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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Did You Know? 17 Incredible American Bullfrog Facts

One of the interesting American bullfrog facts is that they have spotted, smooth skin.

A North American bullfrog, scientifically named Rana catesbeiana, is an aquatic frog. The natural range of these species varies from nova scotia to central Florida. North American bullfrogs have slender and smooth skin and can vary in color from green to brown. A male frog of this species is more prominent in size than a female. These frogs are pretty crucial to the ecosystem, mainly due to their diet. It feeds on insects, worms, and pests and therefore helps to keep the insect population in control.

The season of breeding for an American bullfrog begins in the springs or early summers when it starts to lay eggs. These frogs have a polygynous mating system. The eggs can be as many as 20,000 in a single clutch! It takes time for the tadpoles to grow into full adults. This tadpole stage can continue for two years. The population of American bullfrogs is relatively stable, though they face a few threats. These include fungal infections and other predators like water snakes, raccoons, great blue herons, and so on.

This article includes interesting facts about the American bullfrog, the American bullfrog's scientific name, and more!

You may also check out the fact files on marine toad facts and tree frog facts from Kidadl!

American Bullfrog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an American bullfrog?

An American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, is a type of frog. These frogs belong to the class of reptiles and amphibians.

What class of animal does an American bullfrog belong to?

American bullfrog, Lithobates genus, belongs to the class of Amphibia. The scientific name of this frog is Rana catesbeiana. This class is of reptiles and amphibians.

How many American bullfrogs are there in the world?

The exact count of American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana is not known. This native frog species of North America have been introduced in many other countries like Jamaica, Argentina, and even Hawaii. So the population of these frogs can be expected to be relatively stable.

Where does an American bullfrog live?

American bullfrogs are aquatic frog species, which prefer warm water. These frogs prefer water temperatures above 26°C. The distribution of these species of frogs can be seen from nova scotia to central Florida. They are widely spotted from the Rockies, across the great plains to Wisconsin. Although these frogs are native to North American landmass, they have been widely introduced in many other continents. These include South America, Europe, and Asia.

What is an American bullfrog's habitat?

American bullfrogs are species of frogs that prefer warm water bodies. These frogs are entirely aquatic species and can mostly be found in shallow water bodies. These native frog species of North America can be spotted in lakes, reservoirs, ponds, swamps, and so on. Apart from these natural habitats, American bullfrogs can also be spotted in man-made habitats like irrigation ditches.

Who do American bullfrogs live with?

Like most other bullfrogs, an American bullfrog is a solitary animal. It is also a nocturnal creature that comes in the vicinity of other members of its species during its breeding season.

How long does an American bullfrog live?

The average lifespan of these frog species ranges from seven to nine years while in the wild. In captivity, their lifespan increases to at most 16 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of these frogs lasts about two months and might exceed three months. For breeding, these frogs prefer warm and still water bodies. The season of breeding begins in spring or early summer. An adult bullfrog reaches sexual maturity between the ages of three and five. The unique mating system of American bullfrogs is known as amplexus. The male frogs form a large group during the season of breeding. Such a group is called a chorus.

The males draw the females by producing a loud call. These male frogs fight with the other males of the same chorus to establish their dominance. In a single summer, a female can generate as many as 25,000 eggs. These eggs float on the water surface till they are ready to hatch. To become an adult from the tadpole stage can take several years. These tadpoles have been reported to take up to five years!

What is their conservation status?

American bullfrogs are of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List. This indicates that the bullfrog population is quite stable in the world.

American Bullfrog Fun Facts

What do American bullfrogs look like?

An American bullfrog is known to jump at great heights with its strong hind legs.

This frog has a broad head, protruding large eyes, and a stout body. You can spot this frog with webbed hind feet. The skin of this frog can be green or even brown. The male bullfrogs have larger eardrums than the females. The males can also be contrasted with females as they have a more petite body with a yellow-colored throat. The bullfrog tadpoles can vary in color from yellow to green. They have small and dark spots.

How cute are they?

These frogs are not very cute to look at. Like the amphibians and reptiles of its genus, these are very slimy and slippery.

How do they communicate?

These frogs communicate with vocalizations. The male frog has a booming call, which resembles a low rumbling. It is often described as 'jug-o-rum.' These frogs also have an incredible sense of vision and can sense vibrations.

How big is an American bullfrog?

The body length of this frog can vary from 3.6-6 in (9-15 cm). The tadpoles can be 6 in (15 cm) in length. An American bullfrog is almost six times larger in size than a poison dart frog.

How fast can an American bullfrog run?

American bullfrogs have a speed like other bullfrog species. Their average speed is close to 10 mph (16 kph).

How much does an American bullfrog weigh?

The average weight of an American bullfrog is between 1.1-1.8 lb (499- 816 g). The tadpoles weigh around 0.01-0.38 lb (4.5-172 g).  

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for these frogs. They are called male bullfrogs and female bullfrogs.

What would you call a baby American bullfrog?

The young ones are called tadpoles.

What do they eat?

North American bullfrogs are carnivorous frogs. This frog is quite a competitive predator, and its diet mainly includes insects. Certain turtles, fish species, and worms also fall in its diet. These frogs also have a cannibalistic nature and feed on their own kinds' tadpoles. They also eat eggs from other aquatic species.

Are they dangerous?

Although bullfrogs are known to have toxic skin, American bullfrogs are not considered dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are not good or easy pets. These frogs need specific habitats and diets to survive, so they should not be kept as pets.

Did you know...

A fun fact about a North American bullfrog is that they can take giant leaps. They can leap for at most 6 ft (1.8 m). The natural history of bullfrogs explains them to be highly territorial frogs. They are known to guard their territory by sudden jump attacks.

The males of this frog species have a distinct rumbling call. They use this call to make their presence known to other frogs and animals. These frogs have specific unique characteristics that help to distinguish them from other members of their family. For example, American bullfrogs can be easily identified from leopard frogs. When American bullfrogs leap into the water, they make a distinct squeak sound. But leopard frogs, on the other hand, are silent when they jump into the water.

Where did the American bullfrog originate from?

The natural range of American bullfrogs in the eastern and central North American regions. These frogs were imported to British Columbia by humans for leg farming. Their natural habitat is around the nova scotia region. It extends from nova scotia through central Florida up to the Rocky Mountains. This frog species has now been introduced to a number of countries throughout the world. This frog has been introduced in Hawaii, California, Italy, Jamaica, and so on, where it is considered to be an invasive species.

How do American bullfrogs affect the ecosystem?  

These frogs affect the ecosystem both positively and negatively. They can cause the extinction of the native animals in certain areas. For example, Colorado is facing shortages in wild-fish stock due to the introduction of bullfrogs in its ecosystem. But in the case of areas with a need for pest control, bullfrogs positively affect the ecosystem. They effectively control pests and insects.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these milk frog facts and caecilian facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable American bullfrog coloring pages.

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