American Bullfrog A Voracious Predator
The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is a true frog, and it is a carnivore. Bullfrogs will eat whatever they can fit in their mouths including snakes, ducklings, fish, and other frogs. American bullfrogs are native in the Eastern United States but not Canada. Invasive species do not always come from across an ocean. Just because something is native to one part of North America does not mean that it is native to all North America. Bullfrogs were introduced into BC around the 1930’s because people wanted to farm them for the restaurant business. Frogs’ legs are a delicacy but unfortunately the bullfrogs escaped and in some cases were let loose from the farms and have been spreading ever since. Bullfrogs can live up to 10 years. They can leap as far as two meters. They can grow up to the size of a dinner plate about 20 cm long and weigh about 750 grams. The females lay up to 20,000 eggs. The most distinct way to identify them is by the round ear, which is called a tympanum, by their eyes. The males’ ear is larger than its eye and the females’ ear is about the same size as its eye. The call of the bullfrog is very loud and very distinct. B.C. Frogwatch has some really good information on bullfrogs as well as an audio file with the sound they make. A few years ago, the Boundary Invasive Species Society did surveys to look for bullfrogs in the Boundary. There were no signs of bullfrogs at that time. If you think you have seen or heard a bullfrog, please report it. It is important to protect endangered species from these voracious predators. Tiger salamanders, western painted turtles, and northern leopard frogs are examples of species that need protection. There are bullfrogs in the Creston Valley. There have been populations in the South Okanagan, in the Lower Mainland, in Northern Idaho and Washington State. Some of these populations have been eradicated but the chance of spread is always a concern. Don’t let your pets loose and never move wildlife from location to another. For more information on invasive species please contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at 250-446-2232, www.boundaryinvasives.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook.