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Do Frogs Bite? – (Answered And Explained!)

Do Frogs Bite

Some people are fascinated by frogs and often keep them as pets. You may have experienced an aggressive frog trying to bite your toe or fingers when feeding them, wondering whether frogs can bite.

So, can frogs bite? Yes. Frogs can bite, but the chances of a frog bite causing considerable harm to your skin are minimal. Frogs may bite for defense when threatened, frightened, or mishandled. Their bites are rather startling than painful since they rarely pierce through human skin, let alone biting off your finger.

This article will review the chances of frogs biting and the harm or pain they can cause to human skin. In addition, we shall also identify the frog species with the strongest bites and what one can do when bitten by a frog.

Do Frogs Bite? – (Answered And Explained)

Yes. Frogs can bite when irritated, frightened, or threatened as a defense mechanism. However, bites from frogs are painless and rarely cause any harm to human skin. Their bites feel like a startle, similar to a rub with sandpaper.

Frogs are also triggered to bite, especially your finger, when you are feeding them. They quickly mistake your finger for food, especially the Pacman species. You can avoid these harmless bites by feeding them using tongs.

Do Frogs Bite

The frogs’ bites are irritating and uncomfortable, especially for giant frogs such as the African Bullfrog, which has strong jaws.

Most frog species have maxillary and vomerine teeth with no mandibles, and they use them to hold and block food before swallowing. They are tiny teeth and are not hardy; hence, they rarely penetrate the skin.

The teeth are stronger in old mature frogs, while young frogs have no visible teeth.

Are Frog Bites Venomous?

Most frog bites are not venomous; they are poisonous since they passively infect you with the poison from their skin. Even if you get a bite from a poisonous frog, you won’t get poisoned until you come into contact with the secreted poison passively, or you ingest it through an open wound.

Are Frog Bites Venomous

Such happens especially when frogs bite you in water, and they secrete a poison that gets to your open wound through the water.

Other frog species are venomous since they directly inject the venom using sharp skull spines. Most of these venomous frogs are found in swampy areas; they bite and actively inject your blood with the venom.

There are two frog species known to be venomous, and they are;

These venomous frogs are native to Southern America, and they use their spines on the front part of the skull to ingest venom in your skin. These frogs have very toxic secretions that are lethal to human flesh.

How Strong Is A Frog’s Bite?

How Strong Is A Frog’s Bite

Different frog species have varying biting strengths. Their size and aggressiveness determine the strength of their bite, as indicated in the table below.

Frog speciesBiting force in newton
Small horned Frogs30 – 35
Large horned Frogs480 – 500
Beelzebufo Frogs2200
Pacman Frogs30 – 40
American BullFrogs25 – 35

The giant horned frogs emerged with the strongest biting frogs with a force of between 480 – 500 newton since Beelzebufo frogs are extinct.

The tiny horned frogs have a biting force of 30 – 35 newton, which is significant, mainly when concentrated on soft skin. Some frogs without a hardened skull structure have insignificant biting strength and only rub your finger against their jaws.

To determine the strength of a frog’s bite, scientists use the size of its skull, with an estimation of 30 newton, produced by a horned frog with a skull size of 45 mm. A horned frog with a skull size of 100 mm produces 500 newton.

What Should You Do If Bitten By Harmful Frogs?

Frog bites are not harmful, but you need to exercise precaution when dealing with these small amphibians to reduce their biting habits. If bitten by a frog, you must remain calm since their bites will barely cause harm.

What Should You Do If Bitten By Harmful Frogs

Shaking your finger or toe will only cause more harm and possible injury to the frog. A frog’s bite will only last for up to 5 seconds, and then it releases your skin since its muscles are too weak to withstand long durations of bites.

Once the frog releases your skin, wash your hands and the bitten area with warm water and soap or detergents. Use appropriate disinfectant depending on the extent of the bite, which depends on the type of frog that bit you.

If you have an open wound around the area you were bitten, take extra precautions and seek medical attention. Also, clean the wound with disinfectants to prevent the spread of salmonella – a large zoonotic disease from frogs.

Safety Measures When Handling Frogs

Safety Measures When Handling Frogs

To prevent frog bites and the spread of zoonotic diseases between humans and frogs, you can practice the following safety measures when handling frogs.

  • Avoid unnecessary touches and disturbances. Give them time and freedom to feel their natural habitat.
  • Always wash your hands and other accessories handling frogs after use with running water and soap.
  • Put on gloves when handling frogs and their waste.
  • Be wary of unidentified species or frogs you don’t recall and are large enough to cause harm.
  • Avoid feeding frogs with bare hands, but instead, use tongs and forks.
After understanding the biting habits of frogs, it’s fascinating to delve deeper into their behaviors and the challenges they face. An occasional surprise for many homeowners is discovering a frog in their house, prompting questions about how and why it got there. Equally compelling is learning about the natural predators of these amphibians. To get a clearer picture of the food chain, check out our article on what eats frogs and their survival tactics against these threats.


Most frogs are harmless species and, therefore, kept as pets with proper handling and feeding. To understand more about their bites, let’s go through the following questions.

Q: Do Frogs Bite Each Other?

Yes. Frogs can bite each other when threatened or frightened as a self-defense mechanism. They also bite each other in the scramble and fight for food. Most of the time, their bites are a way of communicating, especially when in distress.

Q: Can A Frog Bite Off Your Finger?

No. No existing frog can bite off your finger, however large it is and how much biting force it possesses. The immense extent their bites can go is to break the dead skin of your finger – a case scenario for giant horned frogs. 

Q: Do American Bullfrogs Bite?

Yes. American bullfrogs do bite with their soft teeth as a defense mechanism or when they mistake your finger for food. However, their bites barely cause pain and do not penetrate the skin; hence considered harmless.


Most frog bites are not venomous, and they cause no considerable amount of pain in humans. Even the strongest horned frogs’ bites cannot penetrate the skin since their teeth are adapted to holding their food before swallowing.

Some frogs are poisonous, but their bites are harmless since they only secrete poison through their skin, not teeth. However, if you keep frogs, you need to feed and handle your frog with care to avoid them mistaking your toes or fingers for a meal.

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