Home | Amphibians | The African Bullfrog (South African Burrowing Frog, Giant Bullfrog), Pyxicephalus adspersus: The World’s Heaviest Frog is also a Devoted Parent

The African Bullfrog (South African Burrowing Frog, Giant Bullfrog), Pyxicephalus adspersus: The World’s Heaviest Frog is also a Devoted Parent

African BullfrogThe African bullfrog is notorious for its immense appetite and willingness to take on quite formidable prey, including venomous snakes, scorpions and centipedes (please see my article “An Appetite for Cobras” for further details). At breeding time, however, males display a quite unexpected side – that of devoted, even “tender” parents.

Taking on all Foes – Lions Included!
Approaching 9 pounds in weight and 10″ in length, male African bullfrogs are the heaviest, if not longest (that title goes to West Africa’s goliath frog, Conraua goliath) of all Anurans. Bony projections (odontoid structures) that function as teeth line their lower jaws and fights for breeding rights sometimes result in fatalities.

Upon successfully breeding, however, the male African bullfrog turns his pugnacious nature towards defending his numerous eggs and tadpoles, and he is fearless in that task. I have seen footage of one leaping at the faces of African lions that had shown interest in his precious charges (the lions were only about 2 years old, but still not animals to be taken lightly!). Startled by the frog’s complete lack of respect for their size, the lions quickly moved off!

An Anuran Engineer
Perhaps even more surprising, the attentive males will, using the hardened tubercles on their hind feet, dig channels in the earth to lead tadpoles from drying to water-filled pools (or, perhaps, to direct water into the natal pool).

Parent Turned Predator
Once the tadpoles transform into small frogs, all bets are off and the male ravenously consumes all that he can catch. Other African bullfrogs may constitute the majority of the diet of newly transformed animals as well…breeding pools dry quickly in most habitats, and the frogs must gorge themselves before retreating underground for a dormancy period that may approach 1 year in length.

There is, however, evidence of kin recognition in African bullfrogs…so relatives may be spared (or at least only eaten as a last resort!), as is the case for the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. In that species, cannibalistic larvae have been shown to preferentially prey upon non-related animals.

I’ll cover the captive husbandry of this unique heavyweight in the future.

You can read more about this frog’s natural history at:


  1. avatar

    I have an African Bullfrog that is roughly about 4 inches snout to vent. When I bought him I was told that he was a male by a seemingly convincing bullfrog expert. But I was wondering if you could tell me how to tell for myself. Also if I were to buy froglets, do you know about what the percentage of males might be?

  2. avatar

    Hello Gregory,

    Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks very much for your interest in our blog and question.

    Unfortunately, an African bullfrog of 4 inches snout-vent length can be either a male or female (as females top out at about 4.5 inches), and there are no other external characteristics to differentiate the sexes. Any frog over 4.5 inches s/v would almost certainly be a male, and any frog over 5 inches definitely.

    There is no way to predict the percentage of males that might be produced in a clutch. The sex of the tadpoles is not temperature dependent, so knowing the incubation temperature would not be useful.

    I’ve not seen any studies that have looked at the usual ratio of males: females in a clutch. But even if such existed, it would be difficult to make a prediction…the tadpoles are quite cannibalistic, so in any clutch many are eaten, and the ratio would always be changing.

    African bullfrogs are fascinating pets, but unfortunately they are not sexable until adult size is reached, usually at age 2-4.

    Please keep me know how your frog’s growth progresses, and feel free to write in with questions and your observations.

    Best regards,

    Frank Indiviglio

  3. avatar

    im doing a report on the south african burrowing bullfrog and theres nothing on what it eats can you tell me where i could get the info?

    • avatar

      Hello Brianna,

      Frank Indiviglio here.

      This frog eats almost any animal that fits within its huge mouth. In South Africa, the diet
      consists of beetles, roaches and other insects, centipedes, scorpions, spiders, mice and other small rodents, small snakes, lizards and other frogs. In some places, a large part of their diet is smaller frogs of their own species.

      Good luck with your report, Frank Indiviglio

  4. avatar

    i found there diet only and its due moday and im not close to done.

  5. avatar

    I live in oregon and I am looking to buy a giant bullfrog for my husband for his birthday as a surprise and i would like to know if you could tell me where to buy one. i am having trouble finding one. please email me back if you could be of any help.

