4 to 8 inches body length. The largest North American frog.
Eastern United States. Widely introduced into the western U.S. and also into many foreign countries. Valued as a food animal.
In and near larger body of waters such as lakes, ponds, and large ditches, as well as sloughs near rivers.
- Wild - Anything that will fit into mouth: ducklings, snakes, fish, small rodents, crayfish, insects, worms, other frogs.
- Zoo - Fish, worms, crayfish, crickets, occasional mouse.
A heavy-bodied, almost smooth-skinned frog without a thick ridge running down each side of the back. Green to blackish on back with dark mottling. The belly is whitish to yellowish, often with dark mottling.
- The green color is due to blue pigment in the skin covered by a thin layer of yellow mucus. Many color variations are known, including white, bright yellow, bright blue, and black and white.
- The species was named for colonial American naturalist Mark Catesby.
Breeds from about March through July or August. Males have much larger eardrums (tympana) than females and give a “jug-o-rum” call at night. Females lay 10,000 to 20,000 eggs in a vast mat on the surface of the water. Tadpoles take 6 months to 2 years to mature. Froglets may be over 2 inches long when leaving the water. Has lived over 7 years.
As a commercial species it can be taken only during specific seasons and with legal methods. Common in Louisiana.
- The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Harold A. Dundee & Douglas A. Rossman.
- A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians. Eastern and Central North America. Roger Conant & Joseph T. Collins.