Food Chain

What Eats A Tadpole?

Tadpoles In A Pond
What Eats Tadpoles? Many Different Animals, Birds And Fish. Photo:Christian Fischer

What eats a tadpole? What eats pollywogs?

What do tadpoles eat?

Female amphibians such as frogs lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and those eggs hatch into hundreds of tadpoles, or pollywogs.

If every tadpole that hatched from every egg lived to become an adult frog or other amphibian, within a short period of time the world would be completely covered in amphibians!

Fortunately for us, and not so fortunately for many of the tadpoles, most of them get eaten by predators. Predators that eat tadpoles include many species, or types, of fish such as bass, trout, and sunfish and many birds such as herons, egrets and kingfishers. The larvae, or immature young, of many water insects, eat tadpoles as well.

In fact, sometimes frogs eat tadpoles!

Out of the hundreds of eggs that each mother amphibian lays, usually only two or three end up hatching and surviving to adulthood.

As for what tadpole eat: Most pollywogs eat algae. Some, however, eat tiny animals, including other tadpoles!

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.
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