Can a Frog Eat a Snake?

Frogs are incredible animals and are often also amazing hunters. Different types of frogs have a vast array of prey and can take down some unlikely animals. After learning about what a frog can eat, you may wonder if a frog is capable of eating a snake.

Generally larger species of frogs eat small snakes. Often, smaller frogs do not eat snakes since such prey is too large to fit into their mouths. Large frogs generally prefer to eat less venomous snake species but will try to bite anything that crosses their path, even 2 foot long snakes.

Different snakes fall victim to frogs all over the world. This post will take a more in-depth look at these snake eaters, as well as the types of snakes that they are capable of eating.

Types of Frogs That Eat Snakes

Larger frog species typically eat small snakes including American Bullfrogs, Cane Toads, African Bullfrogs, and Australian Green Tree Frogs.

Frog SpeciesCan Eat a Snake?Prey to Snakes?
American BullfrogYesYes
Australian Green Tree FrogYesYes
Goliath FrogYesNo
Cane ToadYesNo
Pacman FrogYesYes
Poison Dart FrogNoNo
Spring PeeperNoYes
Wood FrogNoYes
Grey Tree FrogsNoYes

Smaller frog species such as Spring Peeper, Wood Frogs, Grey Tree Frogs, and Natterjack Toads do not eat snakes since they are too large for them to digest.

American Bullfrogs Eat Snakes

American Bullfrogs eat a wide variety of prey and seem to be willing to try to take a bite out of just about anything (including a human finger!). This definitely includes any small snakes that might cross their path.

The most common snake American Bullfrogs might try to eat is a young Garter snake. These snakes aren’t overly dangerous, usually aren’t venomous, and the young ones are the perfect size for Bullfrogs to pounce on.

Bullfrogs do not limit themselves to only this category of snake though. A story from the University of Arizona stated that full-grown snakes in an area with American Bullfrogs will have scars on their tails from bullfrog bites.

With the ability to eat something that size, you may wonder exactly how big of a snake an American Bullfrog could manage to eat. Ideally, frogs should only consume animals that are no wider than the space between their eyes, and no longer than 1/3 of their body length.

How Big Size Worms to Feed Frogs-min

However, like most frogs, American Bullfrogs may bite at anything that gets too close. So it’s not uncommon for them to try to eat snakes that are longer than the general rule above.

Although frogs may successfully swallow snakes and other animals that are too large, this can lead to health issues such as digestive problems, impaction, and sometimes death.

Yet, American Bullfrogs are ferocious carnivorous predators that also eat mice, small birds and bats!

Australian Tree Frogs Eat Snakes

Another frog that commonly eats snakes is the Australian Green Tree Frog. These frogs are only about 4 inches in length at the adult stage of their development, but that doesn’t stop them from taking on snakes for their meals. While their diet is primarily insect-based, this frog can eat much more.

Green frog eats snake

When Australian Green Tree Frogs eat snakes, they generally eat small, non-venomous snakes which make for a big meal.

There are, however, accounts of these frogs eating more dangerous prey – specifically the Coastal Taipan Snake. This snake is one of the most deadly in the world, but one photographer was able to capture an Australian Green Tree Frog eating one of these snakes on camera.

No matter the snake, the frog will eat it in the same manner. The frog spots the snake, gets into stealth mode, and then licks up the snake to swallow it whole.

You may wonder why the snake does not attack them from the inside, which is a perfectly reasonable question. Many frog species are ambush predators that surprise their prey. By the time it realizes its in a stomach, it’s too late.

Frogs have strong muscles that constrict the snake and keeps it from moving. They also have strong stomach acid to kill their prey. From there, the frog simply has to close its mouth and keep it shut while the snake inside suffocates.

Other Frogs That Eat Snakes

Other than American Bullfrogs and Australian Tree Frogs, other frogs that eat snakes include African Bullfrogs, Goliath Frogs, Cane Toads and Pacman Frogs.

For example, Goliath Frogs are the largest frogs on earth and can grow up to 32 cm (12in) in length from snout to vent, and weigh up to 3.25 kg (7.7lb). These frogs feed on snakes and a wide variety of large prey.

Frogs that eat snakes generally consist of larger frog species, and Bullfrogs, Cane Toads, and Pacman Frogs are ambush predators. This means that these kinds of frogs like to sit and wait for their prey to come to them.

They may seem a bit lazy, but are extremely ferocious predators that catch their prey off guard and lick it up live and whole.

Frogs Are Often Snake Prey

It is true that some frogs can eat snakes, but most cannot because they are much too small. In fact, in most circumstances, the roles are actually reversed since snakes are frogs predators, and often the frogs are the ones that get eaten.

This is especially true for smaller frog species such as Spring Peeper, Wood Frogs, and Grey Tree Frogs.

High Angle View Of Snake Eating Frog

Many frogs can secrete toxins on their skin. For example, Poison Dart Frogs and Cane Toads are so poisonous most snake species will not attempt to eat them. This is one of the reasons why Cane Toads are so invasive – they have few predators due to their level of toxicity.

But the Small-Banded Kukri is a snake species that is known to eat the frog’s insides while the frog is still alive, leaving the rest of the body. This is a common tactic some predators, including raccoons, use to avoid ingesting the frogs toxic skin.

Unexpected Frog Predators

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But most frogs commonly fall prey to all sorts of animals, snakes. While some large species are capable of eating snakes or have really cool defence mechanisms to try to avoid them, most frogs frequently fall victim to them (CTNF).

Frogs Also Eat Other Large Prey

Frogs are obligate carnivores meaning that they cannot survive without animal-based foods in their diet. Large adult frogs eat live insects, birds, bats, lizards, reptiles, fish, and snakes live and whole.

What Do Frogs Eat? [You Will Never Guess!] 🐍

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Learn more about what frogs eat depending on their lifecycle stage on our blog.

More About What Frogs Eat

Learn more about what frogs eat and how in these guides on our blog:

Common Questions About Frogs Eating Snakes

What Kind of Frogs Eat Snakes? Frogs that eat snakes generally consist of larger frog species and include American Bullfrogs, African Bullfrogs, Goliath Frogs, Australian Tree Frogs and Argentine Horned Frogs.

Do Frogs Eat Small Snakes? As a general rule, small frogs eat a small snakes, and a large frog can eat a larger snakes. A frog will eat whatever fits into its mouth, so if the snake is smaller than the frog, it will probably try to eat it.

A spotted bush snake, Philothamnus semivariegatus, eats a frog.

How Can a Frog Kill a Snake? Frogs kill snakes by catching them off guard and swallowing them live, and whole. The snake gets wrapped up into the frogs sticky tongue. It cannot move and suffocates in the frogs stomach.

Do Frogs Attract Snakes? Frogs may attract snakes to a garden or backyard since frogs are prey to snakes. Snakes eat large amounts of amphibians including newts, salamanders, frogs and toads.

What Animals Kill Snakes? Animals that kill snakes as prey include skunks, foxes, racoons, weasels, bobcats, hawks, falcons, alligators, turtles, cats, other snakes and large frogs.

Sources

Australian Green Tree Frog Eating Snake

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.