Frog eats Christmas light, gets illuminated


James Snyder took this striking photo of a frog that ate a small light bulb. It was featured in National Geographic's "Daily Dozen."

This is a Cuban tree frog on a tree in my backyard in southern Florida. How and why he ate this light is a mystery. It should be noted that at the time I was taking this photo, I thought this frog was dead having cooked himself from the inside. I’m happy to say I was wrong. After a few shots he adjusted his position. So after I was finished shooting him, I pulled the light out of his mouth and he was fine. Actually, I might be crazy but I don’t think he was very happy when I took his light away.

(Via bangocibumbumpuluj)


  1. #2, I think you right. As a kid, I used to be constantly playing in a nearby creek. closer to fall when the water was cold but before the frogs burrowed in for winter they’d get real docile and let you hold them as long as you had warm hands. This one seems to have found a way of keeping warm that does not involve letting a grubby kid carry it around for a few hours.

  2. That’s how you cook a tree frog: one light at a time, so it doesn’t notice until it’s swallowed the entire tree.

  3. Note: I sent this to a friend who happens to study frogs. They verified that it is a cuban tree frog, an invasive species in Florida.While I am not an advocate of animal cruelty or needless elimination of cute little frogs…..

    People should be aware that invasive species like the cuban tree frog, are often spread by human activities, threaten native species,and can severely affect the habitats they occupy.

    For more info see:

    Happy Earth Day

  4. Should have kept the frog where you found it or stuck it in the freezer for humane death (or kept it as a pet, I guess). Those frogs are destroying Fla’s native critters (frogs, lizards, insects, anything that fits into their mouths).

  5. Hey, if I were ectothermic, swallowing an illuminated light bulb would probably seem like a good idea to me too.

    Reminds me of a trick for keeping citrus trees in zones technically too cold for them. Plant them in big pots. During the winter, pull them into the garage and decorate with christmas tree lights. On the coldest nights, turn on the lights to keep the trees from freezing.

  6. brings to mind a childhood memory when my brother and i caught a toad, and hand-fed it a lightning bug. epic lulz were had at the “e.t. effect” that resulted.

  7. socially accepted animal cruelty such as this really needs to be dealt with.

    you sadists really should be ashamed of yourselfs

  8. #8, if only we were so lucky here in Australia. Damn cane toads are swarming over the continent, not only killing things that fit into their mouths, but things that *don’t*. Anything here that eats a cane toad dies from their poison glands. About their only natural enemy here is a New South Welshman with a golf club.

    Except crows, which seem to have learned to flip them over and eat them from underneath (since the glands are on top.) Go crows!

  9. …He swallowed the light to catch the fly. I don’t know why he swallowed the fly, perhaps he’ll die…

  10. I’m in Aus too, and I still want to meet the people responsible for the most amusing ‘humane’ way to dispatch of cane toads: smothering them in haemorrhoid cream.

  11. Of course the frog was unhappy, the light attracts all sorts of flies and food for the frog. Although eating it was maybe a little over the top :) can you blame the frog? It’s not like he has much of an IQ ^^

  12. …just warming up a little bit, perhaps.
    A similar cure for aching tummies might a warm light bulb stuck into..No no, never mind.

  13. Wow. I cant believe it! That is amazing. Who would have ever thought that a “FROG” would eat Christmas lights or even at least try?!?!?!?!?!? Not me!

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