Toads are similar to frogs and in fact, it can be difficult to distinguish between one or the other. To help with this… although Toads are amphibians, they tend to spend much of their time in less damp environments than Frogs.
And for identification purposes… they tend to have wartier gnarly or leathery skin. Whereas, Frogs tend to be smoother in appearance.
But assuming you’ve figured out the one you’re looking at is a Toad, or, if you’ve come across one you think may need feeding, or that you have or are thinking of getting one as a pet, you may then, of course, be wondering what do Toads eat – as you will need to feed it!
So here’s the quick answer and then we’ll get into more detail…
What Do Toads Eat? Toads at all growing stages are carnivores and have a broad diet. Baby Toads eat smaller manageable insects. Adult toads will eat most insects and smaller creatures that they find and which they can suitably fit in their mouth. Toads are not often fussy about what insects or animals they feed on.
So what exactly can you feed your new toad friend? Well, let’s get into some more details.
Although Toads are amphibians, they tend to spend much of their time in drier environments than Frogs. So some of their menus will differ slightly to frogs depending on their habitat and environment.
Let’s take a look at each stage of a Toad’s dietary stage and provide some insight into what food they’re likely to eat.
What baby Toads eat
Beyond frogspawn, and past the tadpole stage – so once metamorphosis is completed, juvenile Toads, like frogs, spend their early adult life as small sized toads. Because of this, their physical size makes it more of a challenge to locate the right food. Meaning they can only catch and eat certain sized food.
Some creatures are simply too large for a baby toad to be able to catch and eat without potentially being hurt or eaten themselves.
For example, catching and eating a dragonfly for a small toad is virtually impossible, however, a small fly is probably quite possible. So Gnats, Drain Flies and small moths are good examples of what a Baby Toad might hunt for and eat.
In terms of ground insects, mealworms are excellent food, as too are maggots and grubs. Also, pin crickets, waxworms, and small beetles. Fruit fly or similar sized slow-flying insects, and even some fruit!
Although some of these foods will have a much lower level of nutrients due to their size, and many exoskeletons are inedible, the Toad should still gain weight and grow sufficiently – if it eats regularly enough.
If you have a baby toad you’re looking after or as a pet, then it’s just about being sensible with the size. If it looks like it will fit inside their mouth, then that’s a sensible rule to work by.
You certainly shouldn’t be feeding it anything larger than its own head in size. Also, ensure you provide a balanced diet. If you make sure that they’re fed a variety of insects and foods then you shouldn’t need to use calcium or other supplements.
What adult Toads eat
Adult Toads are not that different, except they’re able to go after greater sizes and types of food, offering them a more varied diet. In some cases, some larger toads are even able to hunt vertebrate animals – if the size is right.
Here’s a list of creatures commonly eaten by Toads. The list is endless, but this at least gives you an idea of what might be on a toads menu!
What Toads eat in captivity
When keeping Toads as pets or looking after them, be mindful that their diet must be largely as broad as they’re wild cousins. So be sure to provide them with enough mix of nutrients to ensure they remain healthy.
In captivity, Toads are largely the same to look after as other similar pets, such as frogs, newts, lizards, and bearded dragons. A popular food source provided to these types of animals is crickets. Crickets can actually be bred alongside your pet as a food source which provides a constant food supply.
Now that you’ve had a ‘Flavor’ of the food eaten by Toads, let’s talk about other factors which affect their diet.
Factors affecting Toad eating habits
Where a Toad species lives can play an important part in a Toad’s diet. Toads are found all over the world and there are over 3500 species of Toads, many of whom are different sizes and shapes and have different dietary preferences.
So be aware of where your Toad is from, and what type of food they would likely have eaten in that habitat.
A Toad from a swamp area, for example, are perhaps more likely to eat snails than a Toad from a more arid habitat – which in turn may be more likely to eat ants.
It is believed that Toads do possess the ability to see color to some degree. Their internal eye is formed largely the same as a human eye. Males sometimes display vibrant colors to attract females, which suggests that color plays a part.
With that in mind, the color of prey would serve to ward off Toads much the same as any other creature, so a Toad my not eat a wasp for example or a Red Ladybug.
Many species of Toad hibernate throughout winter months when hibernating their diet will stop until they have emerged from diapause. During this time Toads will likely not hunt at all and just live off fat reserves built up over the summer months.
Particularly if looking after a pet Toad, keep in mind that although they are used to more drier areas than Frogs, they still require fluid intake to live. So make sure your pet Toad or the one you’ve found has access to a water source for drinking.
Do Toads have teeth?
Toads do not have teeth, so they cannot chew their food, they can only swallow it whole. Toads have a large mouth and a capacity for being able to swallow reasonably large prey. But the prey must be small enough that they can swallow it in one piece.
We hope this has helped identify what Toads eat. They’re certainly not that fussy when it comes to eating. Although they’re more vulnerable to some animals when young, once fully grown they can be more of a threat to that same animal, such as newts for example. It’s all about the balance of Nature.