Tadpole Food

Find out what tadpoles eat at different stages of their life-cycle

You are what you eat?

Some animals only eat meat. They are called carnivores. Some animals only eat plants and they are called herbivores. Animals that eat both plants and meat are called omnivores. Animals can also eat different things at different stages of their lives.

Tadpole food

Frogs like to eat different things at different stages of their life-cycle. Below is a picture of a tadpole life-cycle, but for more detail, click here to access the life-cycle page.

Small tadpoles

Once they have developed in the egg into a small tadpole, they make their way out of the jelly layer. Below are some newly hatched tadpoles.

As small tadpoles, they scrape algae off the surface of water plants and rocks, shown in the picture below. At this stage they are mainly herbivorousClick here to play Taddypole, a tadpole feeding game, where you munch your way through the pond and avoid being eaten yourself!

Bigger tadpoles

Once they grow bigger and their legs develop they become carnivorous and feed on small water animals such as this tiny water flea, which measures about 1 mm in real life, but is blown up in this picture.

They will also eat each other if there is not enough food around!Below are some tadpoles eating a dead snail. Click here to learn how to look after tadpoles as pets and give them the right food.

Froglets and adult frogs

Froglets will eat small insects once they have left the pond. Adult frogsare mainly carnivorous and will also eat insects as well as slugs, snails and worms. Below is an old drawing of a frog about to catch a caterpillar with its tongue.

Media credits under creative commons licence: cat-Laki10 clipart; human-clipartbest.com; sheep-dailyclipart.com; water flea-Ayacop; tadpoles eating- Mariomassone