American bullfrog

americanbullfrog

American bullfrog (Anura: Ranidae: Lithobates catesbeianus) photographed 06/28/2014 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge east of Bono, Ohio.

American bullfrogs (Anura: Ranidae: Lithobates catesbeianus) are the largest true frogs in North America. They can reach nearly eight inches (20 cm) in length from snout to tail, weigh over one pound (0.5 kg), and typically live for about eight years. They’re usually found in or around aquatic environments and prefer warm, still, shallow water like that found in ponds or bogs. These frogs are ambush predators, and will calmly wait for prey to move close before snatching it with their tongues. They will eat almost anything they can get in their mouths including insects, worms, and crustaceans as well as small fish, amphibians, and snakes. These eating machines have even been known to devour small birds and mammals, including bats.

americanbullfrog2

American bullfrog (Anura: Ranidae: Lithobates catesbeianus) photographed 06/28/2014 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge east of Bono, Ohio.

American bullfrogs are native to eastern North America from southeast Canada to northeast Mexico. Over the last century, however, they have been introduced to many other parts of the world. Outside of eastern North America they’re often considered invasive and undesirable because they can cause significant disturbances to native ecosystems. Since they feed on a wide variety of animals and breed prolifically, they can outcompete native frogs and decimate populations of other native species where they have been introduced.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Ecology, Organism Interactions, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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