    • avatar

      Hello Mindi, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      Adult African bullfrogs are only infrequently available…the best way to locate one is to monitor the amphibian listings on http://www.kingsnake.com. Right now I found only one group of juveniles for sale; please see http://market.kingsnake.com/detail.php?cat=14&de=652193.

      African bullfrogs can be quite long-lived pets, but careful attention must given to a number of factors, most especially hygiene. Please write back if you’d like further information or suggestions for terrariums and other care items.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  6. avatar

    Hello Mindi, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Adult African bullfrogs are only infrequently available…the best way to locate one is to monitor the amphibian listings on http://www.kingsnake.com. Right now I found only one group of juveniles for sale; please see http://market.kingsnake.com/detail.php?cat=14&de=652193.

    African bullfrogs can be quite long-lived pets, but careful attention must given to a number of factors, most especially hygiene. Please write back if you’d like further information or suggestions for terrariums and other care items.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  7. avatar

    thanks frank any additional information would be most helpful.

  8. avatar

    Hello, I have a three year old, I’m guessing female African bull frog. She has stopped eating. I have her in a 40 gallon tank 36″x18″, with a heat emiter that keeps the tank around the 80 degree range. I use spring water in her cat litter pan for soaking. Normally she would eat 1 adult mouse every other week but now she has not eaten in almost 7 weeks. She looks fine and is even shedding skin normally. What could be the problem?

    • avatar

      Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      African bullfrogs originating from the southernmost part of the range experience cool winters, during which time they cease feeding. Captives, even several generations removed from the wild, sometimes become dormant during the winter. This may occur at odd intervals, i.e. not each winter, and even when they are kept warm. We do not completely understand what external factors or internal “clocks” are keying this behavior, but it happens in a wide variety of animals, from invertebrates to mammals.

      However, a more serious concern is the possibility of a hair impaction. Although many people feed African bullfrogs largely upon rodents without experiencing difficulties, impactions, kidney and liver disease and corneal problems (lipid deposit) occur in other cases. Mammals form little if any of their natural diet, and may strain the digestive and other internal systems when fed long-term.

      I’ll be posting a detailed article on this topic next week…a few relevant passages follow below.

      You may wish to consult a veterinarian…a radiograph will reveal the presence of any blockages or impactions. Females developing eggs may also cease feeding…in some cases the eggs disintegrate or are somehow absorbed if mating does not occur, but in others they are retained and can eventually cause the frog’s death…a radiograph or ultra-sound will be useful re this possibility as well.

      Some notes on feeding African bullfrogs:

      I prefer using goldfish, minnows and shiners for the vertebrate portion of African bullfrog diets, (the bones are an excellent calcium source), with only an occasional pink (un-furred mouse) being provided. Earthworms, including nightcrawlers for adult frogs, are an excellent source of nutrition, and can comprise a majority of the food offered.

      The balance of the diet can consist of crickets, roaches, super mealworms, waxworms, tomato hornworms and other commercially available insects. Large roaches (as well as nightcrawlers) present an excellent means of keeping your frog sated without resorting to rodents. For information on keeping and breeding the orange-spotted roach, please see my article “The Orange (or Guyana) Spotted Roach, Blaptica dubia”
      Native invertebrates, collected from pesticide-free areas, should be offered whenever possible. In my work with frogs of all types, I’ve found very little that approaches the beneficial effects of a varied diet. Zoo Med’s Bug Napper is an excellent insect trap.

      Canned insects fed via plastic tongs, represent an important dietary variety for these frogs, and I highly recommend their use. The grasshoppers used in canned products are quite large, and are suitable even for adult African bullfrogs.

      I hope this proves useful. I would greatly appreciate your keeping me posted, as I’ll no doubt learn a great deal from following the progress of your situation… I’ll pass along developments to other readers in future articles. Thanks and good luck,

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  9. avatar

    Hello, I don’t believe that it could be an impaction because she did poo out the last mouse she ate. So, from your advise I would guess that she is just dormant right now because it is winter still. I will keep a close eye on her and if she starts to look the least bit ill I will take her to the doctor. Thanks for the info

    • avatar

      Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your feedback. It’s a very good sign that the frog is passing feces. Egg-binding is not common in African bullfrogs, so it is likely a case of winter slow-down…but, as you mentioned, good idea to keep a vet in mind.

      Please keep me posted…I’m very interested to hear how long the dormancy lasts.

      Please look for my article on African bullfrog diets in the next week or so…hopefully it will help you to keep your pet in good health for her potential lifespan of 20-50 years!

