The number of people keeping turtles and frogs as pets is slowly increasing with more and more people having large ponds on their land that can have both turtles and frogs in them too. This has resulted in the number of people asking if turtles eat frogs increasing with the people who are considering getting a pet turtle or a pet frog increasing.
We often see a large amount of incorrect information on social media about this due to a surprisingly high number of people not understanding the dietary requirements of turtles as well as what they eat. We see this so frequently that we actually published a dedicated article going over if turtles are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores to try and help correct the common mistakes that we see from people on social media.
Our hope is that this article will also help to clear up some of the common misunderstandings about the diets of turtles and what they will and won’t eat too. It should be able to help any of our readers who are considering keeping turtles and frogs as pets or as pond mates in a large outdoor pond or even anyone who is just curious about if turtles will eat frogs or not.
Do Turtles Eat Frogs?
Some turtles can and will eat frogs but the size of the turtle and the size of the frog will both come into play. Some species of turtle will happily eat frogs of all sizes though due to naturally being large enough to do so but the majority of turtle species will not actively hunt for frogs due to there usually being better food sources available for them that they can eat.
There are a small number of turtle species that live in bodies of water with poisonous frogs that will never eat frogs due to having had issues with trying to eat poisonous frogs previously. At the time of writing, there are no known turtle species that have been able to develop immunity to the more poisonous types of frogs and their poison will have its full effect on a turtle, especially if the frog is injected.
On the flipside of that though, there are also a large number of areas that are free from poisonous frogs or frogs that produce poison that is strong enough to have much of an effect on a turtle too. This is usually the areas where turtles will often eat frogs if they get the chance with many of these areas being in North America with a small number of them in Europe.
What Type Of Turtles Eat Frogs?
The two main species of turtles that will actively hunt frogs to eat them are the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle with both eating large numbers of frogs. Other species of turtle will also eat frogs in some situations but it is generally on a much less frequent basis when compared to how often the snapping turtle variants will eat frogs.
Both the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle are usually large enough to eat all species of frogs across all age gaps that they are able to find due to being large turtles when fully grown. Even baby and juvenile snapping turtles will often do their best to eat as many of these frogs as possible but their smaller size will often restrict the size and species of frog that they are able to eat.
Can Turtles And Frogs Live Together?
Turtles and frogs can sometimes live together in the wild but it is highly likely that some of the frogs will be eaten by the turtles, especially while they are small but enough frogs tent to survive to keep the population going. In captivity, the number of frogs available are often much lower with turtles still often eating them so in some instances, the turtle can eat all of the available frogs.
Even if you plan the specific species of turtle that you will keep in the tank and try to match it will a species of frog that is too large for it to eat, this does not mean that the turtle won’t end up biting the leg off the frog or something like that. The available space for the frog to avoid the turtle is considerably smaller in the majority of aquariums than in a wild pond, lake or river increasing the chances of the turtle injuring the frog.
Keep in mind that even a small turtle species can often grab a larger frog species and start to eat it, sometimes in small amounts and sometimes over the course of an hour or so. At the end of the day, we would just recommend that you do your best to totally avoid keeping a turtle with frogs as the chances of your turtle eating your pet frog are just way too high.
Do Turtles Eat Tadpoles?
Most turtle species will eat tadpoles with many of the smaller turtle species eating huge numbers of tadpoles if possible. In some locations, tadpoles and frogspawn can be major food sources for some species of turtles with there being a risk of a huge issue in their ecosystems if the frog population drops.
In the majority of cases, you will not be keeping tadpoles or frogspawn in the same aquarium with a turtle so this removes the risk for anyone keeping a pet turtle. If you have a pond, land or lake on your land then this can be a more realistic problem that you may end up having but in reality, there is really not much that you are able to do.
The frogs will produce frogspawn in these bodies of water and then the turtles will set in and start eating it quickly and then any tadpoles that end up hatching from the frogspawn. These ecosystems have usually balanced themselves out over thousands of years to make sure that plenty of frogs make it through to keep breeding and ensure that the frog population continues to increase.
That brings our article going over if turtles eat frogs or not to an end. For the most part, the majority of turtles will at least try to eat frogs with this often resulting in serious injury to the frog. If you are looking to keep a turtle and frog as a pet then you really do need to be looking to keep them both in separate tanks if possible to reduce the risk to your pets. If you do have a pond, lake or river on your land then it is usually just too much time and effort to prevent wild turtles from eating wild frogs.