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American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog

Lithobates catesbeiana

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Amphibia
Order Anura
Family Ranidae
Genus Lithobates
Species L. catesbeiana
Lifespan Average of 7 to 9 years; maximum of 16 years
Size 3.5 to 6 inches long
Offspring Simultaneously, females lay egg clutches of up to 20,000 eggs while males release sperm to externally fertilize the eggs. Egg clutches form a thin, floating sheet in water.
Status Widespread and secure
Bullfrog

About the American Bullfrog

What do American bullfrogs look like?

American bullfrogs are the largest North American frog, reaching a maximum of 6 inches in length. Their coloration ranges from green to brown with bluish or yellowish hues and a white-gray belly. Bullfrogs and green frogs look somewhat similar. Adult bullfrogs are larger and can be distinguished by looking closely at the tympanum/ear (circular discs behind the eye). Green frogs have a dorsolateral ridge extending three-quarters the length of the back. Bullfrogs dorsolateral ridge only extends around the tympanum.

Where do American bullfrogs live?

The American bullfrog has a natural range consisting of most of the eastern United States. However, it has been introduced to habitats throughout most of North American and parts of Brazil and China. Bullfrogs live in permanent bodies of water, including swamps, ponds, and lakes. They typically dwell along the water's edge and require emergent vegetation for protection from predators.

What do American bullfrogs eat?

Bullfrogs are opportunistic predators, meaning they will eat any small animal they can swallow. This often includes invertebrates, crayfish, amphibians, small reptiles, fish, snails, and more. Bullfrogs ambush their prey and swallow their prey whole.


Fun Facts!

  • Male American bullfrogs begin to seek out mating females in May and June. They aggregate in choruses and sound deep, base notes that resemble the phrase jug-o-rum to attract females. Other territorial and encounter calls are sometimes heard from bullfrogs, too.
  • American bullfrogs metamorphose at different rates depending on where they are located. In the south, metamorphosis can take only a few months, whereas in the north, it can take up to three years for tadpoles to grow into frogs.
  • American bullfrogs can jump distances ten times the length of their bodies! This advantage helps bullfrogs avoid predators and capture prey.

Mammals

American Mink
American Mink
Black Bear
Black Bear
Bobcat
Bobcat
Coyote
Coyote
Fisher
Fisher
Gray Fox
Gray Fox
Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion
Red Fox
Red Fox
River Otter
River Otter
White-footed Mouse
White-footed Mouse
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer

Birds

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Barred Owl
Barred Owl
Broad-winged Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Goshawk
Goshawk
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Reptiles and Amphibians

American Bullfrog
American Bullfrog
Gray Tree Frog
Gray Tree Frog
Green Frog
Green Frog
Painted Turtle
Painted Turtle
Spotted Turtle
Spotted Turtle

Fish

Brook Trout
Spotted Turtle
Yellow Perch
Yellow Perch
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