11 Animals that Eat Mushrooms (With Pictures)

Animals that Eat Mushrooms

With the changing of the seasons come the different fruits of nature that animals like to eat. Mushrooms are usually most abundant in the autumn, but in some places, they are available year-round.

Some of the most common animals that eat mushrooms are:

  • Slugs
  • Deer
  • Foxes
  • Bears
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Insects
  • Pigs and wild boars
  • Tortoise
  • Turkeys
  • Ants

Some mushrooms are toxic to animals, so they are avoided by the most common animals that eat mushrooms. In some cases, they might inevitably eat toxic mushrooms, which can result in their death. However, animals are wise enough to eat only the mushrooms that are good for them!

Animals that Eat Mushrooms

These are the animals that eat mushrooms.

1. Snails and Slugs

Scientific NameGastropoda
Type of AnimalGastropod
DietHerbivorous, Carnivorous, Omnivorous

Slugs are commonly found near the ground. They will scavenge different types of foods that are available next to them, including mushrooms. These represent a great source of food for slugs because they’re easily available and they provide enough nutrients for them. 

Snails that eat mushrooms can eat a variety of different shrooms. They are not susceptible to some toxic plants and mushrooms, so they will eat fungi that might be toxic to other animals. Some mushrooms that snails eat include the oyster mushroom, milk caps, Lactarius spp., and others.

2. Deer

Scientific NameCervidae
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeall continents except Australia and Antarctica

Deer are among the most peaceful inhabitants of the forest. While they might often find themselves as the prey of the larger animals, they will mostly consume herbivorous foods themselves, including mushrooms.

Deer will like to include mushrooms into their diet whenever possible. Since they roam around a lot, they can find many different types of fungi that they will add to their diet. They will start eating mushrooms as early as March when mushrooms like morel start to grow, and these are highly edible for the deer.

3. Foxes

Scientific NameVulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEurope, temperate Asia, and northern Africa

Foxes are some of the most cunning animals in the world. They have a knack for finding food where other animals can’t. They need to be resourceful to do this and to survive in the harshness of the wilderness. This also means that they might need to take a risk occasionally to eat foods like mushrooms.

These animals will scavenge mushrooms that are easily available in the wild. Because they’re resourceful, they might be able to find mushrooms before other animals can, so mushrooms can represent a good source of food for foxes.

4. Bears

Scientific NameUrsidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, South America, Europe, and Asia

Bears are the kings of the forest. They’re apex predators of their habitat, so they mostly rely on carnivorous foods. But even though bears are among the world’s most renowned predators, they will also eat fruits and plants in the wild, including mushrooms.

For bears, mushrooms can represent a quick snack when they are hungry. The mushrooms are especially helpful to bears when there are no animals of prey around. Mushrooms are not the primary type of food for bears, though.

5. Rabbits

Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculus
Type of AnimalMammal

Rabbits are grazing animals, which means they’ll eat almost any herbivorous food that is close to them. This means that they prefer smaller types of food such as grasses, but they won’t hesitate to eat mushrooms, too. They need to be careful not to eat the toxic mushrooms, though.

6. Squirrels

Scientific NameSciuridae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAustralia and Antarctica

Small squirrels are among the loveliest animals in the world. They are also resourceful. They’re known for packing large quantities of food into their mouths, such as nuts. While they like nuts a lot, they will also not hesitate to eat other types of foods, such as mushrooms, for instance.

Read Also: Do Squirrel Eat Carrot?

7. Insects

Small insects like to eat a variety of different foods. They might feed on plants and fruits that are nearby, as well as mushrooms. Some beetles, flies, and other smaller insects will not hesitate to feed on mushrooms, especially if they are easily available. They might even have a preference for rotting mushrooms, too.

8. Pigs and Wild Boars


Scientific NameSus scrofa domesticus
Type of AnimalMammal

ou might find it hard to believe, but even larger animals like wild boars will eat mushrooms in the wild. This will happen especially if there are no other foods around. But boars are well-known for their preference for eating roots and plants such as small mushrooms, as well as seeds.

Farm animals such as pigs will also eat mushrooms if you feed them to them. Some pig owners might buy dried mushrooms which come in larger packs, and pigs will happily eat them, too. Some pigs will also eat larger mushrooms they can find themselves, though.

Related Article: 9 Animals Like Pigs

9. Tortoise

Scientific NameTestudinidae
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangeon all continents except Australia and Antarctica

Tortoises are known for their heavily herbivorous diet. They like eating various types of grasses, leaves, as well as algae. They also like fresh vegetables and fruits, but they won’t say no to mushrooms, too. In the wild, they will rarely eat mushrooms but in zoos or captivity, mushrooms can be a good food to supplement their diet.

10. Turkeys

Scientific NameMeleagris gallopavo f. domestica
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral Mexico

Turkeys, both domesticated and wild turkeys, will also eat mushrooms. They prefer to eat seeds, grains, nuts, fruits, and grains. They are also omnivores, so they might occasionally enjoy eating insects and other similar types of foods. 

Wild turkeys are more independent when it comes to diet. They will enjoy finding foods that are easy to catch, as they prefer to hunt insects. When there are no other foods around, they might enjoy a good meal of mushrooms, too.

11. Ants

Scientific NameFormicidae
Type of AnimalInsect

Ants are among the happiest eaters of mushrooms. For example, the Euprenolepsisprocera is well-known for eating mushrooms. This type of ant lives in Malaysia and other more tropical forests around, where there are a lot of mushrooms. These will be the primary type of food for these ants.

These ants will slowly chew down on the mushrooms and eat them. The process might take a few days, but usually, there are hundreds of ants feeding on one mushroom, so it might be depleted quickly.

Final Thoughts

Mushrooms are popular with many animals. In the wild, herbivores will primarily eat mushrooms if they can find them, although they’re usually more of a snack rather than a primary type of food for the majority of animals that eat them.

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