// // // //
SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.

Animal Reference

BACK
HOME » Wildlife » Animal Reference

THE BULLFROG

26 September 2013

www.leopard.tvThe giant bullfrog Pyxicephalus adspersus and the African bullfrog Pyxicephalus edulis are the two largest types of bullfrog in South Africa. The latter mainly occurs in Mozambique and in open woodland in eastern and southern Africa. The giant bullfrog has a wider distribution in South Africa, also occurs in the more western parts of South Africa and has a finger-like distribution to the coast of the Eastern Cape province. The generic name Pixicephalus is derived from the Greek word pyxi for box and kephale for head and refers to the box-shaped head. The specific epithet adspersus is the Latin word for scattered and refers to the scattered markings on the elevated skin ridges, while the epithet edulis is the Latin word for edible.

The giant bullfrog can become 245 mm long and weigh up to 1.4 kg. It usually is dark, olive-green in colour but may vary to grey and brown, or rarely bluish. The scattered, short dorsal skin ridges are white to cream in colour. The giant bullfrog usually only waddles around and is not a prodigious jumper. It inhabits seasonal, shallow grassy plains, wetlands and other rain-filled depressions on open flat terrain in grasslands, thickets and bushveld. For much of the year it hibernates in mud up to 1 m underground and only emerges after sufficient rain during the wet season. Bullfrogs eat insects, lizards, mice, young birds and other frogs. The pupil of the eye forms a narrow horizontal slit in sharp light in contrast to the vertical one in the eyes of a cat.

www.leopard.tvwww.leopard.tvLong distances often separate breeding sites and breeding usually occurs in November after the first rains of the wet season when large numbers of bullfrogs may gather in what is known as a lek or display arena. Large males are aggressively territorial and spawning takes some 15 minutes when up to 4000 eggs can be produced which are scattered in 20 or 40 mm of water. Spawning terminates by mid-day when the frogs disperse. A second or third mating may occur in January or February in suitable weather. The eggs develop rapidly and small black tadpoles emerge within 36 hours of spawning to form large schools that occupy shallow water by day and deep water by night. The territorial males will defend the tadpoles and will dig a channel that can be up to 18 m long from a waterhole that is drying up to allow the tadpoles to reach a deeper pool of water. Metamorphosis is complete at 18 to 33 days of age. Tadpoles may eat each other. 

 

Reference:

Du Preez, L & V Carruthers 2009. A complete guide to the frogs of southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik, pp. 410 – 417.

article by: Prof J du P Bothma

Click here to buy music, videos and images

SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.