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  10. avatar

    I live in Oregon and would like to talk to mindi! I have a 6 inch male bull frog. If she is sure about it, I say, talk to her husband first. We wanted a little frog and were sold a baby male bull frog. He is around 5 years now.

    • avatar

      Hello Jan, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      I guess you’ve found out…nothing “little” about a 5 year old African bullfrog!

      Hopefully Mindi will see your note…posting it here is the only way we are able to try to put you in contact. Good luck.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  11. avatar

    hello frank, great blog, lots of super info in here.
    i just got an african about a week ago. can you tell me what snout to vent means? im assuming it means nose to bum. if you could help me with this so i can determine what sex my frog is and or how often i should feed him that would be great.

    • avatar

      Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog and for your kind words; I’m glad you are enjoying the articles.

      “Vent” when used in reference to frogs and other herps refers to the opening to the cloaca, through which passes waste products and eggs/young. On your frog it will appear as small slit or break in the skin, at the very end of the body, between the legs…so, yes, the measurement is basically from the nose to the end of the body, taken along the ventral/belly side of the frog. “Snout-vent length” (SVL in herp articles) refers to the body length, excluding the legs and the tail, if any.

      Female African bullfrogs rarely exceed 4 inches SVL. A frog of 4.5 inches SVL would likely be a male, and any over 5 inches would definitely be a male. Animals under 4 inches in length cannot be visually sexed.

      Optimal feeding frequency depends upon age, temperature and food items used…please write back with some details and I’ll be happy top provide some suggestions.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  12. avatar

    hi frank. sheldon again, i just measured my african bullfrog. he is exactly 4.5in snout to vent.
    i am assuming he is a male for a few reasons ; i was told he is still young by the woman who sold him to me, theres is no trace of a light coloured line down his back, there is alot of yellow on his sides, and i think hes got a fairly wide head.
    so assuming he is a male, how old would he be? how often should i be feeding him, and roughly how much?
    right now im feeding him large crickets, and i just fed him some super worms. i have only fed him twice since i got him which was a week ago. 3 days ago i gave him 20 large crickets, today i gave him 12 super worms and 12 crickets. he seems to be really hungry.
    if you could give a rough estimate of what you think about him and what i should be doing, i would sleep alot better.
    thanks frank

    • avatar

      Hello Sheldon, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for the feedback.

      Your frog is almost certainly a male, or, less likely, a very large female; the color/head width rules are not reliable, but you can be assured it is a male if it adds another 1/2 inch or so of size.

      Size is not a reliable indicator of age, as growth rates vary wildly with diet.

      African bullfrogs have evolved to feed ravenously for short periods when food is available (the rainy season) and then to become dormant for 4-8 months or even longer. In the wild it pays to eat as much as is possible, and they essentially have no “shut off” valve when it comes to food. However, in captivity this can lead to obesity and other health problems, as they do not experience dormancy periods. But, growing frogs do need a good deal of food – just don’t feed until he stops eating (because he likely will not!).

      Assuming it is a male and still growing, you can feed him every 3-4 days. 12 crickets and 12 super mealworms at once are a bit much…better to spread that amount into 2 meals. You’ll need to provide a good deal of variety; crickets and mealworms alone will not supply adequate nutrition. Please be sure to feed the crickets and mealworms a healthful diet as well (please see my article on Insect Nutrition).

      One or even two of the weekly meals should consist of whole fish, preferably shiners or minnows. Earthworms should be used as often as available. Canned grasshoppers and silkworms should also be used each week (use plastic feeding tongs to offer these to the frog). Wild caught insects (you might like to try the Zoo Med Bug Napper Insect Trap) can be used as a large part of the diet in the warmer months. Please see my article on Feeding African bullfrogs for further information.

      You’ll need to experiment a bit, and to reduce feeding frequency as the frog matures, but some guidelines for a single meal for a frog of 4.5” in length would be:
      2 large earthworms or
      5-6 canned grasshoppers or
      12 crickets or
      8 canned silkworms or
      1 2-3 inch long shiner
      Use super mealworms sparingly, 6 every 2 weeks or so

      Please see Part II of the article mentioned above concerning vitamin/mineral supplementation as well.

      Cleaning is a most important aspect of keeping these frogs, as they produce a good deal of waste and can quickly succumb to ammonia poisoning if left in a fouled aquarium. Please see my article of African Bullfrog Hygiene, which will be posted shortly.

