American Bullfrog
Rana catesbeiana

CLASS: Amphibia
ORDER: Anura
FAMILY: Ranidae

SIZE:
4 to 8 inches body length. The largest North American frog.

RANGE:
Eastern United States. Widely introduced into the western U.S. and also into many foreign countries. Valued as a food animal.

HABITAT:
In and near larger body of waters such as lakes, ponds, and large ditches, as well as sloughs near rivers.

DIET:

  • Wild - Anything that will fit into mouth: ducklings, snakes, fish, small rodents, crayfish, insects, worms, other frogs.
  • Zoo - Fish, worms, crayfish, crickets, occasional mouse.

DESCRIPTION:
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.

FACTS:

  • 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.

YOUNG:
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.

STATUS:
As a commercial species it can be taken only during specific seasons and with legal methods. Common in Louisiana.

REFERENCES:

  • 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.