Bullfrogs

Bull Frog, Green, Pond, Lily Pad

In the summer, just around dusk, a chorus of frogs start to vocalize on Webster Lake. In our cove, a deep bass voice, much like the roar of a bull, chimes in after the others are in full voice. This singer is the American bullfrog or just bullfrog, as the majority of us call it. A familiar amphibious frog located in the USA and Canada is a member of the family Ranidae, or”true frogs”. Native to eastern North America its natural range extends from the Atlantic seacoast to as far west as Oklahoma and Kansas. It’s considered an invasive species in these states, as it might outcompete native amphibian species, upsetting the neighborhood ecological balance. In some foreign countries like Mexico, China, South Korea, and Argentina that the bullfrog was intentionally published, either as a food source or as biological control agents of types.

So how do you spot a bullfrog? Start looking for a vibrant frog with olive-green sides and back and brownish markings. On the bullfrog’s belly, it will be white with spots of gray or yellow. Specifically, the upper lip is quite often bright green with the lower lip considerably paler. Of note, the male’s throat is yellow and he’s smaller than the female total. Within the frog’s mouth are tiny teeth used to grasp little objects. The tympani of a male are larger than his eyes, where a female is smaller than her eyes. Limbs on the bullfrog are either blotched or have grey bands. The forelegs are hardy and short, with the hind legs long and lean, able to jump distances 10 times their body length. Just the rear toes are webbed except for the fourth toe. Most bullfrogs step around 3.6 to 6 inches end to end. Growth is rapid the first eight months of life and weight increases from.18 oz to 6.17 ounces. A larger, mature bullfrog can weigh in at 1.5 pounds and up to 8 inches.

Located in large, permanent bodies of water, like ponds, swamps, New York NY Animal Removal, lakes, and streams, a man bullfrog will defend his territory during the two to three-month breeding period. This year is anywhere from late May through July. Males will claim sites usually spaced some 9.8 to 10.7 feet apart. They call loudly with at least three different territorial calls serving not just as threats to other men, but to entice females and encounter calls which precede combat.

Male bullfrogs form into groups called choruses. These choruses are lively, forming and stay together for a couple of days. After the short period, they move on to form new choruses with different males. To establish dominance within a chorus the male demonstrates a variety of aggressive behavior, especially visually. Territorial males have inflated positions to demonstrate their yellow colored throats, while non-territorial males stay in the water with just their heads in view. When two dominant men come in contact they wrestle! After all the male enhancement, a female will finally select a mate. When completed, she deposits her 20,000 or so eggs in his land in shallow water.

As a young boy growing up on Table Rock Lake in Missouri, I recall many a night when my Dad, two brothers and I moved”frogging”. American bullfrogs are often found on the dinner table, especially in the Midwest and in Southern parts of america. When the deep call is heard, a light is shone on the frog temporarily blinding him. Then, when approached gradually, carefully, and softly, the bullfrog is gigged with a multi-tined spear (if legal), grasping gigs or by hand catch. Normally the rear legs are eaten, much like small drumsticks and cooked in the exact same manner. A little trivia – the American Bullfrog is the state amphibian of Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

Most of us who grew up in america share another memory of the American bullfrog – dissection in Biology class. Not one I would care to repeat, thank you!

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