, come in many sizes, encounters will often end up with the smaller of the two being eaten!
Read ahead to find out more about the diet of various lizards, and whether or not it is likely to include frogs and toads!
What Types of Lizards Eat Frogs?
Although many different kinds of lizards are known to eat frogs on occasion, there are some species that feed on these amphibians more regularly than others.
The two things that have the biggest effect on this are the size of the lizard, and how much of their diet is meat-based.
In basic terms: the larger a carnivorous or omnivorous lizard is, the more likely they are to hunt larger prey, like frogs. This means that big meat-eating lizards are the ones that are generally going to turn a frog into a meal.
Some lizard species that are large enough to regularly feed on frogs include:
There are actually around 80 different species of monitor lizard that have been recognized. These carnivorous lizards are large enough to eat frogs, crabs, snakes, and fish on a regular basis, and larger species can even hunt mammals as well.
Some common species of monitor lizards are the green tree monitor, which is found in Australia and New Guinea.
Other species of monitor lizard include the Komodo dragon, found on the Indonesian island of Komodo, and the Nile monitor, found throughout Africa.
The Asian water monitor lizard is the largest lizard in Asia. It is found near water in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. The water monitor lizard can grow to be up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 40 pounds!
In the wild, bearded dragons will eat almost anything that they can get. They enjoy a lot of insects and small vertebrates, but they will also eat vegetables and plants as well.
One of the reasons that bearded dragons can eat smaller frogs is that they have fairly large mouths.
This allows them to pick up small prey and bring it back to their mouths. Bearded dragons also have sharp claws and teeth that help them to catch and eat their prey.
While chameleons mainly feed on insects, they will also catch and eat small lizards, frogs, and birds as well on occasion.
These famous lizards are almost exclusively carnivorous, and they don’t need fruits or vegetables to survive.
Do Little Lizards Eat Frogs?
Smaller lizards are much less likely to eat frogs, but it’s not impossible. Most small lizards tend to have an insect-based diet if they are meat-eaters, and frogs are often too large for them to hunt easily.
If a lizard is actually smaller than a frog, then they might become the prey themselves!
Just like lizards, a lot of frogs are opportunistic hunters that will eat whatever is available to them. If there are small lizards around, then they can make a convenient meal for a hungry frog.
Bullfrogs in particular are known for eating basically anything that will fit into their mouths, and they won’t think twice about snacking on a small lizard.
It does, of course, depend partly on the size of the frog as well. When they are first developing, baby frogs can be incredibly small, making them more vulnerable to smaller lizards.
It often comes down to who is larger than who, although both frogs and lizards will sometimes try and eat prey that is larger than themselves!
Do Lizards Also Eat Toads?
When it comes to toads, the story is pretty similar. Meat-eating lizards that are large enough and have access to them will often try to eat toads in the same way that they will eat frogs or even other, smaller, lizards.
However, the average toad is bigger than the average frog, so lizards are less likely to eat toads due to their larger size.
Also, unlike frogs, all toads are poisonous to some degree. They have a special gland that secretes a toxic substance that can be deadly if consumed by other animals.
Many carnivorous lizards are able to learn which animals to avoid eating if they don’t want to become sick or even die, but unknown species can be a real problem.
If they haven’t encountered certain toads before, lizards won’t know that they are a dangerous meal.
There has been a big decline in the numbers of many different species of monitor lizards in Australia, for example, since toxic cane toads were introduced to the country.
Can Lizards and Frogs Live Together?
You might think that lizards and frogs could make good friends. They often live in similar habitats in the wild, and they can even share the same sort of diet.
Unfortunately, though, it is highly risky to house lizards and frogs in the same enclosure. It’s not impossible, but you need to know a lot about the individual species that you are dealing with to have a chance of it working out safely.
Smaller lizards are less likely to eat frogs, but that means they are more likely to get eaten by a frog instead.
You don’t just run the risk of them eating each other either – trying to cater to two very different species often leads to both of them being unhappy and/or unhealthy.
For any chance of cohabitation, you will have to choose your species carefully, have a very large enclosure, and intimately understand their different needs.
The two lizard species that are most often kept with certain species of frogs are:
- Small day geckos
Even for these species, the individuals need to be very healthy, the enclosure needs to be very large, and you need to provide a temperature gradient and the right humidity to not risk harm to the frogs.
However, no matter what you do, there’s no way to be completely sure that either species won’t become a meal for the other.
In conclusion, lizards will eat frogs if they are small enough. The majority of all lizard species are either omnivorous or carnivorous and will feed on meat when they have the chance.
Monitor Lizards, Bearded Dragons, and Chameleons are some examples of lizard species that will eat frogs if presented to them.
Smaller lizards will eat smaller frogs and larger lizards will eat larger frogs, the same principle goes for insects like beetles eaten by lizards and chameleons in particular.
It is also important to note that while many different kinds of lizards are known to eat frogs on occasion, there are some species that feed on these amphibians more regularly than others. Additionally, smaller lizards are much less likely to eat frogs.