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When we talk about Venus flytrap food, creatures like crickets, mealworms and ants are usually mentioned. But what happens if your trap catches a frog? Should you let the plant eat it or do you take it out? This guide will answer all your questions and more.
Venus flytraps will eat frogs if it is small enough to fit in their trap. Like spiders and flies, frogs contain nitrogen and other nutrients Venus flytraps need to grow and stay healthy.
Are Frogs Safe For Venus Flytraps?
Fogs are safe to eat for a Venus flytrap because they possess nutrients beneficial to the plant. If the frog is too large though, the trap might die trying to digest it, but a new one will grow and take its place.
Baby frogs or variants less than 1.5 inches long are the most ideal for Venus flytraps. Once they fall in the trap, it is going to be difficult for them to escape and more important, they are too small to damage the plant.
Frogs come in a variety of sizes, from the tiny, 0.3 inch Mini Mum to the 12 inch long Goliath Frog. The common adult frog is 2.4 to 3.5 inches, which is too big as a typical trap is 1 to 1.5 inches long.
If a large frog triggers the sensors the plant will try to trap it. One of two things will happen, either the frog escapes by ripping the leaves, or half of its body gets stuck.
If the frog triggers the sensors twice the trap shuts, and if it is triggered a third time digestion will commence. The digestive enzymes will only work on the part that is inside the trap, and that can cause problems.
Traps can blacken and die, a literal case of biting off more than it can chew. But as long as the plant absorbs the frog nutrients, there will be no issues. A new trap will eventually replace the one that died eating the frog.
The bottom line is that Venus flytraps should only eat small frogs. But if a large one gets stuck, it might be able to eat some of it. The trap might wither and die but the plant will be fine.
Of course if you leave the half eaten frog in the trap, it will rot and smell bad. But once you remove the remains the odor will dissipate.
How Many Frogs Can Venus Flytraps Eat?
Venus flytraps only need one trap fed. Giving food to all the traps simultaneously could harm or even kill the plant. Contrary to popular myth, Venus flytraps do not eat everything. That is the reason they wait for a confirmation signal before closing the trap.
Venus flytraps usually eat 4-5 insects a month. It is unlikely to catch more than one frog a month unless you provide it.
Trapping and digesting frogs (or any bug) requires a lot of resources. Venus flytraps cannot photosynthesize during this time. But it feeds anyway because it receives nutrients in exchange.
If you feed several traps at once, there will not be enough resources to digest them. Plenty of energy will be used to process the food but not enough goes in. Overfeeding Venus flytraps is a real possibility. Just feed one trap and that will be enough.
Venus flytraps can only produce so much enzyme to digest food. Feeding multiple traps will tax its digestive system and cause more harm than good. Since they cannot photosynthesize while feeding, there is no way to replace the energy lost except through digesting nutrients.
Venus flytraps outdoors do not require feeding. The plant will only draw bugs when it needs to eat so you can leave it there. With sunlight, water, the right soil mixture and air your Venus flytrap will be fine.
Venus flytraps do not need to eat frogs or any bugs to survive. Depriving them however limits the growth potential. On the other hand, too much food will harm the plant. Fortunately it is easy to control Venus flytrap food intake indoors.
Will Venus Flytraps Digest Dead Frogs?
Carnivorous plants eat bugs and all kinds of creatures for their nutrients. This applies to Venus flytraps too, and they do not care if the prey is alive or dead.
The only reason Venus flytraps eat live prey is they can stimulate the traps. If the trap gets the right stimuli, it will close and eat the dead frogs as well. So yes, Venus flytraps will eat dead frogs. But you need to stimulate its sensors to close, otherwise the trap will just remain open.
Feeding dead frogs to Venus flytraps is similar to stuff such as Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Blood Worms. Long time growers usually feed freeze dried mealworms to carnivorous plants and you can do the same here.
Place the dead frog in the trap. Remember only small ones will do. If the trap is 1.5 inches long, give it a 1 inch frog. If the trap is only an inch long, slice the frog into two or more pieces and put only half an inch in the trap.
Tap the hair filaments twice to make the trap close. You can leave the trap now as it will digest the frog. It could take five days or longer.
Aside from frogs, Venus flytraps will also eat fish food. These are good alternatives if your plant is indoors and only catches bugs occasionally. Our recommendation is Aqueon Pro Foods Betta Fish Food because it is healthy and safe for carnivorous plants.
The trap will reopen when it is done feeding. You can give it another dead frog – or other insects- and repeat the process.
You can feed the same trap or another one, it does not matter. Remember too that Venus flytraps also require plenty of light, air and water. Natural sunlight is preferable, but you can use artificial indoor light too. Combine these with nutritious insects and frogs and your plant will live a long healthy life.
What Happens When Venus Flytraps Eat Frogs?
Venus flytraps eat different types of bugs, but the digestive procedure is the same. The following is a simplified explanation of what happens.
A Venus flytrap usually has 5-10 traps simultaneously, though 20 is not unheard of. These traps generate nectar that attract insects, worms and even frogs.
The trap does not automatically shut when triggered. It waits for a confirmation signal, a second trigger. This indicates to the plant that the object in the trap is alive and potentially edible.
If the frog touches the hair triggers again, the trap springs to action. The creature will try to escape and hit the sensors again, which triggers digestion.
Venus flytrap digestive systems are different from animals, but they do use juices to break food down. The enzymes liquefy the tissues so the plant can absorb its nutrients.
A Venus flytrap will consume the dissolved remains of the frog as well as the digestive enzymes it released. Once everything has been digested, the trap will reopen, ready to feed again.
The same process is used no matter what Venus flytraps eat, be it frogs, fish food or mealworms. It takes five days to digest a meal but large prey may require a couple of weeks.
Small bugs will almost be completely consumed. Parts of beetles, roaches and ants are usually left over due to their rigidity. The rain will wash away it away, but if your Venus flytrap is indoors you have to remove it.
Once the frog has been absorbed, the Venus flytrap converts its nitrogen into amino aids and other nutrients. The plant uses these to increase its strength and be more resistant to infection.
The time frame given here is only an estimate. Some Venus flytraps take longer while others are faster. But the basic steps are all the same.
Frogs are not mentioned often, but Venus flytraps can and will eat them. As is always the case with these plants, it comes down to size. If the frog is small enough, a Venus flytrap will have no problems digesting it.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.