      Please let me know if you need anything further, and do keep me posted as to your pet’s progress.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  13. avatar

    hey Frank.
    i was wondering if you know a site where i can listen to sound clips of african bullfrogs calling?
    mine has been calling a bit the past few days, also do males have a different call than females do?

    • avatar

      Hello Sheldon, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks and hope your frog is doing well.

      You can hear a recording of a male African bullfrog calling at the frog forum website.

      The only time females make any sound is when they are grabbed or otherwise disturbed. Known as the “release call” it is a grunt (American bullfrogs “scream”, literally) and is designed to startle a predator into letting go. Females do not produce mating calls, so if your frog is calling when it is undisturbed, it is definitely a male…this clinches what we discussed last time concerning size.

      Good luck, please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

    • avatar

      Hello Sheldon, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Earthworms are a good choice as a basis of the diet – up to 75% or so. Tests at the Bronx Zoo confirmed a good calcium/phosphorus ratio. The dirt that they consume will do no harm, in fact may provide additional nutrients/minerals.

      The only concern might be earthworms harvested from soil with high pesticide residue. While this sounds ominous, a possible problem has only been documented in earthworms gathered from golf courses…same might be true of those taken from farms. I’ve used earthworms purchased from commercial suppliers and gathered locally for decades without incident in both zoo and private collections. If you are unsure, keep the worms in damp sphagnum moss for 24 hours before using or set up your own breeding colony (this is easy if you have use of a cool basement…please let me know if you need details). You can question suppliers as to the source of their stock as well.

      Shiners, minnows, canned grasshoppers and the other prey items mentioned in the article can comprise the balance of the diet.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  14. avatar

    hi Frank. i have read that earthworms are the best thing to feed these guys. just wondering what you think. and also dont you have to put the worms in water for an hour or so before feeding to clean the dirt out of them?

  15. avatar

    hello Frank. could you tell me what the best substrate for my african bullfrog would be.
    i had been using “jungle earth” by exo-terra. it was basically wood chips. now i am using coco husk expanding brick from exo-terra. also, after i put in the substrate i am now using into my frogs aquarium, i thought it smelled moldy. could it be moldy?
    thanks Frank .

    • avatar

      Hello Sheldon, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your note.

      Jungle Earth and coco husk are both useful with frogs, but mold can develop, especially with large species that tend to splash water around. A lot depends upon what types of mold spores happen to be floating around (billions are always nearby!)…I’ve had damp tanks where it never grows, others where it is hard to control. Sphagnum Moss is less hospitable to mold than soil, wood or coconut based products, and you can rinse and re-use it several times.

      I like to use washable Cage Carpets with African bullfrogs – easy to clean and they eliminate concerns about swallowing substrate. Generally, African bullfrogs do not feel stressed if unable to burrow, as would other burrowing species (spadefoot toads, for example). If yours is well adjusted to captivity, you might try a cage carpet. You can create a shelter for the frog by arranging a bushy plastic plant so that it hangs down nearly to the terrarium’s floor. The frog will push under this if he feels the need to get out of sight. Hagen’s Silk Plants are supplied with suction cups – by attaching them to the terrarium’s walls you can creat an ideal shelter for a large frog.

      If you do use chips or coco husk, it is best to feed your frog from plastic tongs or a feeding bowl, or remove it to a bare-bottomed container at mealtime. Swallowed substrate is not usually a concern with this species (they tend to pass it in the feces) but an intestinal blockage, if such occurs, is a serious matter.

      Please be in touch if you need anything further.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  16. avatar

    I would like to know, are burrowing frogs vertebrates or invertebrates?

    • avatar

      Hello Mia Lynn, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      Burrowing frogs are vertebrates. Vertebrates are animals with backbones – amphibians, reptiles, fishes, birds and mammals. Invertebrates are animals without backbones – insects, spiders, crabs, clams, etc.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  17. avatar

    I was wondering,if pixie/African bullfrogs make sounds at night? I got one 2 months ago, and ever since then I have hered weird sounds that wake me up from my sleep, and I was wondeing if it could possibly be my frog.

    Thank you, Haley

    • avatar

      Hello Haley, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      Adult male African bullfrogs croak when seeking females, but this is a quite loud and distinct sound, and you’d know right away that it was coming from a frog. They don’t really make other types of noises, except when grabbed by an enemy. However, African bullfrogs sometimes become quite active at night – digging into the substrate, soaking in water bowls and such, possibly rubbing against the glass as they move about – could this be what you are hearing?

