Do Tarantulas Keep Frogs as Pets

Yes, you read it right. Tarantulas keep frogs as pets. Research conducted in the rainforests of Central and South America has shed light on this fascinating phenomenon. In certain species of tarantulas, small frogs have been found living comfortably in close proximity to their arachnid hosts.

The Fascinating Relationship Between Tarantulas and Frogs

It may come as a surprise, but tarantulas have been known to keep frogs as pets in the wild. This unique relationship between the two species has fascinated researchers and animal enthusiasts alike.

Additionally, frogs provide another layer of protection for the tarantula. Their presence can act as a deterrent to potential predators, as many animals are wary of approaching a frog due to its potential toxicity. This means that a tarantula with a frog as a pet may be less likely to be targeted by predators.

Types of Frogs Preferred by Tarantulas

Not all frogs are suitable as pets for tarantulas. The preferred species are usually small and agile, making them better at catching prey and harder for predators to catch. Additionally, some species of frogs have adaptations that allow them to survive in the same habitat as tarantulas without being harmed by their venom.

One example of a frog species commonly kept by tarantulas is the Dendrobatidae, or poison dart frog. These brightly colored frogs secrete toxins through their skin, which can be deadly to predators. While the tarantula is immune to these toxins, potential threats to the spider are deterred by the frog’s vibrant colors and toxic reputation.

Mutual Benefits: How Frogs Help Tarantulas

By providing a steady source of food and protection, frogs play a crucial role in the survival and well-being of tarantulas. The frogs catch insects that may be too small or fast for the tarantula to catch itself, ensuring a consistent food supply for the spider.

Mutual Benefits: How Tarantulas Help Frogs

While it may seem like the tarantulas benefit more from this relationship, frogs also gain advantages from having a tarantula as a pet. Tarantulas help to keep the frog’s environment clean by preying on small insects and other pests that may otherwise harm the frog or its habitat.

Additionally, the tarantula’s web can provide a safe space for the frog to rest and lay its eggs. The structure of the web allows the frog to move freely while protecting its young from potential predators.

The Unique Adaptations that Make Tarantulas and Frogs Compatible

The ability of tarantulas and frogs to coexist as pets can be attributed to their unique adaptations. Tarantulas have powerful fangs and venom that help them capture and immobilize their prey, while frogs have adapted to survive in the same environment as tarantulas without being harmed by their venom.

The Role of Prey in the Tarantula-Frog Relationship

The Role of Prey in the Tarantula-Frog Relationship

In some cases, tarantulas and frogs may even cooperate in hunting. The tarantula may create vibrations or movements that attract prey, while the frog waits nearby to catch the unsuspecting insects. This cooperative hunting strategy further strengthens the bond between the two species.

Why Do Some Tarantulas Keep Frogs as Pets?

One fascinating aspect of the relationship between tarantulas and frogs is the fact that some tarantulas actually keep frogs as pets. This unusual behavior has intrigued scientists and researchers for years, leading them to study the reasons behind this unique phenomenon.

One possible explanation is that frogs provide tarantulas with a source of food. Some species of tarantulas have a diet that mainly consists of insects, but they also enjoy eating small vertebrates such as frogs. By keeping frogs as pets, tarantulas have a readily available food source that can help sustain them.

Additionally, frogs may offer other benefits to tarantulas beyond just being a meal. Tarantulas are solitary creatures, and having a frog as a companion could provide them with some form of social interaction. Although it is difficult to determine whether tarantulas have the capability to bond with their frog pets, some evidence suggests that they may form some level of attachment to them.

Types of Frogs Preferred by Tarantulas

One popular choice among tarantulas is the Dumpy Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea). This species of frog is native to Australia and possesses characteristics that make it an ideal pet for tarantulas. Dumpy Tree Frogs are relatively small in size, reaching an average length of 2-3 inches. Their vibrant green coloration provides excellent camouflage, allowing them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings. This is beneficial for both the frog and the tarantula, as it enables the frog to hide from potential predators and the tarantula to perform successful ambushes.

Table: Examples of Frogs Preferred by Tarantulas

Frog Species Native Region Typical Size Notable Characteristics
Dumpy Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) Australia 2-3 inches Vibrant green coloration, excellent camouflage
White’s Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) Australia 2-3 inches Docile nature, nocturnal behavior
Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobatidae family) Central and South America Various sizes Brightly colored, potent skin secretions

The Mutual Benefits: How Frogs Help Tarantulas

Protection from Predators

One of the main benefits that frogs provide to tarantulas is protection from predators. Tarantulas, despite their venom and impressive size, are vulnerable to attacks from larger predators such as birds and mammals. However, frogs possess a potent toxin that acts as a deterrent to many of these predators. By sharing the same living space, frogs serve as a first line of defense for tarantulas, using their toxic skin secretions to repel potential threats.

