An American bullfrog photographed at Denver Zoo in Colorado
An American bullfrog photographed at Denver Zoo in Colorado
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

American Bullfrog

Common Name:
American Bullfrog
Scientific Name:
Lithobates catesbeianus
Type:
Amphibians
Diet:
Carnivore
Group Name:
Army, colony
Average Life Span In The Wild:
7 to 9 years
Size:
3.5 to 6 inches (adult female)
Weight:
1.1 pounds
IUCN Red List Status:
Least concern
Current Population Trend:
Increasing

The baritone call of the bullfrog is so deep and resonant, it resembles the mooing of a cow, hence its name. Only males emit this trademark "jug-o-rum" bellow, and their choruses can be heard during the day or night.

Size

The largest of all North American frogs, this giant can grow to a length of 8 inches or more and weigh up to 1.5 pounds. Even the tadpoles of this species can reach 6.75 inches in length.

Population Range

They are among the most wide-ranging of all North American amphibians, found in freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes from Nova Scotia, Canada, throughout the continental United States, and as far south as Mexico and Cuba. They have even found their way to Europe, South America, and Asia.

Behavior

Bullfrogs are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots and have easily identifiable circular eardrums, or tympanum, on either side of their heads.

Nocturnal predators, they will ambush and eat just about anything they can fit in their ample mouths, including insects, mice, fish, birds, and snakes. They sit quietly and wait for prey to pass by, then lunge with their powerful hind legs, mouths open wide.

Males are highly territorial and will aggressively guard their land. Females are slightly larger than males.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
Photograph by Derek Dafoe, National Geographic Your Shot

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