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African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog: Know Everything That You Need To Know 

African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog

African and American species of bullfrogs differ in color, shape, size, behavior, and aggression. Thus, you must have a clear idea of distinguishing between these two species to ensure proper handling.

So, what is the difference between African Bullfrog vs American Bullfrog? In comparison, the former is larger, heavier, and has a longer lifespan. The latter one lacks back ridges and teeth in the lower jaw. Also, unlike the former species, the latter one shows distinctive coloration and varying vocalization.

Throughout this article, we will discuss their various distinguishing features. Now, without further ado, let’s start! 

African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog: Brief Comparison

The African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) and the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) differ in several aspects as stated in the table below:

No.Criteria African Bullfrog American Bullfrog 
1.HabitatSouthern Africa(Dry shrubland, Savannah, or arid regions)North America (Near water bodies)
2.Size and weight4.5”-9”;3.1-4.4lbs3.6”-6”;1.1-1.8 lbs
3.Female vs maleFemale members are smaller than the male members Female members are larger than male members 
4.Coloration OliveGreen and brown
5.Lifespan In the wild: 20 yearsIn captivity: up to 40 yearsIn the wild: 8-10 yearsIn captivity: up to 16 years
6.CallsLow-pitched and deep mating callsDeep and loud calls
7.TeethBoth the upper and lower jaw have teethonly the upper jaw contains teeth
8.Skin Texture Have rougher skin and ridges in their backSmoother skin and have no ridges on their back
9.Housing RequirementsMinimum size: 10 gallonsMinimum size: 75 gallons

What is the Distinctive Differences Between African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog?

African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog

Understanding these differences can help identify and appreciate each species’ unique characteristics. Therefore, let’s know about these differences in detail:

1. Habitat

You can easily guess these frogs’ geographical distribution from their names. That means African bullfrogs and American bullfrogs are native to southern Africa and North America, respectively. 

African Bullfrog Habitat

Typically, you may find the former ones in subtropical and tropical dry shrubland, Savannah, and arid regions. Interestingly, they form cocoon-type outer shells and stay underground during the dry season. This action reduces the rate of water loss from their bodies. 

However, you will only find the American bullfrog near water sources like lakes, rivers, ponds, and canals. Mostly, this species of frog prefers slow or stagnant water sources for living. They are very aquatic and like to inhabit water bodies with abundant aquatic vegetation.

2. Size And Weight 

African bullfrogs are larger and heavier than the American ones. Typically,  the former species of frogs have a 4.5”-9” length from their snout to vent. Also, they weigh around 3.1-4.4 lbs (1.4kg- 2 kg).

But, the later species of frog can be up to 3.6”-6” in size. Besides, they can weigh up to 1.1lbs (500g)  in adulthood. 

American Bullfrog Size

Sometimes, if you measure their size from their snout to the vent, you will get an 8” measurement. In this case, they will weigh up to 1.8 lbs (800g).

3. Female Vs Male

Generally, in most of the amphibian species, the females have larger body sizes than the male members. This makes the amplexus easier for the male frogs. 

Yet, in the case of African bullfrogs, the female members are almost half the size of their male counterparts. While male ones are approximately 9” in size, the females are only 4.5”.

Moreover, in the American species of bullfrog, you will find that the females are larger than the males. According to a study, the minimum reproductive size of male frogs is 6.61cm (2.60”).  But, the minimum reproduction size for females is 6.77 cm (2.67”).

4. Coloration

Generally, the African bullfrog species are olive in color. Interestingly, you will notice that the female ones have cream-colored bellies. But, in cases of male bullfrogs, the color of their belly will be orange or yellow.

African Bullfrog Coloration

However, the coloration of the American species of frogs is quite interesting. Normally, their color will vary between green and brown. 

But, you will mostly notice dark spots on their back. Besides, the color of their belly will be yellow and white, respectively, in males and females.

5. Lifespan

An African bullfrog has higher longevity than the American species. On average, the former species will live approximately 20 years in the wild. Yet, in captivity, this giant bullfrog species can survive up to 40 years.

African Bullfrog Lifespan

Normally, American bullfrogs can’t survive more than 8-10 years in the wild. But, if you keep them in captivity, they can live up to approximately 16 years.

6. Calls

If you have a pet African bullfrog, you will hear its call mostly in their mating season. Generally, they will make low-pitched, deep sounds to attract their female counterparts. Each of these sounds won’t last more than a second.

Furthermore, American bullfrogs don’t only make calls to attract their mates. They also make calls to communicate with each other and to protect their territory. Their calls will differ in duration and frequency depending on those purposes.

For example, they will make deep and loud calls during the day or night to attract females. And to communicate with each other, they generally make rasping or chirping noises. Also, they make sharp and short calls while protecting their territory.

Bullfrog Calls

7. Teeth

American bullfrogs generally have teeth on their premaxilla, maxilla, and vomer bones. You can find their tiny teeth on their premaxilla and maxilla on their upper jaw. But, you can’t see their vomerine teeth as they have muscle covering those teeth. 

However, they can’t use these teeth to tear their prey. Instead, they use their teeth to grab and shove their prey into their mouth. Usually, they also use their forelegs in this regard.

On the other hand, African bullfrogs have teeth both in their upper and lower jaws. Their maxillary teeth are very sharp, and in the lower jaw, they have odontoids. 

Generally, you can see that the odontoids on both sides are larger than the middle one. Also, they can use their teeth to tear apart their food.

To visualize how their teeth may look, check this YouTube video:

8. Skin Texture 

It will be easier for you to hold an African bullfrog than the American one. Because, generally, the latter one doesn’t have any ridges on their back. Moreover, their skin will also be smoother and more slippery.

On the back of the former species, you will find several series of flanks and raised skin folds. These ridges will be helpful for you to hold the bullfrog.  Besides, its skin texture is also slightly rougher than the American species.

9. Housing Requirements

If you want to keep these bullfrog species in captivity, ensure the proper size and humidity of their housing. Typically, the African bullfrog species are quite inactive. Thus, for an adult bullfrog 10 gallon tank is sufficient. 

If you can provide a larger tank, it will be better for them. Also, make sure the humidity level of their housing remains close to 80%-90%.

American Bullfrog Housing Requirements

Though American bullfrogs are smaller, they are powerful jumpers. That’s why you need to provide at least a 75-gallon tank for each of them. Also, make sure the humidity doesn’t deflect much from 60%.


In this FAQs section, we will answer several common questions about the American and African bullfrogs.

Q1. What Is The Body Shape Of American And African Bullfrogs? 

Generally, the former species have a round, heart-shaped chubby body. The later species have a stout body and wider head. Both of them have smaller rear legs and long hind legs.

Q2. Are There Any Differences In Their Food Habit?

No. Both of these species are carnivores and opportunistic feeders. They feed on small insects, rodents, fish, and any animal that fits into their mouth. Besides, both of these species can show cannibalistic behavior depending on food scarcity, risk, and stress factors.

Q3. Which One Is More Aggressive Between African And American Bullfrogs?

Both of these bullfrog species are aggressive. However, the former species shows more aggression while competing for mates and defending territories. Also, they have sharper teeth, which cause much more harm when they attack than the American species.


If you compare the African Bullfrog Vs American Bullfrog, you will find the former one is larger and heavier. Also, the latter species show different types of vocalizations. Besides, unlike the former, American species have dark spots instead of ridges on their back. 

Generally, these bullfrog species aren’t ideal to keep as pets. Yet, as they aren’t picky eaters, they are easy to take care of. Though they both are aggressive, African ones can give the worst frog bite. Thus, while handling them, make sure you are wearing nitrile gloves to protect your hands. 

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