Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

American Bullfrog
Lithobates catesbeiana

Adult American Bullfrog, photo courtesy of John White
Adult American Bullfrog, photo courtesy of John White

Size

  • 3 - 6 inches
  • Record - 8 inches
  • Appearance

  • Our largest frog, plain green above with no dorsolateral ridges. 
  • Back sometimes has a netlike pattern of gray or brown on green. 
  • Undersides whitish or with yellowish or gray wash. 
  • Tympanum is larger than eye in males, who also may have a yellowish wash on throat.

  • Photo of American Bullfrog Habitat, courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of American Bullfrog Habitat,
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

    Habitat

  • Prefers larger bodies of water than most frogs, it can be found in lakes, ponds, bogs, slow water of streams and rivers. 
  • Usually found along edges or in emergent vegetation. 
  • How to Find

  • Listen for the distinctive bass “jug-o-rum” call from late April through July.
  • Catch by hand or with dipnet along the shallow edges of large water bodies.
  • Calls day or night. 
  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map of American Bullfrog

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.