Do Frogs Bite? (When Frogs Might Bite and Why)

Can Frogs Bite?

Frogs are generally considered gentle and docile creatures, and one cannot help but wonder whether frogs can bite and if their bite is dangerous or painful. Yes, frogs do bite if they feel threatened or mistake your fingers for food, but it’s not a common occurrence.

While frog bites are typically not dangerous, some frog species, like the Pacman frog, have larger teeth that can be painful, and it is important to know how to avoid them.

In this article, we will discuss frog-biting behavior, whether frogs do bite when they bite, and why frogs bite. We will also look at what to do if a frog bites you.

You can also read: Can You Get Warts From Frogs?

Let’s get started!

Do Frogs Bite?

Yes, frogs can bite. All frogs have teeth, at least on their upper jaws, but each species’ teeth differ in size and sharpness.

Some frogs, like the Pacman frog, have big, sharp teeth that can give a painful bite.

Other frogs, such as tree frogs, have small, blunt teeth that are not likely to do much damage.

The frog bites are absolutely painless and harmless. It’s highly unlikely that the frog’s small teeth could puncture your skin and cause you to bleed.

Its teeth can feel like sandpaper against the skin, but usually, it’s just an irritation that you will feel when bitten by a frog.

When Might Frogs Bite?

The situations in which frogs are most likely to bite are those in which they perceive a threat or in which they mistake your finger for food.

The following are some examples of circumstances in which a frog might bite:

  • If you attempt to handle a frog that is not used to being handled, or if you handle it too harshly, you could trigger the frog to be scared, and in return, it may bite to free itself from your grip.
  • If you attempt to hand-feed a frog 
  • If you scare a frog or make it feel like it’s in danger

Why Do Frogs Bite?

There are several reasons why frogs bite, including the following:

Frogs Bite For Self-defense

Because frogs are prey animals, they will bite in self-defense if they feel in danger, especially if a person or another animal is handling them.

Biting is part of the frog’s defensive mechanism.

Attempting to pick up a frog, especially a wild one, may provoke the amphibian into defending itself by biting.

Larger frogs, like the bullfrog, are more likely to do this because their jaws are stronger and they can execute a more powerful bite.

Frogs May Bite During feeding

Frogs consume many insects and other small creatures for food. They could bite you if they take your finger for food and misinterpret it.

Frog May Bite To compete with other frogs

Frogs are solitary animals that may bite each other to compete with other frogs for food, territory, or mates. Frogs are known to be particularly vicious biters.

Instinctual Response

When confronted with something strange or unusual, frogs often react instinctively by biting whatever it is that has caught their attention.

This habit is profoundly embedded in their DNA and vital to ensuring their survival in the wild.

Mistaken Identity

When it comes to being able to differentiate between various things, frogs’ eyesight could be better.

 In the event that a frog mistook your hand or finger for prey, it may bite at it in the mistaken belief that it is a delectable bug.

The fact that their bites are not typically painful but can nonetheless be shocking causes many people to question whether or not frogs bite on purpose.

Frogs May Bite Out Of Curiosity

Younger frogs, particularly those in captivity, are more likely to bite out of curiosity. They are only beginning to become familiar with their surroundings and are curious about the limits of their territory.

What Does a Frog Bite Feel Like?

Rarely do humans experience frog-biting incidents since frogs typically avoid humans unless they feel threatened or provoked.

On the other hand, those whom a frog has bitten report a more shocking than painful sensation. Imagine the following as the sensation of a frog bite:

Surprising: Frog bites surprise most people. Frogs rarely bite, so the feeling is surprising. The surprise factor frequently outweighs the pain.

Mild Pain or Discomfort: Frog bites rarely hurt like insect or animal bites. Instead, they may cause brief discomfort. Pain is usually a small pinch.

Brief Duration:  Frog bites are usually short. Frog bites are not supposed to hurt because they have no sharp teeth.

The frog usually releases its bite fast when it discovers it is not prey.

Bruising or Redness: If the frog bites hard, slight bruising or redness may occur, which is rare, and most frog bites don’t leave markings.

Emotional Reaction: Emotional reactions are common due to the unexpected nature of frog bites. Since frog bites are harmless, people may be shocked or amused.

What To Do If A Frog Bites You

The first thing you should do if a frog bites you is cleanse the wound with soap and water as soon as possible after the bite occurs.

If the wound is bleeding, applying pressure to it will staunch the flow of blood. After that, keep an eye on the wound to see whether it develops any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.

