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The bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) is the largest species of frog in not only Ohio but North America. It is green to yellow with some dark coloring across its body. Male and females may be differentiated by the size of the ear drum. The female has ear drums the size of her eye. This is much larger than the male.

As with most amphibians, bullfrogs come out of hibernation in April and remain active through October. It is nocturnal. During May through July is the breeding season, the "jug-o-rum" call of the bullfrog can be heard from between a quarter to a mile away. During this period, up to 20,000 eggs are laid. The eggs are laid as a film across the water. They hatch into tadpoles, 3-6 inches long. The metamorphosis from tadpole to frog takes 1-3 years. The life expectancy of the bullfrog is 7-9 years (maximum 11 years).

The bullfrog diet consists of a variety of insects, crayfish, mice and other frogs. There have been reports of also eating snakes, turtles, birds and even bats.

Adult bullfrogs are hunted for their legs, which are a popular food in upscale restaurants. An Ohio fishing license is needed to harvest bullfrogs.

Bullfrog populations have continued to grow in Ohio.

See Also