      Please write back if you do figure it out, I’m interested to see how it turns out,

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  18. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I have a bullfrog tadpole just completed transform into a Juvenile bullfrog. It has not been eating since its tail shrink since more than a week ago. Its tail has completely disappeared and it is still not eating for more than 3 days now. I notice that the frog is skinner than before. I worry that it will die if it does not start eating anytime soon. Can you advise what I can do? What is the best food to feed the juvenile bullfrog right after its transformation?



    • avatar

      Hello Fran, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog. It’s not unusual for frogs to take some time to begin feeding – the tail likely supplies a good deal of energy. Looking thinner is normal, as the body elongates somewhat, although a sunken stomach and protruding hip bones are danger signs.

      I’m assuming this is an African Bullfrog? If so, give it enough substrate to burrow into and keep the temperature at appx. 78 F. Some ground cover (plastic or live plants, cork bark) will also help. Young frogs are on the menu of an enormous range of predators, and so are instinctively very shy. Leave some ½ grown crickets in with the frog overnight; once it begins feeding, we can discuss diversifying the diet.

      If it is an American Bullfrog, you’ll need to take some different steps…please write back if you need info.

      Good luck and please let me know how you make out.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  19. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Thanks for your quick response and advise.

    In fact, my frog is an American bullfrog. It looks exactly the same as the Juvenile bullfrog photo posted on the Wikipedia website (near the Feeding section). My frog is living in a 55 gallon fish tank (75% filled with water) with temperature between 78-80 degree filled with community fishes. I have a small area of wood piece close to the surface and a floating plastic that I hope it can jump onto. However, the frog never goes to those two places. It is standing (hiding) on top of my tank’s UV filter with its mouth and eyes above the surface.
    What do I need to do in order to set up properly for the frog to live together with the fish? Or should I put the frog in a separate living space?
    What type of food is best for American Juvenile bullfrog?

    Thanks again,

    • avatar

      Hello Fran, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for the feedback. The fish tank is not an ideal set up for raising a bullfrog – the amount of care/maint that you’ll need to provide the fish would likely be stressful for the frog; they are quite high strung, although in time they usually settle down. It’s difficult to feed them properly, at least when small, in a deep water tank as well. A screen cover is better than a hood, as air circulation is impt. Fluctuating normal room temps are better than a constant 78-80 F, although this is not critical.

      Until you can move him, add plenty of floating plants so that he and the crickets he’ll need have more areas to cling to. Young ones don’t leave the water too often, usually stay as yours is doing. In general, move slowly around the tank and avoid turning on the light in a darkened room.

      Leave ½ grown live crickets in overnight. He may eat in the daytime as well, if you stay back a bit. Eventually most learn to tong-feed, which simplifies matters and allows you to easily add earthworms and fishes to the diet. Young bullfrogs have high calcium requirements, so dust the crickets with a Vitamin/mineral supplement at each feeding. Crickets are easiest to start off with; once he’s feeding for a few weeks we can discuss diversifying the diet.

      A 10-20 gallon aquarium, ½ filled and equipped with a screen cover and cover-clamps will suit him well. When fully grown, the frog will need a 30-55 gallon aquarium. A submersible filter should be added, but weekly partial water changes (1/4-1/2 volume) are impt as bullfrogs produce a good deal of ammonia. However, a small frog in a 20 gallon will be ok with monthly changes if the tank is filtered.

      Basking ramps and cork bark work well as and areas, along with plenty of floating plastic plants or live Pothos. He’ll be more likely to sit out of the water if some plants are arranged on and around the land areas. While UVB is not necessary for most frogs, Am Bullfrogs do bask a bit in nature, so a low output UVB bulb can be used as a safety measure; not absolutely necessary, especially f diet is varied and includes plenty of whole live fishes. Room temperatures, unless extreme, are fine.

      Once he’s feeding regularly, please be back in touch and we can go over the next step in his care.

      Please see my article on American Bullfrogs as well – deals with outdoor ponds, but includes some general care info as well.

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  20. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks so much for your valuable advise. My frog is now eating crickets and sometimes standing on the basking ramp. The frog seems much happier than before.

    However, I am not quite sure how often and how many crickets I should be feeding the frog. Can you please advise?


    • avatar

      Hello Fran,

      Great news!…thanks for taking the time to let me know. He can take 2-3 crickets every other day, but there is room for variation (they can adjust their metabolisms, to some extent, to fit prevailing conditions). Much depends on temperature and the aquarium set-up. Please write back with details as to temperature and such (if different than when we last corresponded) and I’ll provide some ideas for amounts and types of foods.

