THE AMERICAN BULLFROG

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Florida Guide > Other Florida

THE AMERICAN BULLFROG

The LARGEST frog in Florida !

They can be found - and heard throughout Florida.

By the time it reaches maturity it can measure 6 to 8 inches long and weigh-in on average at a pound.

It has a moist skin of dark olive green - almost black and a mottled –black white underside.

This handsome creature has a large rounded head, bulging eyes with a ridge from the eye to the eardrum and a mid-back bulge.

The throat of the female is cream and the male is bright yellow. The bullfrog has long muscular hind legs and of course webbed feet except for the 4th toe. These legs can propel the frog quite some distance to catch its prey. Bullfrogs have very acute senses and peripheral vision.

Vocally this frog has a very deep voice and is mostly “heard” rather than seen. It can be spotted in the vegitation at the waters edge usually in the evenings or at night when the frog is out and about.

Solitary and territorial the Bullfrog loves large ponds, lakes and slow running streams. Having a carnivores appetite the Bullfrog will eat anything small enough to swallow. This includes insects, small fish, mice, small birds and snakes.

It has a great hunting technique sitting quietly waiting for prey to pass, then lunges with its powerful legs - mouth wide open to catch the unsuspecting “tasty morsel”

For breeding to take place water temperature must be above 70 degrees . Breeding happens from February to October The male bellows loudly during these times to attract females and warn other males off.

Egg masses containing thousands of eggs are laid in a film on the surface of the water. Tadpoles may not become adults until their 2nd year.

In Florida there are 33 species of frogs and their croaking chorus can be heard nightly. Just listen from the pool deck after a rain storm !

Frogs are tailless amphibians ( Amphibios- Greek meaning double-life) begin their lives in water as tadpoles then on land as a frog. All amphibians backbones and are cold-blooded with soft moist skins and must live in or very near water – so before you jump in the pool……………

Please take care if you do handle any frog – some species have poisonous skin others carry risks of salmonella and the like so always wash hands thoroughly.

NB - Status

Exotic - The American Bullfrog is a voracious predator and a serious threat to British wildlife. Tadpoles of the American Bullfrog were at one time widely sold in garden centres, imports are now banned due to the risk of this invasive species establishing in the UK. Vigilance is still required as there have been reports of accidental introductions of tadpoles included with consignments of aquatic plants.

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