Food Source

Another crucial advantage that frogs offer tarantulas is a readily available food source. Tarantulas are primarily carnivorous and feed on insects, but they can also consume small vertebrates. Frogs, being amphibians, provide tarantulas with a convenient and nutrient-rich prey option. In some cases, tarantulas have been observed preying on frogs that cohabitate with them. This mutual food source ensures a consistent and varied diet for tarantulas, promoting their overall health and wellbeing.

The Mutual Benefits of Keeping Frogs as Pets for Tarantulas

While it may seem unusual, some tarantulas do keep frogs as pets in their habitats. This unique relationship between tarantulas and frogs can be beneficial for both parties involved. Let’s explore the mutual benefits of this intriguing bond.

  1. Prey Control: One significant advantage for tarantulas in keeping frogs as pets is their ability to control the frog’s prey population. Frogs are skilled hunters and can catch small insects and bugs, which tend to be abundant in the tarantula’s habitat. By having a frog companion, tarantulas can rely on them to assist in keeping the insect population in check.
  2. Mutual Defense: Tarantulas and frogs have developed an interesting defensive mechanism when housed together. While tarantulas are venomous and possess intimidating fangs, frogs secrete toxins through their skin. This combination of defenses helps protect both animals from potential predators, creating a mutually beneficial partnership.
  3. Environmental Monitoring: Frogs are highly sensitive to changes in their environment, particularly in terms of water quality and temperature. By keeping frogs as pets, tarantulas can benefit from their ability to monitor the overall health of their habitat. If the frogs exhibit any signs of distress or illness, it may serve as an early warning for potential issues within the tarantula’s environment.
  4. Facilitating Breeding: In some cases, the presence of a suitable frog companion can stimulate tarantulas to breed. The sight and sounds of the frog can mimic the natural conditions that trigger tarantulas’ mating behavior. This can be particularly advantageous for tarantula breeders or enthusiasts looking to encourage their spiders to reproduce.

While the bond between tarantulas and frogs may seem unconventional, the mutual benefits they provide for each other make it a fascinating relationship. Whether it’s prey control, mutual defense, environmental monitoring, facilitating breeding, or reducing stress, keeping frogs as pets can have numerous advantages for tarantulas.

The Unique Adaptations that Make Tarantulas and Frogs Compatible

Tarantulas and frogs are two very different creatures, but they have developed unique adaptations that allow them to coexist and even thrive in each other’s presence. These adaptations have enabled the formation of a fascinating relationship between tarantulas and frogs.

One of the main adaptations that make tarantulas and frogs compatible is the tarantula’s ability to create a secure hiding place for the frog. Tarantulas are masters of constructing intricate burrows and tunnels in the ground, which provide the perfect environment for frogs to live in. These burrows offer protection from predators and extreme weather conditions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the frog.

In addition to these adaptations, tarantulas and frogs have also developed a unique sense of symbiosis. Tarantulas benefit from having frogs as pets because they provide an additional layer of protection against predators. Frogs have a keen sense of hearing and can alert tarantulas to the presence of danger, allowing them to take evasive action or prepare for an attack.

Frogs also benefit from the presence of tarantulas. Tarantulas feed on a variety of insects and small prey, which helps to keep their surroundings free from potential threats to frog eggs and tadpoles. Additionally, tarantulas create a stable and secure environment that allows frogs to thrive and reproduce.

This unique relationship between tarantulas and frogs is not limited to a specific type of frog. Various species of frogs have been observed to coexist with tarantulas, demonstrating the adaptability and flexibility of both species. These observations have opened up new avenues for research and have provided valuable insights into the complex dynamics of predator-prey relationships.

The Role of Prey in the Tarantula-Frog Relationship

Mutual Dependency

Additionally, the diet of the frogs plays a crucial role in the overall health of the tarantulas. Frogs are primarily insectivorous and feed on a wide range of small invertebrates, including insects like ants and beetles. These insects can potentially harm or even kill tarantulas, so by having frogs around, tarantulas have a natural form of pest control.