      Enjoy and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  21. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    I just relocated my Bullfrog in a 20 gallon tank with some gravel at the bottom and a piece of gravel land. The water level is about 2 inches deep. I am using a screen cover and without special air conditioning. Can you suggest the amount and types of foods for him?


    • avatar

      Hello Fran, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for the feedback – I apologize for the delay in responding; I saw your comment when it was posted but somehow missed it when I went back to respond.

      Sounds like a good situation, the frog will grow well in a 20 gallon. Check that the gravel on the land area cannot be swallowed – if it is small in size, perhaps cover with a larger grade – most bullfrogs will spit out gravel, but a little safer to avoid the problem altogether. Also, a thick layer of gravel will complicate cleaning – frogs produce a good deal of ammonia, and as with fish, it is colorless and builds up rapidly. Please let me know if you need filtration/cleaning ideas.

      Crickets are good to start off with – at room temperatures you can feed him 3-4 ½ grown ones every other day or so –m they grow quickly, as temperatures rise you’ll need to increase amounts; no worries about obesity while the frog is growing.

      Earthworms and small minnows should be added once he’s feeding regularly – minnows esp. important for calcium. Frogs don’t catch either well in water – sinking a small pan into the gravel works well. Best method is to adjust the frog to feeding from a plastic feeding tongs – this will allow you to use canned insects as well as hard-to-catch foods. Waxworms, butter worms and wild caught insects can also be used to increase dietary variety.

      Powder all insects with a supplement for the first year – alternate between Reptivite w/D3 and Repcal. Once you add fish, earthworms and wild insects you can cut down on supplementing a bit. Please check this article on feeding crickets – this will help increase their nutritional value.

      Good luck and please write in with further questions and to keep me posted,

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  22. avatar

    My son is doing a diorama on the South African burrowing bullfrog and I was wondering exactly what is their habitat… Some websites say it’s grasslands others say it burrys itself in the sand.. Please help asap..

    • avatar

      Hello April, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog.

      They live in grasslands, more commonly known as savannas, in southern Africa. The soil is somewhat sandy and they experience long dry seasons. At that time, the frogs burrow down into the soil and may remain there for 6-9 months until the rains return.

      You can read more about their natural history here.
      Good luck and please let me know if you need anything further.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  23. avatar

    My frog is about 3 years old and, according to my mom, croaks/chirps very loudly in the afternoons. I’ve only heard it twice and it wasnt that loud but it was definitely weird. The only way i knew it was the frog was because it was close by and I dont know of anything that makes that weird sound. It’s been burried at the bottom of the tank for a long time now.

    • avatar

      Hello Ally, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog. Males call to attract females; this usually happens when a storm is on the way (they sense a change in the air pressure), if you have watered the tank heavily, or if there is a sudden drop or increase in temperature. However, the “rules” can change in captivity, and so some frogs call at odd times.

      Both sexes will make noise if frightened or grabbed suddenly; if the croaking occurs regularly, it is likely to be breeding behavior.

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  24. avatar

    I was just wondering if that’s common in captivity. Its a weird chirp. and I was wondering how often I should clean the tank.

    • avatar

      Hello Ally, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Cleaning depends a bit on the frog’s size and diet, the size of the enclosure and the type of substrate…please write back with some details and I’ll be happy to provide some ideas.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  25. avatar

    the frog is about 4 inches long and eats crickets with a baby mouse every 3-4 weeks or so. He lives in a 20 gallon bin (guess) and I use coconut husk. I’ve only had him for 5 months so I’m still learning and this is my first frog.

    • avatar

      Hi Ally,

      Thanks for mthe feedback. Clean the water every day, just to be safe, and remove the top layer (an inch or so) of coconut husk 2x weekly. Be careful that the frog does not swallow too much husk – may be better to feed him in a seperate container. Some folks find it easier to use a washable terrarium liner as a substrate.

      Enjoy, Frank

  26. avatar

    whenever I find cockroaches around the house I give them to the frog. I will be giving it goldfish and shiners.

    • avatar

      Hi Ally,

      Roaches are fine as llong as pesticides/baits are not used. goldfish and shiners are preferable to mice as a calcium source, but use goldfish sparingly…a steady diet of these has been linked to health problems, but ocassional use is fine.

      Good luck, Frank

About Frank Indiviglio

Read other posts by

Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
Scroll To Top