If you’re an owner of one of these incredible amphibians, you may be wondering the answer to this question. In short, the answer is yes but there are quite a few things you’ll want to know before adding these insects into their diet.
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
Red-eyed tree frogs are arboreal amphibians, meaning they tend to live amongst the trees and other tall leafy plants. Their lifespan in captivity averages to about 8 years, while their average lifespan in the wild is about 10 years. At full maturity, the red-eyed tree frog measures between only 2 – 3 inches in size. Females are typically larger than their male companions, however, their sizes can always vary.
Dubia roaches are medium-sized cockroaches typically found in the Central and Southern American regions. These insects reach between 1.5 – 2 inches at full maturity and are commonly used as a feeder food for many reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish.
A Natural Comparison
Red-eyed tree frogs and dubia roaches both originate from the same regions of the world, both preferring warmer temperatures and medium humidity levels. Knowing this, it could be easy to assume that red-eyed tree frogs would prefer dubia roaches as the main source for their diet, however, this is not the case.
Most animals typically prey on smaller creatures for their food source, so while red-eyed tree frogs can eat dubia roaches in the wild, they typically won’t. Smaller insects are easier for amphibians to digest, so red-eyed tree frogs are more likely to eat crickets, flies, and moths instead.
The Proper Diet of a Red-Eyed Tree Frog in Captivity
Red-eyed tree frogs are carnivorous creatures, mostly feeding on insects throughout their entire lifespan. In captivity, crickets are the main source of this amphibian’s diet. Dubai roaches, hornworms, and silkworms can also be fed occasionally, but should never be a main source of food.
While red-eyed tree frogs typically don’t eat any greens on their own, it’s always recommended to gut-load your feeder insects with fresh veggies and supplements to help naturally introduce other nutrients into their diet.
On the Side of Caution
While dubia roaches can be fed to your red-eyed tree frog, you should do so with caution.
Dubia roaches contain uric acid, which over time can be harmful to your red-eyed tree frog, causing kidney problems and gout. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause severe pain and tenderness in joints. The uric acid in dubia roaches is caused by a high protein diet but can be controlled if the roaches are fed properly.
The Proper Diet for Dubia Roaches as a Feeder Insect
When planning to feed your red-eyed tree frog any dubia roaches, you’ll want to make sure the diet that they have been fed is a healthy one.
If you’re buying dubia roaches from another source, it’s extremely important to see what diet the insects have been fed. Not all sources of dubia roaches are willing to share this information, so the best way to make sure that your roaches are on a proper diet is to raise them yourself.
The best diet for dubia roaches is a low-protein diet. This helps to keep uric acid levels low and stops the roaches from rapidly growing and becoming too large. This diet should consist of a variety of plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables. Selecting fresh organic produce is also very important as you don’t want to have any lingering pesticides from the foods transferred to your roaches.
Some foods to avoid feeding dubia roaches are citrus, meat, and beans. It also may sound a bit crazy, but some people feed their roaches cat or dog food, which is especially high in protein, and therefore is an extremely bad option. Wheat and oats are also a common food source for dubia roaches and these are okay because they are low in protein, but it’s always best to mix it up with more fresh produce.
The Right Way to Feed Dubia Roaches
Dubia roaches shouldn’t be fed to your red-eyed tree frog more than once a week. Since dubia roaches can be almost as big as your red-eyed tree frog, you’ll want to feed them only when they are small. It is recommended that the roaches should be no larger than the length between the frog’s eyes.
A little also goes a long way, so when you feed your frog the roaches, provide only one or two for that feeding time.
The diet of your red-eyed tree frog is vital for keeping it healthy and allowing it to live a full life. As long as you can follow this information, you should be safe in occasionally feeding dubia roaches to your amphibious companion.