Albino and leucistic American bullfrogs are becoming quite popular in the pet trade. The two females that I’m holding in the accompanying photograph are approximately 1 year old, and were received as tadpoles. The other photograph shows two others in an exhibit I prepared for the Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut (note the pumpkinseed sunfish…bullfrogs usually do quite well with predatory fish).
The frogs in the exhibit photo are resting upon an R-Zilla Basking Platform. I use these extensively, both at home and in the zoo/aquarium exhibits that I design. The platforms are very realistic in appearance, especially when surrounded by real or artificial plants and with a light covering of algae. They are equipped with a stick built into the surface – you can wedge a bit of R-Zilla Beaked Moss below this for extra effect. I also favor the Zoo Med Turtle Dock. One end of this platform slopes below the water, providing easy access to metamorphosing frogs, newts and other creatures that might need a bit of help exiting the water. I’ve also used this model for a spotted turtle that lost his rear legs in an accident…the gentle slope allows him to easily climb on board.
In most situations, I prefer suspended platforms to rock piles, as the former leave the water below clear for swimming. Cork Bark works well also, but floats freely or must be cut to fit the tank and wedged into place.
An Un-cooked Chicken!
Most visitors to the aquarium remark favorably upon the albinos, which live in an exhibit with normally colored bullfrogs. I did, however, overhear one gentleman respond to his companion’s “Aren’t they interesting?” with a definitive “They look like un-cooked chickens”!
Unusual Physical Traits (in addition to their color, or lack thereof!)
Albino bullfrogs behave in all respects as do normally-colored individuals, and like them vary greatly in their dispositions. The two in my collection are incredibly shy, while a male on exhibit frequently calls during the day, in full view of the visitors. However, I noticed that mine lacked the solid “feel” that I associate with bullfrogs, and seem not to have very good muscle tone. They move slowly, and “slide” more than jump from basking sites when disturbed. Those at the aquarium, and in the possession of a colleague in Louisiana, exhibit similar characteristics.
All were raised on well-proven bullfrog tadpole favorites (kale, algae, algae tabs, Tetramin fish flakes and bits of fish) and since metamorphosis have been fed a varied, high calcium diet that has always yielded robust frogs in the past – crayfish, minnows, earthworms, well-fed crickets, roaches and wild-caught cicadas, grasshoppers and other insects.
Field notes on albino bullfrog tadpoles in the wild are detailed in an article posted at:
A visitor to the aquarium exhibit mentioned in this article has posted a video about it, see below