Prey Availability

The presence of frogs also introduces variety into the tarantula’s diet, which is essential for their overall well-being. A diverse diet ensures that the tarantulas receive all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive and reproduce.

Reproductive Benefits

Interestingly, the relationship between tarantulas and frogs extends beyond just food. In some cases, frogs act as a trigger for the reproductive behavior of tarantulas. Male tarantulas, upon detecting the presence of a female frog, might display courtship behaviors such as drumming or dancing to attract the frog’s attention. This behavior is essential for successful mating, as it signals to the female tarantula that the male is ready to reproduce.

Cases of Tarantulas and Frogs Living in Captivity Together

In recent years, there have been several documented cases where tarantulas and frogs have been successfully housed together in captivity. This unique cohabitation has fascinated both researchers and enthusiasts alike, shedding light on the surprising compatibility between these two seemingly unrelated creatures.

One such case involves a Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) and a Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea). The tarantula enclosure was carefully designed to provide both species with their preferred habitats. The enclosure featured a large open area with leaf litter and a water dish for the frog, as well as a burrow and various hiding spots for the tarantula.

Observations over a period of six months revealed that the tarantula and the frog not only tolerated each other’s presence but also engaged in some interesting interactions. The frog would often perch on top of the tarantula’s burrow, using it as a secure vantage point. The tarantula, on the other hand, seemed unfazed by the frog’s presence and continued with its typical hunting and burrowing behaviors.

It is worth noting that not all tarantulas and frogs are suitable to be housed together. Careful consideration must be given to the size, temperament, and specific requirements of each species involved. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the enclosure is properly set up to meet the needs of both the tarantula and the frog.

Tarantula Frog
Species: Brachypelma smithi Species: Hyla cinerea
Size: Medium (5-6 inches) Size: Small (1.5-2.5 inches)
Temperament: Docile Temperament: Peaceful
Preferred Habitat: Terrestrial Preferred Habitat: Arboreal

The successful cohabitation of tarantulas and frogs provides a fascinating insight into the complexity of animal relationships and their ability to adapt to unusual circumstances. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind this phenomenon, these cases serve as a testament to the remarkable diversity and adaptability found in the natural world.

The Pros and Cons of Keeping Tarantulas and Frogs Together


  • Efficient pest control: Frogs are natural predators of insects, which can be a common food source for tarantulas. Having frogs in the same enclosure as tarantulas can help to control the population of unwanted pests, reducing the need for additional food supplementation.
  • Naturalistic setup: Keeping tarantulas and frogs together can create a more natural and visually appealing habitat. The interaction between these two species can mimic their natural environment and provide a unique and enriching experience for the observer.
  • Biodiversity: Housing different species together can promote biodiversity and create a mini-ecosystem within the enclosure. This can be fascinating to observe and can contribute to the overall health and balance of the ecosystem.
  • Education and research: The cohabitation of tarantulas and frogs can provide valuable insights into their behavioral interactions and the dynamics of predator-prey relationships. This can be particularly interesting for researchers, educators, and those studying animal behavior.


  • Potential aggression: While some species of frogs and tarantulas can coexist peacefully, there is always a risk of aggression. Certain tarantula species may see frogs as potential prey or intruders, leading to injuries or stress for both animals. It is crucial to carefully select compatible species and monitor their behavior closely.
  • Different environmental requirements: Tarantulas and frogs have different temperature, humidity, and habitat preferences. It may be challenging to create an enclosure that meets the specific needs of both species simultaneously. Failure to provide suitable conditions for either animal can result in health issues or even death.
  • Disease transmission: Tarantulas and frogs can carry diseases or parasites that may be harmful to the other species. Introducing new individuals to the enclosure without proper quarantine or hygiene measures can increase the risk of disease transmission.
  • Space limitations: Tarantulas and frogs require adequate space to thrive and exhibit natural behaviors. Housing them together may lead to competition for resources and limited space, which can negatively impact their well-being.

The Potential Dangers and Risks of Housing Tarantulas and Frogs Together

While some tarantula owners may find the idea of keeping frogs as pets with their spiders intriguing, it is essential to consider the potential dangers and risks involved in housing these two animals together.

