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The Zoo has one African bullfrog on exhibit. It arrived at the Zoo on April 14, 2008. Three other African bullfrogs are housed off-exhibit and used for education programs.
We have one juvenile African bullfrog on exhibit in the Desert Wing of the Reptile and Amphibian House. Look carefully at the floor of the exhibit. This species of frog is a burrower and may be hiding in the moss.
Reptile and Amphibian House
This species of frog is the second largest in the world. Both sexes are a dull green in color with a yellow or cream colored underside. Juveniles have several yellowish stripes on their backs, which fade as they mature. It has a round body with a large head and mouth. Only the back feet are webbed. The African bullfrog will eat anything that it can overpower and fit in its mouth.
15-25 years is not uncommon in captivity.
During the dry season the African bullfrog buries itself deep in the soil and covers itself with a cocoon. The cocoon is made up of layers of dead skin and prevents water loss. When the rainy season starts they will congregate and breed in shallow, temporary pools of water.
The frogs will gather in large groups to breed during the rainy season. Males can be very aggressive and will combat other males for territory and the right to breed with female African bullfrogs.
Adult males are slightly larger than the adult females. The males can be over 9 inches in length making this the largest species of frog in southern Africa.
This species has been known to weigh over 3 lbs.
African bull frogs are carnivores they are aggressive and have very sharp teeth. The wild African bull frog will eat anything that fits into its mouth including insects, small rodents and birds, reptiles and other amphibians. At the Zoo, the frogs are offered a variety of whole prey including mice and a variety of insects.
Dry savanahs that fill with water during the rainy season in southern Africa.
Conservation at a Glance
Learn more about the amphibian conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo.
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