Seek medical assistance if the bite is deep or if you develop any signs of illness, such as fever, chills, or nausea, such as those described above.

How to Avoid Being Bitten By a Frog

The following are some precautions you can take to avoid getting bitten by a frog:

  • When handling frogs, exercise extreme caution.
  • It is best to avoid handling frogs that are not accustomed to having their bodies touched.
  • Do not attempt to hand-feed frogs.
  • Give frogs chewable food that is still tiny enough to ingest readily.
  • Be cautious not to shock the frogs or make them feel threatened.
  • If you often work with frogs or do research or conservation work with them, you should wear hand gloves to protect your hands from bites.

It is advised to refrain from handling a frog if you are unsure whether it has the potential to bite.

Types Of Frogs That Are Most Likely To Bite

Depending on the species, some frog species are more likely to bite than others.

The following are some examples:

Pacman frogs: Pacman frogs are huge, hostile frogs with large, jagged teeth. Pacman frogs are known for their aggressive behavior. It is well known that they will bite humans, particularly if they are not handled correctly.

Pacman frog
Pacman frog

Bullfrogs: Bullfrogs are another large species of frog that can administer a nasty bite to their prey. Bullfrogs are known as American bullfrogs. When they feel threatened, they are most likely to strike with a bite.

Horned frogs: Horned frogs got their name from the bony growths found on top of their heads; hence the term “horned.” They also possess pointed teeth and are capable of inflicting excruciating bites.

African dwarf frogs: Despite their diminutive size, African dwarf frogs can bite if they feel threatened or are startled.

Most of the time, their bites are not harmful, although they can be unpleasant.

Budgett’s Frog: Budgett’s frogs can bite. They have two large tooth-like projections in their upper jaw that they can use to defend themselves from predators or other things they see as dangerous.

Budgett’s frogs are not usually aggressive toward people but may bite if they feel threatened or trapped.

Budgett's Frog
Budgett’s Frog

Is a Frog Bite Dangerous?

Most frog bites are not dangerous, but it depends on the type of frog, how bad the bite is, and how the person reacts.

Some frog species, like poison dart frogs, are poisonous. If a poisonous frog bites you, you must go to the hospital immediately.

How bad the bite is depends on how deep it is. A deep bite from a big frog can hurt more than a shallow bite from a small frog.

Some people may be more sensitive to frog bites than others. For example, a frog bite may cause an allergic reaction in people with allergies.

Do Frogs Have Teeth?

Yes, most frogs have teeth, but are usually small and hard to see.

A frog has two different kinds of teeth: maxillary teeth and vomerine teeth.

The maxillary teeth are on the top of the jaw, and the vomerine teeth are on the roof of the mouth.

Most frogs have maxillary teeth, but toads do not have them. Frogs have between a few dozen and several hundred teeth.

Frogs don’t chew with their teeth. They are instead used to catch prey.

Frogs catch insects and other small animals with their long, sticky tongues, and then they use their teeth to hold them in place while they swallow them whole.

The Only Frog With True Teeth On The Upper And Lower Jaw

Gastrotheca guentheri

Gastrotheca guentheri, also called Guenther’s marsupial frog, is the only frog with real teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.

Gastrotheca guentheri lives in the cloud forests of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. It is a big frog.

Gastrotheca guentheri is unique among frogs because its upper and lower jaws are full of sharp, jagged teeth.

The fact that it eats large, hard-bodied insects like beetles and cockroaches may have caused these teeth to grow in this way.

Gastrotheca guentheri is also a marsupial frog, meaning the females carry their developing eggs and tadpoles in a pouch on their backs. This lets the tadpoles grow safely, even in places with fast-moving streams or waterfalls.

Gastrotheca guentheri is a rare species and in danger of extinction. It hasn’t been seen in the wild since 1996. But there is some hope that it might still be around because a few examples are kept in museums.

Gastrotheca guentheri
Gastrotheca guentheri (Photo source


To answer the question, “Do frogs bite?” Yes, but it doesn’t happen often and is usually caused by a frog’s natural instincts to stay alive and protect itself.

Frogs are not naturally aggressive and don’t bite people for any reason. Biting is only a frog’s defensive response.

Understanding how frog’s act, why do frogs bite humans, and when they might bite can help us live in harmony with these interesting amphibians.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a researcher, or just someone who likes to watch animals, learning about how frogs behave will give you a deeper appreciation for these amazing animals.

See also: Can Frogs Feel Happy?