What Does an Amphibian Eat?


Amphibians are animals that spend at least part of their lives in the water and part of their lives on land. Most amphibians are moist-skinned and need to visit bodies of water every now and need water to stay hydrated and survive; however, some amphibians, like toads, are dry-skinned and only need cool places to live. Their diet depends on the size of their prey as most of them lack teeth for chewing.

Common Diet

  • Amphibians generally eat meat, although different species have differing preferences. There are three types of amphibians: frogs, salamanders and caecilians. Young amphibians feed off microorganisms found in water. As they grow bigger, the focus turns to hunting larger types of creatures, like mosquito larva, shrimp fry and small insects. Adult amphibians prefer hunting small creatures and insects, while some large species can even hunt down small animals, such as mice.


  • Frogs are one of the most common amphibians and are found almost all over the planet. Baby frogs, known as tadpoles, generally eat algae and other small plant life in the water. In captivity, tadpoles can even eat minced lettuce and other types of vegetables. As they develop into adult frogs their diet drastically changes; adult frogs become carnivorous and will eat any type of meat they can swallow. Insects, small animals, small fish, snails and even worms are included in an adult frog's diet. Larger species can sometimes eat rats, lizards and small mammals. Frogs cannot chew their food, so they need to hunt down animals or insects that can easily fit in their mouth.


  • Salamanders look like lizards; they have a long body, a tail and four legs. Their size varies depending on the species; the smallest species average only 1.2 inches, while the largest can grow several times this size. Like frogs, young salamanders have a different diet than adult salamanders. Young ones eat small microorganisms like cyclopsen and as they grow larger will eat larger organisms like mosquito larvae. Once they are large enough, they will eat small fish, earthworms and other small insects as part of their diet. Adult salamanders eat insects, small animals and other types of meat, as long as they can swallow it.


  • Caecilians can be hard to find in the wild; most people have probably not seen a caecilian. It doesn't have legs and look similar to an earthworm. The smallest species is about 4 to 5 inches, while the largest species can grow to several feet in length. Caecilians are not extensively studied like salamanders and frogs, but their diet is believed to be carnivorous. Insects, like ants and termites, are commonly eaten by caecilians, as well as earthworms and other small creatures.


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