Do Turtles Eat Tadpoles?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

I often get emails saying whether tadpoles suit the turtle’s diet. In this article, I will address exactly this question.

Tadpoles are rich in protein and contain a high nutritious profile. Hence, these amphibian hatchlings can be a high protein source for carnivorous turtles. Usually, the predacious turtles use their sharp jaws to pierce through the tadpole flesh.

But aren’t tadpoles poisonous? Well, not all species. Keep reading to find more details.

Can I Feed My Turtles Tadpoles?

The tadpoles or the amphibian fish-like hatchlings are the perfect protein for pet turtles. In fact, turtles, both captive and wild, love preying on these larvae. But yes, using tadpoles as a diet comes with certain risks.

You may be familiar with the toxicity of tadpoles. If you feed your turtles any poisonous tadpoles by mistake, you can even lose them.

So, provide the turtle tadpole only if you have hand-caught them and know the species well. The pet stores also sell tadpoles but they can be expensive as regular feeding.

Do Turtles Eat Frogs?

As you know, most turtles are omnivorous. In the wild, they prey on worms, insects, tadpoles, toads, frogs, and fish to fulfill their protein requirements.

Even the captive turtles also prefer preying on these animals in the tank. Frogs are tricky and hard to catch. It makes hunting more interesting for the turtles and gives them the same wild survival vibe.

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Usually, turtles hunt on small frogs that are easier to tackle. You can also offer your pet turtles toads or tadpoles in the enclosure as live prey. However, some frogs and toads carry toxic substances that may kill the turtles.

One tip to differentiate the poisonous frogs is to look at their skin. Generally, toxic frogs have eye-catching color combinations.

I suggest you avoid feeding your turtles any wild-caught frogs. Instead, buy the prey from a pet store.

One more thing. Owners often wish to raise both frogs and turtles in the same pen. Well, you can house both animals in a single tank with proper space, diet, and environmental management.

Also, you need to consider the size and food preferences of the turtles. For example, if you put frogs and snapping turtles in the same pond, be prepared to say goodbye to the frogs in no time.

What Else Do Turtles Eat?

Well, though rich in protein and nutrition, both tadpoles and frogs can carry toxic stains. If you do not want your turtle to be at a health risk, look for other meal options.

Generally, a turtle’s diet includes,

  • Plant matter
  • Animal protein
  • Pellet 
  • Fruits 
  • Supplements 

The safe and nutritious items for turtles are,

1. Plant Matter

  • Kale 
  • Zucchini 
  • Escarole 
  • Water lily 
  • Water hyacinth 
  • Duckweed
  • Chickweed
  • Bell pepper
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Squash
  • Okra 
  • Green beans 
  • Turnip greens 
  • Broccoli 
  • Tomato 
  • Beet
  • Corn 
  • Clover 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Spinach 
  • Butternut 
  • Cauliflower
  • Beet top 
  • Endive 
  • Watercress 
  • Parsley 
  • Cabbage, etc.

2. Animal Protein

  • Cricket 
  • Grasshopper 
  • Beetles 
  • Earthworm 
  • Mealworm 
  • Waxworm 
  • Bloodworm 
  • Slug 
  • Snail 
  • Minnows 
  • Crayfish 
  • Small feeder fish 
  • Caterpillar 
  • Chopped chicken, beef, or pork 
  • Liver, etc.
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3. Fruits

  • Banana 
  • Apple 
  • Melon 
  • Pineapple 
  • Orange 
  • Berries 
  • Fig 
  • Apricot 
  • Kiwi 
  • Papaya 
  • Cherry 
  • Pulm, etc. 

N.B. Turtle diet habits can vary depending on the species and age group. For example, yellow bellied turtles are carnivorous in the beginning, omnivorous during the young age, and herbivorous when old.

Before You Go

Turtles are big fans of fruits. Yet, you can not offer them this treat every day. But why? The attached article below discusses the bright sides and drawbacks of feeding the turtles fruits.

Can Turtles Eat Fruits? [Safe List]

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