Frogs prefer to eat insects like flies, ants, termites, cockroaches, spiders, etc., and are carnivores that consume other living or dead organisms.
Their feeding behavior makes them enemies of ants, which can kill their predators by injecting formic acid into their bodies.
Can Ants Kill Frogs? Ants can kill frogs by stinging their bodies when they feel a threat to their lives. These insects are part of their diet and add poison to their bodies, but toads are usually aware of the deadly poisons and camouflage themselves by releasing chemicals on their bodies. As a result, frogs usually hop away when they see ants and cannot tolerate their stings. Furthermore, meat ants are known to kill cane toads by stinging their bodies.
Only 50 to 100 ants are required to kill a frog by stinging the soft body. However, hundreds of these insects can kill a frog instantly as they cannot tolerate multiple poisonous stings.
Ants and frogs are natural enemies and attack each other for food and defense to meet their hunger and ensure safety.
It is common to see these insects enjoying a meal after finding the dead bodies of frogs, but it is not even imagined that they attack a living one.
Why do ants kill frogs?
Frogs eat smaller animals and insects on the ground to ensure survival. Almost 35 to 40% of their diet is based on ants, while the remaining consists of beetles and other insects.
You can see them ingesting two or more ants at once by capturing these insects from long trails when they march to their food source.
These insects feel the threat in their territory when they see predators at a close distance. So, they can become aggressive and attack these larger arthropods to protect themselves from dying.
In addition, these tiny insects can also kill the larger toads to get nutrition from their bodies. However, it rarely happens that ants kill them, as these prefer to consume dead ones.
However, a few species can kill the living ones and target the soft-bodied young toads living in fresh water.
Adults usually hop away from an area where they find aggressive species of these insects as they are fully aware of their toxic effects.
In contrast, baby toads or young ones are easier prey for these insects because they do not know about their predating behavior and toxicity.
So, ants can become deadly predators of frogs when fighting for defense and nutrition to ensure security and survival.
What type of ants can kill frogs?
A few species can efficiently control the population of frogs and cane toads due to their toxic stings and grasping capabilities.
In addition, meat ants are more carnivorous that prefer to eat both living and dead insects. It is widely used to control toxic toads that can harm other animals by killing them.
A few researchers attracted this species for an experiment by planting trees and spreading baits close to an area where many of these toxic arthropods live.
A significant decrease in the arthropod population was observed, showing their killing efficiencies. Other species of these insects are known to provide alkaloids to poison frogs after being eaten.
Furthermore, they are known to be deadly for other species like fire ants, carpenter ants, and little black ants when they are small in number.
A swarm of these insects can put a living frog on its knee, leading to its death. A few thousand insects are sufficient to kill them because deadly stings are enough to make them feel helpless.
What happens when ants attack frogs?
Ants are poisonous insects because they can inject formic acid into prey’s bodies, making them die quickly as it is impossible to tolerate the pain.
The frogs are pretty intelligent and move away from their territory to save their lives because they know the outcomes of interfering with their mounds.
However, they release toxic secretions on their bodies to make themselves undesirable and stinky so that ants do not attack them and go away.
In addition, it is easy for ants to capture the tiny toads when they come out of water ponds because they are not familiar with these species and keep moving within them.
They do not hop away and get stung by these insects due to their foolish behavior. Moreover, they can easily capture and sting toads on the water edge, where most die.
These insects inject stingers deep into their soft skin leading to deep wounds and extreme pain. Accordingly, they cannot survive even after managing their escape due to the toxicity of poison.
Can ants and frogs live together?
Frogs are considered enemies of ants that cannot live together in the same place. As a result, some of their species commonly eat these tiny insects, while others do not like their awful taste.
Bufonid and dendrobatid species are myrmecophagous that are interested in eating insects, as these constitute a significant proportion of their diet; that’s why they cannot live together.
Some of them prefer to consume living and dead ants because their tiny bodies can become a source of food for them.
These insects are known to make a few frog species toxic by injecting toxins into their bodies. In the same way, they do not leave a living or dead toad and eat them.
However, Western-African species of frogs live in close association with ponerine ants because they have adapted to live with these aggressive stinging insects.
It is astonishing to know how this species manages to avoid fierce stings. Instead, they release toxic chemicals that can efficiently inhibit the aggressive behavior of stinging insects.
Furthermore, chemical camouflage is a scientific term describing their responsive behavior when they use chemical secretions to live with these ants.
Can you feed ants to frogs?
Some people feed ants to frogs because these insects are part of their diet. However, feeding these dead insects to larger arthropods is not considered ideal because they have less nutrition.
Their bodies are rich in protein, but this are not enough to meet their requirements. You can offer any other highly nutritious option to your frogs to help fulfill their energy needs.
Moreover, the presence of dead insects can attract more of their fellows due to the production of oleic acid from their bodies. They can easily reach these vertebrates by following scent trails.
Entry of a swarm of these insects creates a problem for your frogs because a large number of these aggressive insects can make them die by stinging.