American Bullfrogs, often known just as bullfrogs are a large and distinctive species of frog that are endemic to the eastern part of North America. Beyond just being fun to look at, these frogs are very unique creatures.
Bullfrogs are native to Eastern North American but can be found on several continents around the world. Adult bullfrogs can lay up to 25,000 eggs and can eat small mammals such as mice and birds, as well as bats and snakes.
Keep reading to learn 10 incredible facts that make the bullfrog such an interesting frog species!
1. Bullfrogs are Native to Eastern North America
Bullfrogs originated on the East coast of North America. Their natural and native habitat spans from Newfoundland in Canada, all the way to the Gulf Coast, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
However, they have been introduced in other areas for various reasons, and can now be found anywhere across these places:
- North America
- South America
- Africa (African Bullfrog)
Learn how to find bullfrogs in your area in this guide on our blog.
2. Bullfrogs are Invasive in Many Locations
Because they have been introduced to so many new locations, bullfrogs can sometimes be considered an invasive species, which is a species that causes harm to the native plants and animal life in a given area.
Bullfrogs are voracious predators, and their diet of small mammals, rodents and reptiles can harm the animals that already exist in their introduced area. They can both eat these native species, and also compete with them for prey which can be harmful to native wildlife.
Learn about invasive frogs in this article on our blog.
3. Bullfrogs Have a Big Appetite
American Bullfrogs are talented hunters, and they will eat almost anything that crosses their path and can fit into their mouths.
Bullfrogs’ diets include (but are not limited to) the following creatures:
- Small rodents
- Baby birds
- Small turtles
- Dragonfly larvae
- Water bugs
- Small snakes
- Other frogs
A true carnivore, a bullfrog will devour almost anything that it can. In rare cases, bullfrogs have been known to consume unexpected creatures, such as bats and scorpions.
Learn more about what frogs eat in this complete guide on our blog.
4. Bullfrogs are Hunted
People can hunt bullfrogs in the United States as part of a practice that is known as “frogging” or “gigging.”
Due to their widespread availability, size and status as an invasive species, bullfrogs are a very common target for frog hunting. Bullfrogs are hunted either by hand or with a net, although some states do allow for lines and hooks.
Because they are a popular hunting target, many states have rules and regulations surrounding bullfrog hunting. For instance, many states have set quotas regarding how many bullfrogs a person can hunt in a day.
Learn more about hunting bullfrogs in this guide on our blog.
5. People Eat Bullfrogs
One reason why bullfrogs have spread across the continent and world is because of their suitability for eating. Bullfrogs are one of only a few species of frogs around the world that are regularly consumed by humans, and they are chosen as a meal because of their savory taste and large size.
While many frogs are toxic to humans, bullfrogs can be safely eaten. Many people eat bullfrogs by grilling, boiling, or frying their legs. In fact, their ability to be eaten is what makes them so popular among hunters. Many hunters eat the bullfrogs they hunt or sell them to local restaurants.
Learn more about frogs you can eat in this guide on our blog.
6. Female Bullfrogs are Larger Than Males
In most animal species, males are larger than females; however, for bullfrogs, the females are significantly bigger than males and generally weigh more. Female American Bullfrog can average 6.5 in (16 cm) and 11.64 oz (330 g).
African bullfrogs tend to be even larger than the average American bullfrog at 9 inches in length (about 23 cm long) and 70 ounces (almost 2 kg) in weight.
Learn more about the size of frogs in this guide on our blog.
7. Bullfrogs are Powerful Jumpers
Due to their strong legs and large size, bullfrogs can jump remarkable distances.
On average, a bullfrog’s jump is about one meter, or just over 3 feet. However, at times, bullfrogs can be capable of jumping up to two meters, which is just over 6 feet. This is 10 times their body length, attesting to their remarkable power.
Bullfrogs jump both to catch prey, avoid being prey, and also just to move from one place to the next by swimming or leaping great distances.