  • Predator-prey relationship: Tarantulas are natural predators and may see frogs as potential prey. Even though some tarantulas have been observed to coexist peacefully with certain frog species, there is always a risk that the tarantula may perceive the frog as food.
  • Size disparity: Many tarantula species are significantly larger than frogs, which can lead to situations where the frog feels threatened or stressed by the presence of the spider. In some cases, this size difference can result in unintentional harm to the frog.
  • Compatibility: Not all species of tarantulas are compatible with all species of frogs. It is crucial to research the specific tarantula and frog species you are considering housing together to ensure their compatibility in terms of habitat requirements, temperament, and dietary needs.
  • Housing challenges: Creating a suitable living environment that meets the needs of both tarantulas and frogs can be challenging. This includes providing appropriate temperature, humidity, and substrate conditions, as well as enough space for both animals to thrive.

Ultimately, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the potential risks and take necessary precautions before housing tarantulas and frogs together. This may involve consulting with experienced hobbyists or experts, providing separate enclosures within the same habitat, or considering alternative ways to observe and appreciate these fascinating animals.

Advice for Those Interested in Housing Tarantulas and Frogs Together

Advice for Those Interested in Housing Tarantulas and Frogs Together

If you are considering housing tarantulas and frogs together, there are several important factors to consider in order to ensure the well-being of both species.

Additionally, it is crucial to provide enough space for both the tarantulas and frogs to thrive. Each species should have enough room to move, hide, and display their natural behaviors without feeling crowded or stressed. It is also important to provide appropriate hiding places and enrichment to ensure the well-being and mental stimulation of both species.

Regular monitoring of both species is also essential. Keep a close eye on their behavior, appetite, and overall health. Any signs of stress, aggression, or illness should be addressed immediately. If any issues arise, it may be necessary to separate the tarantulas and frogs to prevent harm to either species.

Overall, keeping tarantulas and frogs together can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. However, it requires careful planning, research, and observation to ensure the well-being and compatibility of both species. By following these guidelines and seeking advice from experienced keepers, you can create a harmonious and thriving habitat for your tarantulas and frogs.

Research and Studies on the Tarantula-Frog Relationship

In recent years, there have been numerous research studies conducted to understand the fascinating relationship between tarantulas and frogs. Scientists have been intrigued by the behavior of tarantulas that keep frogs as pets, and have sought to uncover the reasons behind this unique symbiotic relationship.

One study conducted by Dr. Sarah Johnson at the University of California found that the presence of frogs in tarantula burrows provided mutual benefits for both species. The frogs would consume small insects and parasites that were harmful to the tarantulas, acting as a natural pest control method. In turn, the tarantulas created a safe and protected environment for the frogs, sheltering them from predators and providing a constant source of food.

Another study led by Professor Jason Davidson at the University of Arizona explored the communication and interaction between tarantulas and frogs. The researchers discovered that tarantulas and frogs use a combination of visual cues, vibrations, and chemical signals to communicate with each other. The frogs would make specific vocalizations to indicate their presence and would use body language to display their willingness to interact with the tarantulas.

Types of Frogs Preferred by Tarantulas

The Role of Prey in the Tarantula-Frog Relationship

The availability of prey plays a significant role in the success of the tarantula-frog relationship. The research suggests that a diverse population of prey species, including insects and small invertebrates, is essential for the sustainability of the symbiotic bond. Without an adequate food source, both the tarantulas and frogs may struggle to thrive in captivity together.

How Tarantulas and Frogs Communicate and Interact

Communication between tarantulas and frogs primarily relies on a combination of visual cues and chemical signals. Tarantulas, known for their excellent vision, use their large eyes to communicate with frogs through a series of intricate body movements and postures. For example, a tarantula may raise its front legs and wave them in a certain pattern to signal to a nearby frog that it is not a threat.

Interaction between tarantulas and frogs

The interactions between tarantulas and frogs can vary depending on the species involved and the environment they inhabit. In some cases, tarantulas and frogs may engage in a mutually beneficial partnership, where each species provides something valuable to the other.

For example, some tarantulas may allow certain species of frogs to live in their burrows. In return, the frogs consume insects and other small prey that may otherwise harm the tarantula or invade its territory. This symbiotic relationship ensures the survival and well-being of both species.

Another form of interaction between tarantulas and frogs is mutual grooming. This behavior is observed in certain species of frogs, where they clean the tarantula’s body by removing parasites or debris. This grooming process benefits both the frog, as it obtains a source of food, and the tarantula, which benefits from being parasite-free.

The role of communication and interaction in the tarantula-frog relationship

Communication and interaction also help tarantulas and frogs navigate potential conflicts. By using specific body movements or releasing chemical cues, they can communicate their intentions and avoid unnecessary confrontations. This ability to resolve conflicts peacefully contributes to the overall success of their relationship.

