Types of Feeder Insects

Good nutrition is a crucial part of animal husbandry.  Here are 7 types of feeder insects that your frogs will love!  These feeder insects not only create a well fed frog, but these also help to vary their diet to create a healthier frog.

Fruit Flies

These are the staple for frogs in the frog hobby.  They are easy to culture, feed and store while providing a dependable food source if done properly.  There are three main types of fruit flies: traditional fruit flies, melanogaster fruit flies and hydei fruit flies.  Both melanogaster and hydei are used within the pet trade as they cannot fly.  Read more about the differences between melanogaster and hydei and which is right for you here.  All fruit flies should be dusted with supplements at every feeding.  Read more about supplements here.

hydei fruit fly

Pinhead Crickets:

Pinhead crickets that are less than a week old are very tiny.  These make them the perfect snack for frogs!   Larger frogs can handle full size crickets.  Crickets at the smaller sizes may be available online only, but most pet stores carry larger crickets.   I have not fed these because I hate crickets, but even I might be able to feed them when they are this tiny.

pinhead_cricket

Springtails:

Springtails are very good for freshly morphed froglets and as a treat for adults.  They double as a janitor for the tank, breaking down any waste and turning it into nutrients for the plants.  Springtails are very easy to culture, needing only a container of charcoal and some rice to survive.

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Wax Worms:

These are a great way to fatten up small frogs.  They should be fed sparingly as they are very high in fat and can lead to overweight frogs.  The larger species of frogs will love these, but half-grown wax worms may be required for smaller species as they get rather large.

waxworm

Rice Flour Beetles:

Rice flour beetle larvae can be a nice treat or back-up feeder for poison dart frogs.  These beetles will require a little more work as the larvae will need to be separated from adults.  When threatened, the adults have an off-putting chemical which some frogs may not like.

Intova Digital Camera

Phoenix Worms:

Phoenix worms are low in fat and high in calcium so you do not need to deal with dusting or gut loading them.  Keep in mind, there are many sizes of Phoenix worms and only the tiny 3/16″ long variations would be suitable for most frogs.

extra_small_phoenix_worms

Isopods:

Isopods are great tank janitors while serving as a delicious snack.  There are many variations of isopods so it can be easy to find one with the characteristics you would like (i.e. culture quick or large adult size).

dwarf_tropical_white_isopods_3
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7 thoughts on “Types of Feeder Insects

    1. Fruit fly cultures can be put down on mite paper which will eliminate mite infestations. I like springtails because they like moist conditions, so they would prefer to stay in the container and if they get out they dry up. Isopods I have used to seed the tank at the beginning so I don’t have them sitting around in my cabinets.

      But in general I try to keep any bugs in rubbermaid containers that have a good tight fitting lid on them. If they do need some sort of venting, I would cut a hole and cover with a couple layers of window screen siliconed in to try to prevent any escapees.

    1. I haven’t had any issues with bugs crawling out. More issues with not having the mite paper and leaving fruit fly cultures too long.
      The springtails and isopods seem to stay near the bottom of the tank and if they get too high they make nice frog snacks. I have had some fruit flies that escape but by vacuuming often you should catch most of the escapees.

  1. Can you release froglets in October in Northern Virginia? We found the tadpoles while organizing our fish pond. I don’t want to put them there as I’m afraid the fish will eat them. They are awfully cute. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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