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American Bullfrog

Scientific name: Lithobates catesbeianus



This may be a very large frog, up to eight inches long! Its color varies from green to olive and even brown. Its back may have spots or blotches on it while the hind legs have distinctive dark brown bars. Its belly is white. Aside from its size, the bullfrog is well known for its deep call, “jug-a-rum, jug-a-rum”. Like other frog calls, this sound can carry a great distance.


© Missouri Dept. of Conservation
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Bullfrogs are omniverous and opportunistic. The size and age of the frog, the season, and the type of habitat all influence their diet. If they can fit it in their mouth, they will eat it!

Life Cycle

In spring, they emerge from their overwintering burrows in the mud of rivers or ponds. Breeding is in mid-May to early July. Males are highly territorial and physically aggressive to each other as they defend calling stations. Eggs are laid in shallow water in a wide, floating mass. Females can lay over 20,000 eggs per clutch; these hatch in 4–5 days. Tadpoles turn into frogs at about a year, but adult size isn’t reached for another 2–3 years.

Human Connections

The legs are edible and considered by many to be a delicacy. In New York, a hunting license is required to take frogs during the season, which runs from June 15- September 30.

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