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Categorized | Featured, Outdoors

Wetlands Month featured creature: the bullfrog

Michigan’s largest frog, the bullfrog, can be found in many wetlands around the state.

Michigan’s largest frog, the bullfrog, can be found in many wetlands around the state.

May is American Wetlands Month—a month to appreciate and enjoy the wonders of wetlands. Take some time to experience this amazing native ecosystem by visiting one of Michigan’s Wetland Wonders. There, you may find Michigan’s largest frog, the bullfrog.

Bullfrogs are large frogs ranging in size from 3.5 to 8 inches long. They can be green, brown, olive or yellowish in color. You can tell the difference between the male and female bullfrog by looking at their throats. The adult male bullfrog has a bright yellow throat, and the female has a white throat.

These impressive frogs live in ponds, lakes, marshes, sloughs, and impoundments, and they love areas with warm water and abundant plant life. Bullfrogs eat almost anything they can swallow, including insects, other frogs, snakes, small mammals and even birds!

Bullfrogs mate in June and July, and females lay anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 eggs. The eggs form a jelly-like mass that can cover the surface of the water up to 5 square feet. Bullfrog eggs hatch very quickly—in three to six days. The tadpoles grow rapidly and can reach 6 inches in length. It takes two to three years for a bullfrog tadpole to mature into an adult frog.

When calling to attract a mate, male bullfrogs give a low, resounding “brr-rr-rr-rum” or “jug-o-rum” call. Bullfrogs may also scream or yelp if they are captured or startled. This loud outburst may startle a captor enough to drop the frog, allowing it to swim to safety.

These fascinating frogs can be found in many of Michigan’s wetlands, including Michigan’s Wetland Wonders. To learn more about these areas visit mi.gov/wetlandwonders.

Michigan’s state game and wildlife areas are free to wildlife watchers. Hunting license fees pay for habitat management at these areas. Even if you are not a hunter in the traditional sense, consider purchasing an $11 dollar base license to help the creatures you hunt with your binoculars, cameras and spotting scopes.

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