African bullfrog

Pyxicephalus adspersus

African bullfrogs are the largest frog in southern Africa, with some reaching dinner-plate size. They range from South Africa north to Tanzania. They inhabit open country primarily at low elevations. African bullfrogs are carnivores and eat other frogs and birds.

The African bullfrog is aggressive; it may inflate its body and attack an intruder with its huge mouth agape. Local people consider the meat to be a delicacy.

Bullfrog behavior and facts

  • Bullfrogs' fingers are short and blunt, without webbing.
  • Its large mouth allows it to eat reptiles, small rodents, birds and other amphibians.
  • In the front of its lower jaw are three large, toothlike projections.
  • It vocalizes with loud bellows and roars.
  • It may sit quietly for hours partially buried in the earth with only its nose exposed.

From birth to death

  • African bullfrogs hibernate during the dry season, spending 10 months underground.
  • Frogs breed when they emerge from hibernation with the return of rains.
  • The female lays between 3,000 and 4,000 eggs in shallow water.
  • Tadpoles emerge the second day after eggs are laid.
  • The young may be smooth-skinned.

Vital statistics

  • Male: 9 inches
  • Female: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 45 years


Not listed

Bullfrogs, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's African bullfrogs live in the Africa Rainforest. They are fed a variety of insects including mealworms, super mealworms, earthworms, waxworms and crickets.

African bullfrog at the Oregon Zoo

  • Kijani
    Swahili for "green"