Ohio State Frog


State Symbol: Ohio State Frog: Bullfrog

(Rana catesbeiana)

Adopted in 2010.

In 2010, Ohio lawmakers made the bullfrog, (Rana catesbeiana,) the official state frog. The bullfrog, which is the largest frog in North America has a deep, resonating call that can be heard up to a mile away. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the bullfrog resides in ponds, marshes and large, slow-moving streams throughout Ohio from late April through late summer.

Bullfrogs are found throughout Ohio. The life expectancy of the bullfrog is between seven and nine years. Adult bullfrogs are sometimes hunted for their legs, which are sometimes served in upscale restaurants.

Ohio State Frog: Bullfrog

State Symbol: Ohio State Frog: Bullfrog

North American bullfrogs (formerly Rana catesbeiana now Lithobates catesbeianus,) are the largest true frog found in North America, weighing up to 0.5 kg and 203 mm in length. Typical length ranges from 90 to 152 mm. Color varies from brownish to shades of green, often with spots or blotches of a darker color about the back. The hind feet are fully webbed. The sex of an adult bullfrog can be easily determined by examining the size of the tympanum (the external ear of the frog) relative to that of the eye. The tympanum is a round circle located on the side of the head near the eye, and in males it is much larger than the eye. In females the tympanum is as large or smaller than the eye. Also, during the breeding season the throat of the male bullfrog is yellow, whereas the female's is white.


State Symbol: Ohio State Frog: Bullfrog North American bullfrogs prefer warm weather and will hibernate during cold weather. A bullfrog may bury itself in mud and construct a small cave-like structure for the winter. Their hunting style is 'sit and wait.' Bullfrogs can wait for a long time for some type of prey to come by, then, with a flash of the tongue, they grab it and bring it back into their mouths. Bullfrogs are active both during the day and at night; they are most active when the weather is moist and warm.


Breeding takes place in May to July in the north, and from February to October in the south. Fertilization is external, with the females depositing as many as 20,000 eggs in a foamy film in quiet, protected waters. Fertilization is usually, but not always, by one male. Tadpoles emerge about four days after fertilization. These tadpoles may remain in the tadpole stage for almost 3 years before transforming into frogs. Adults reach sexual maturity after 3 to 5 years.

Food Habits

Bullfrogs are predators. They usually eat snakes, worms, insects, crustaceans, frogs, tadpoles, and aquatic eggs of fish, frogs, insects, or salamanders. They are cannibalistic and will not hesitate to eat their own kind. There have also been a few cases reported of bullfrogs eating bats. Bullfrog tadpoles mostly graze on aquatic plants.

Ohio Law

The law designating the bullfrog  as the official Ohio state frog is found in the Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 5, Section 5.034.

Section 5.034 - State frog.

Universal Citation: Ohio Rev Code § 5.034 (2013)

The frog, Rana catesbeiana, commonly known as the bullfrog, is the official frog of the state.

Added by 128th General Assembly File No.53,HB 393, §1, eff. 6/18/2010.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Bullfrog

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
Class: Lissamphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Rana »»» Lithobates
Species: Rana catesbeiana »»» Lithobates catesbeianus

State Amphibians
State Reptiles
The word amphibian means two-lives. Amphibians spend their lives in the water and on land.