Monday, August 8, 2011

Episode 74 (August 8, 2011): American Bullfrog

Click to listen to episode (2:07).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of August 8, 2011.

This week we revisit a previously used mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds and see if you know what’s making the deep croaks.  And here’s a hint: what would you get if you combined a jumping amphibian with the big mammal that matadors confront?

If you guessed a Bullfrog, you’re right!  The American Bullfrog is Virginia’s largest frog, typically 4 to 6 inches in length.  This large size helps account for the males’ deep mating call.  Bullfrogs are found all over Virginia in ponds, lakes, and still-water sections of streams.  These kinds of permanent water bodies are needed for the Bullfrog tadpoles’ development period of one to two years.  Bullfrogs feed on insects, crayfish, snakes, small mammals, and—according to one source—“almost anything living that [they] can at least partially swallow”!  Thanks to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Frog Call Survey staff and to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for permission to use this recording from the 2008 CD, “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads.”

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Acknowledgments: The American Bullfrog sounds were excerpted from "The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads" CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Lang Elliott/NatureSoundStudio, used with permission.  For more information, see
Sources: Information on Bullfrogs was taken from Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, by B.S. Martof et. al., University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill (1980); Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); the Web site of the Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) Web site, (click here to go directly to VHS information about the American Bullfrog); and “Species Information” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, at (the source of the quote about feeding).

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and  Other Events, online at  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.