Toads are amphibians, so they begin their lives in the water and eventually end up on dry land. They are very closely related to frogs, and in many cases it is difficult to make a distinction between the two.
Most toads prefer a dry environment, and have leathery or warty skin, though there are some species that need a lot of water just like frogs. If you have a pet toad, or are thinking about getting one, then you have probably asked yourself the question, “What do toads eat?” Since toads are carnivores, they prefer to eat insects, worms and other types of live prey.
What do Baby Toads Eat?
Baby toads are often quite small, especially right after they have undergone metamorphosis from the tadpole stage. That can make it difficult to feed them, though there are a number of insects that baby toads can eat. In order to decide what to feed your little pet, you should look at how big its head is and choose insects that are smaller than that. Pinhead crickets are a great choice for both babies and full grown toads that remain very small. You can also try feeding mealworms, grubs and waxworms if they are small enough. Since crickets that are raised in captivity are sometimes lower in nutrients than wild insects, you may also need to provide your baby toad with a vitamin and mineral supplement that includes calcium.
What do Wild Toads Eat?
In the wild, toads will eat whatever insects, worms and other small prey species that can be found in their local habitats. Since wild toads live in many environments all over the world, different species eat many kinds of food. The common toad typically eats flies and ants when young, then hunts for larger insects and larvae when mature. Other common foods for mature wild toads include slugs, snails and even spiders. Wild toads that are very large can even eat vertebrate animals such as small mice and lizards. All of these prey species are swallowed whole, since toads have no teeth in their lower jaws and cannot chew.
What do Toads Eat in Captivity?
Captive toads enjoy eating all of the same foods that their wild relatives do, but crickets are probably the most popular. Crickets are available from most pet stores, and they are raised specifically to serve as food for frogs, lizards, snakes and other animals. Captive toads will also eat vegetables and fruits, but they prefer live prey. If you need to, you can always supplement your pet toad’s diet by hunting for earthworms, slugs and various insects in your yard. Just place the insects, worms and other food in with your toad and allow it to hunt just like it would in the wild. If you notice that your pet has eaten some of the insects, make sure to add more. That will ensure that it always has prey to hunt. You should also be careful to always provide your pet toad with a source of water, since toads require water to live. If you happen to get an aquatic species, it is even more important to house your pet in a terrarium that provides a damp environment.