Southern Toads (A. terrestris) Eating Earthworms

I filmed a video of some of my breeder Southern Toads (A. terrestis) eating earthworms in one of the four open-top terrariums.

Most of the diet (90%+) is fruit flies and fruit fly maggots that live on the pile of decomposing fruit peels in their terrariums.

This system is fairly easy to maintain, requiring only daily watering and the addition of spoiling fruits or vegetables (or peels) to sustain the fruit flies.

The terrariums were made from repurpose large plastic 55-gallon barrels, which I cut in half and added soil and leaf litter from the back yard so that the toads could burrow and live naturally. Volunteer vegetables and weeds grew in the barrel-bottom terrariums.

Soil and living plants are the toads natural habitat, which assures that the toad is at the right humidity and pH and not overwhelmed with its own waste.

The natural microflora recycles the waste, just as it does in the wild.

My breeders are spending their first winter in the basement under lights because I wasn’t confident that they had eaten enough to hibernate without losing some individuals.

I also wanted them to reach maturity and start breeding sooner.

I let them spend the first cold weeks of fall on the patio, allowing them to go dormant briefly so that they would experience winter in terms of triggering any hormones or biological clocks but without the stress of hard winter or an extended period of delayed growth.

Before the first frost, I moved all four barrel-bottom terrariums from the patio to the basement, positioning them around an oil-filled radiant heater and under lights.

There is also light from the grow lights over the adjacent seedling trays.

This activity heats the house from the basement up, allowing the central heat to take a break.

The Video

Here is the video of Southern Toads eating earthworms:

video: Southern Toads (A. terrestris) Eating Earthworms

Be Very Quiet

Be very quiet. We are hunting.