Snails are routine menu items for frogs. The only stipulation for frogs is that the snail is small enough to swallow whole. With thousands of frog and snail species found all around the world, often in similar habitats, the two species often cross paths.
If It's Meat, They Will Eat
More than 4,800 species of frogs are found around the globe. With such variety in shapes, colors, sizes and other factors, frogs all have something in common: they're carnivores. They love any kind of meat they can find, catch and swallow, including snails. Their menu includes spiders, worms, frogs and small fish or larger prey, if they can handle it. The ornate horned frog of Argentina, for example, can scarf down not only a snail but even a mouse in one gulp.
How Frogs Eat
Frogs can't chew, and they swallow their prey whole. If a frog is large enough to swallow a snail, it will. Of course, moving at a snail's pace doesn't help the snail. Frogs are famous for their quick tongues, which roll out, catch prey and roll back into the mouth in a portion of a second. Snails are easy prey, since they are slow and often small. Eating large numbers of snails is not unusual for frogs, says the Snail World website.
Habitat Plays a Role
Like frogs, snails are found in various habitats all over the world. They are found in marshes, mountains, deserts and ditches, and often in backyard gardens. Since snails carry their himes on their backs, they move around and are not limited to one location. Frogs live near ponds, streams and other water locations, as well as spots with cover areas. Since snails' and frogs' habitats overlap, frogs have many opportunities to dine on escargot.
Frogs as Snail Eradicators
Snail World says garden snails feed on many types of garden plants, vegetables, grains and fruit trees. If snails are eating your garden, attracting frogs can help. One method of doing this is to create a frog-friendly environment in or near your garden. Components of a favorable frog area may include a small pond area and natural cover spots, which can include grass, dirt, compost or other areas for frogs to seek shelter when they're not tracking down snails.
- Slug & Snail Trail: Encourage Predators
- Exploratorium: The Amazing, Adaptable Frog
- Snail World: Snail Predators
- Scottish National Heritage: Common Frog
- ListVerse: Top 10 Bizarre Frogs
- Frog Life Cycle: What Do Frogs Eat and What Eats Frogs?
- Snail World: Snail Habitat
- Snail World: Garden Snail
- Grow Veg: Natural Pest Control - The Organic Way to Control Slugs, Aphids, Etc.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.