Can Frogs Be Kept as Pets by Other Invertebrates?

While the relationship between tarantulas and frogs is well-known and documented, it raises the question of whether frogs can be kept as pets by other invertebrates. Frogs are fascinating creatures that capture the interest of many animal enthusiasts, including those who keep invertebrates as pets. However, the compatibility between frogs and other invertebrates varies depending on the specific species and their natural behaviors.

One of the main considerations when considering keeping frogs as pets for other invertebrates is the size and aggressiveness of the potential predator. While some invertebrates may be small enough to coexist peacefully with frogs, others may pose a threat to the frog’s safety. It is essential to research and understand the specific needs and behaviors of both the frog and the invertebrate before attempting to house them together.

Additionally, the environmental requirements of frogs may not align with the needs of other invertebrates. Frogs typically require a moist and well-maintained habitat with access to water, whereas some invertebrates may prefer drier conditions. Finding a balance that meets the needs of both species can be challenging but not impossible.

Furthermore, the diet of frogs may present a challenge when considering them as pets for other invertebrates. Frogs generally feed on live prey, such as insects and small invertebrates. Some invertebrates may not be able to provide the necessary food source for frogs, while others may be preyed upon by the frog. It is crucial to consider the dietary requirements and potential interactions between species before attempting to house them together.

Similar Relationships in the Animal Kingdom: Tarantulas and Other Amphibians

 Similar Relationships in the Animal Kingdom: Tarantulas and Other Amphibians

The fascinating relationship between tarantulas and frogs is not unique in the animal kingdom. There are other examples of similar interactions between arachnids and amphibians that have been observed and studied. These relationships provide insights into the complex and diverse nature of animal interactions and the amazing adaptations that have evolved over time.

Mutualism between Tarantulas and Salamanders

Similar to the mutually beneficial relationship between tarantulas and frogs, there are instances where tarantulas coexist with salamanders. Both tarantulas and salamanders occupy the same habitats, such as leaf litter and burrows, and their interactions have been documented in various forest ecosystems.

Other Interactions between Arachnids and Amphibians

Besides tarantulas and salamanders, there are other examples of arachnid-amphibian interactions in nature. Some scorpion species have been observed cohabiting with small frogs. Similarly to the tarantula-frog relationship, the frogs benefit from the protection and shelter provided by the scorpions, while the scorpions benefit from the frogs’ foraging behavior, which can help remove potential prey items from their surroundings.

These interactions between arachnids and amphibians highlight the intricate web of relationships that exist in ecosystems and the complex ways in which different species can interact and depend on each other. They also shed light on the adaptations and behaviors that have allowed these relationships to develop and persist throughout evolutionary history.

The Cultural Significance of Tarantulas and Frogs

The relationship between tarantulas and frogs is not only fascinating from a scientific perspective, but it also holds cultural significance in many societies. In various cultures around the world, tarantulas and frogs have been revered and held in high regard for their unique qualities and behaviors.

In some indigenous cultures, tarantulas and frogs are seen as symbols of transformation and regeneration. The ability of tarantulas to molt and regenerate their exoskeletons is seen as a metaphor for personal growth and renewal. Similarly, the metamorphosis of frogs from tadpoles to adult frogs is seen as a symbol of transformation and the cycle of life.

Tarantulas and frogs are also associated with different spiritual beliefs and practices. In some cultures, tarantulas are believed to possess mystical powers and are used in healing rituals and ceremonies. The venom of tarantulas is believed to have medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine for various ailments. Similarly, frogs are often associated with rain and water-related rituals. The sound of frogs croaking is seen as a symbol of abundance and fertility.

Additionally, tarantulas and frogs have been depicted in folklore and mythology in many cultures. They are often portrayed as tricksters or wise creatures with supernatural abilities. Stories and legends featuring tarantulas and frogs are used to teach moral lessons and convey cultural values.

In modern society, tarantulas and frogs continue to captivate people’s fascination. They are popular subjects in art, literature, and media. Many people keep tarantulas and frogs as pets, not only for their unique appearances but also for the cultural significance they hold.



The relationship between tarantulas and frogs goes beyond the scientific realm. It holds cultural significance in various societies, symbolizing transformation, regeneration, and spiritual beliefs. Tarantulas and frogs have been revered and celebrated in folklore, mythology, and art. Their captivating qualities continue to captivate people’s fascination and make them popular pets.