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Can Pacman Frogs Eat Superworms? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Tips

Beth Crane

By Beth Crane

Pacman frog sitting on a leaf outdoors

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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“Pacman frog” is the common name given to a variety of Horned frogs kept as pets. These frogs have wide mouths and beady eyes, giving them a strong resemblance to the famous, big-mouthed videogame character! Like Pacman, Pacman frogs have a voracious appetite and consume everything, including worms and other invertebrates. Superworms (also known as King worms or Morio worms) are large, chitin-covered worms similar to oversized mealworms. They have a reputation for being feisty, but can the Pacman frog eat them? The answer is yes; Pacman frogs can eat superworms without problems, but they should only be fed sparingly.

frog divider hepper

What Are Superworms?

Superworms are the larvae of the Darkling Beetle. They are commonly found in pet stores as reptile and amphibian food because of their size and how easy they are to keep. Superworms are around 1.5 to 2.25 inches long and have a tan-brown body with dark tails and heads.

They do bite, and there have been anecdotal reports of frogs (including Pacman frogs) being bitten and even injured by superworms! Superworms are fed to frogs because they are high in fat and protein, but they shouldn’t be fed as the only source of nutrition. A single superworm typically provides the following nutrition:1

  • 80% protein
  • 64% lipids
  • 17% ash
  • 39% carbohydrate
mealworms as fish food
Image Credit: Ivabalk, Pixabay

How Many Superworms Can My Pacman Frog Eat?

An adult Pacman frog should only be offered a superworm or two as an occasional treat. Juvenile froglets can be fed a superworm daily, but care should be taken not to overfeed the ravenous frogs; the Pacman frog will eat whatever is in front of it, and they can easily become overweight. A typical diet for a Pacman frog consists of an invertebrate or two (such as a superworm and a Dubia roach) and a “pinky” ( baby) mouse.

How Can I Safely Give My Pacman Frog Superworms?

The key to safely feeding your Pacman frog is to ensure the superworms are as nutritious as possible and that your frog can handle them! Pacman frogs will eat anything that can fit into their mouths, but the worms might be too large for a small froglet. Make sure your frog can eat them comfortably before feeding.

All invertebrates offered to your Pacman frog should be “gut loaded,” meaning they’re fed calcium-rich food before being fed to your frog. This ensures your frog gets enough nutrition and calcium, preventing metabolic bone disease. Superworms are also highly chitinous, so feeding your frog too many can cause problems. Chitin is very hard for Pacman frogs to digest, and constipation and digestive issues can result from overfeeding. Ensure your Pacman frog has a balanced diet since super worms alone can’t give them all the nutrition they need. Superworms can also bite, so remove any uneaten worms after a short time to prevent any injuries to your frog!

pacman frog resting
Image Credit: Patchara T, Shutterstock

What Do Superworms Eat?

Superworms are fed on a mix of grains and vegetables. Superworms should be fed on a mixed diet since they’ll provide much better nutrition for your Pacman frog; gut-loading your worms and giving them a diet of grains and nutritious vegetables such as broccoli and carrots means they’ll pass on as many nutrients as possible to your frog.

They can be fed with a commercial gut-loading feed, and dusting gels and powders are available to provide your frog with extra nutrients if you can’t get a gut-loaded feed for your superworms.

What Are Some Alternatives to Superworms for My Pacman Frog?

Pacman frogs are carnivorous frogs that will eat anything that can fit in their mouth. However, it’s essential to make sure your frog can handle what you give them. There are many alternatives to superworms that Pacman frogs can eat, including earthworms, invertebrates, and even mice! Some other healthy food alternatives for superworms:

  • Dubia roaches
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Baby mice (“pinkies” or “fuzzies”)
  • Waxworms
  • Mealworms
  • Pelleted frog food
mealworm
Image Credit: Joshua A Houck, Shutterstock

frog divider hepperFinal Thoughts

Pacman frogs can eat superworms as an occasional treat, and they’re full of fat and protein. However, only feeding your frog superworms can cause nutritional deficiencies and potentially even metabolic bone diseases. Superworms are widely available in pet stores, but you must ensure they have been “gut loaded” or dusted with nutrient power to maximize their nutritional value.


Featured Image Credit: Dirk Ercken, Shutterstock

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