American Bullfrog
American Bullfrog.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Lithobates
Species: L. catesbeianus
"Bullfrog" redirects here. For the African bullfrog, see "Pyxicephalus adspersus". For other uses, see "Bullfrog (disambiguation)".

The American Bullfrog, often known simply as the Bullfrog (formerly Rana catesbeiana) is a species of frog in the Ranidae (true frog) family, measuring 9 to 20cm. With legs extended, the American bullfrog reaches 28cm.


Bullfrog with Bat

A bullfrog which had just eaten a bat

Bullfrog Eating Bird

A bullfrog eating a bird

The American Bullfrog is a voracious, opportunistic carnivore. Stomach studies conducted in 1913 suggess that the bullfrog will feed on any animal that it can overpower and stuff down its throat. Studies have revealed remains of birds, rodents, snakes, bats, fish, other bullfrogs, alligator hatchlings[1], and small turtles, as well as a large number invertebrates, such as insects, spiders, scorpions and gastropods. It has even been reported to leap 3 feet into the air from water to catch unsuspecting swallows on the wing.[2]

The bullfrog starts by a bounce which rotates it towards the prey. Next, if necessary, it performs several approaching leaps. Finally, it strikes, during its 'feeding lunge'. While almost at the position of the prey, it extends its fleshy mucus-covered tongue, engulfing the meal, and sticking to it. The frog withdraws its tongue, prey still attached, into its mouth. If it is too large for that, it will stuff it in with the forelimbs. It is believed asphyxiation is the most likely cause of death in endothermic prey.

In a stomach study, 32.6% of mass of all food was comprised of insects, 26.4% crayfish, 11.1% other frogs, 10.4% tadpoles, 3% the meadow vole, 2.8% fish, 2.2% birds, 2.1% snails, 2% toads, 1.9% unmentioned invertebrates, and 1% snapping turtle.[3]

Reproduction & GrowthEdit