American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Bullfrogs are the largest frogs in North America, with an average length of 6”- 6 ½” and a weight of 2 ounces. Males are
larger than females. They get their name from their call that is more like a bellow than the croak of other frogs. Bullfrogs are known for their voracious appetite and aggressive behavior, even as tadpoles. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo exhibits bullfrogs in the Reptile House, located in the New England Farmyard.

Description: 

Color varies from bright green to dull olive green. They have webbed feet and strong hind legs - they are great jumpers! Bullfrogs have a good sense of hearing, and the male’s eardrum (tympanum) is two times the size of the female’s eardrum. When identifying a bullfrog you will notice that the eardrum is larger than the eye. When threatened bullfrogs will suck in air to make themselves larger.

Habitat: 

Freshwater lakes, ponds, bogs and slow moving streams.

Range: 

North America.

Diet: 

Insects, snails, earthworms, small mammals, young birds, small fish, snakes and frogs. Adults will even eat small alligators! Tadpoles feed on algae, bacteria, decaying matter in the water and smaller tadpoles sharing the same body of water.

Life Span: 

8 to 15 years.

Family Life: 

They are solitary except during the breeding season. Males can be heard calling to females, and warning off other males, in late April to July in northern states and from February to October in southern states. Their call is a loud bellow occasionally described as “jug-o-rum.” The female produces between 10,000 to 20,000 eggs. The eggs will hatch in 4 to 20 days and tadpoles then begin their metamorphosis to adults. It takes 1 to 3 years for the bullfrog to reach maturity (cooler temperatures slow down their development).

Status: 

Overall the status is stable due to their adaptability and aggressive behavior. Like other amphibians they suffer from habitat destruction and pollution. Bullfrogs have been introduced into British Columbia, California, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and other areas. Once they became established they began feeding on the native wildlife and are now considered pests.