8. Female Bullfrogs Can Lay up to 25,000 Eggs
Bullfrogs lay eggs each year between May and July. Most females will lay their eggs in areas of lakes or ponds with lots of vegetation that the tadpoles will be able to feed on and hide in. Eggs are laid in a large group that floats near the surface of the water.
Even though the female can lay 20,000-25,000 eggs, this doesn’t mean that they all will hatch or survive as tadpoles. Bullfrog eggs commonly fall prey to fish in lakes or water birds. The eggs hatch in about four or five days.
Learn more about frog reproduction in this guide on our blog.
9. Bullfrog Tadpoles Develop at Different Rates
The bullfrog breeding season occurs every year from April to September in Northern States and Canada, and the eggs that survive the first step of their transformation are known as tadpoles. However, depending on where their environment, tadpoles can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to turn into frogs.
Bullfrog tadpoles in Southern States generally become frogs within 3 to 4 months but can take up to 2 years in Northern areas. Due to cold Winters and breeding through April to September, American bullfrog tadpoles develop at different rates with slow development during hibernation season.
10.Bullfrogs Have Different Kinds of Calls
Like many frog species, bullfrogs have various calls including mating calls and alarm calls. The bullfrogs’ classic advertisement call is one of the most well-known calls in the world of frogs. It is heard during the breeding season and often near bodies of water as males establish their territories.
Their mating is a very loud, low-pitched bellow and is always produced by male bullfrogs. When another bullfrog infringes on its territory, the male bullfrog will make a short and sharp call to warn the intruder away.
Additionally, bullfrogs create an alarm call. This high-pitched squeaking sound is most often produced by juvenile frogs of both sexes and occurs when frogs are attempting to escape danger, such as when a frog jumps away from a predator or other dangers into a body of water. Those who are hunting bullfrogs may hear this sound as they go frogging.
Learn more about frog calls in this guide on our blog.
More About Bullfrogs
If you enjoyed this article on our blog about bullfrogs, be sure to check out our other content below. We show you how to find bullfrogs in the wild, what they eat and how to attract them to your yard.
- Everything There is to Know About Bullfrogs
- 5 Types of Frogs You Can Eat
- Where Can You Find Bullfrogs in the USA?
- Bullfrog Hunting: Everything There is to Know
- 10 Tips to Find Bullfrogs in The Wild
- Can a Bullfrog Eat a Snake?
- 10 Must Know Bullfrog Facts
Common Questions About Bullfrogs
Do American bullfrogs bite? American Bullfrogs generally do not bite and if they do their bite would not hurt since their teeth are tiny. If a frog bites it is trying to defend itself so be sure to leave it alone.
Is the American bullfrog poisonous? American Bullfrogs are not poisonous however their skin can carry bacteria such as salmonella which can be dangerous if it enters the sinuses or bloodstream. Be sure to wear gloves or avoid touching bullfrogs.
What does an American bullfrog eat? American bullfrogs are carnivores that eat bugs, larve and worms, as well as small mammals such as mice, rats and birds, small bats, snakes and fish. Bullfrogs may also eat their own tadpoles and other smaller frogs.
Are bullfrogs dangerous to humans? Bullfrogs are not dangerous or poisonous to humans and generally avoid any contact with humans altogether. However, their skin can carry bacteria such as salmonella which can be dangerous if it enters the sinuses or bloodstream.
Are bullfrogs aggressive? Bullfrogs can be very aggressive and territorial towards other animals and frogs. Since bullfrogs can grow to be the size of a small cat, they generally feast on a wide variety of prey including mice, rats, birds, bats, snakes, fish, and other frogs. Bullfrogs are not aggressive towards humans.
What problems do bullfrogs cause? Bullfrogs feed on native wildlife diminishing populations of other animals including mice, mammals, birds, bats, snakes, fish, and other frogs. In some places, bullfrogs are an invasive species that can reproduce quickly, up to 25,000 individuals per year per female bullfrog.