Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802)

Species:L. catesbeianus
Common Names:American Bullfrog

Systematics & Taxonomy

Synonymous with Rana catesbeianus


This species is recognised by a large tympanum (large than its eyes) and the reticulated pattern across its body. Its fingers and toes have blunt tips and well-developed webbing. The dorsal surface is green, sometimes with a grey or brown net-like pattern.

Read more about the Anura order.
Read more about the Ranidae family.


It is native to North America but has been introduced to more than 40 countries.


It is found in Admiralty Park, MacRitchie Reservoir, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Bedok Reservoir, Jurong Lake, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

The American Bullfrog is found in a variety of habitats, from swamps to reservoirs. This species is listed as one of the 100 Worst Invasive Species in the world. Due to the large size of this species, they are capable of preying on many of our native species of frogs which tend to be much smaller.  It may also pose as competition to other large species of native frogs.


The tadpoles feed on algae while the adults are predators of various prey, including insects, crayfish, frogs and other vertebrates. Cannibalism is also prevalent in this species.

Life Cycle

Tadpoles of the American Bullfrog are usually found in permanent water bodies as they can remain in the larval stage for up to a year. This species does not appear to be breeding locally (apart from in captivity) as no eggs or tadpoles have been recorded here.

Human Uses

The American Bullfrog is imported into Singapore and sold as food. It is also released as religious merit-making offerings. In other countries, it is used as a control for insect pests.

Other Resources

Global Invasive Species Database. 2012. Lithobates catesbeianus. http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=80. (Accessed October 2012).


Lim, K.K.P. & F.L.K. Lim, 2002. A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

Ng, T.H. & D.C.J. Yeo, 2012. Non-indigenous frogs in Singapore. Nature In Singapore 5: 95–102.

Related Documents

  • Non-indigenous frogs in Singapore.
    NG, T. H. & D. C. J. Yeo (22 Mar 2012)

    The statuses of the non-indigenous frogs in Singapore are reviewed. Out of the 28 species of anurans known in Singapore, four are non-indigenous: Hylarana guentheri (Boulenger), Kaloula pulchra Gray, Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw), and Microhyla fissipes Boulenger. The introduction pathways of the frogs are discussed, along with their status, distribution, impacts, and management issues with regard to Singapore.

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