Bullfrog - Rana catesbeiana

Large frog, up to 15 cm long. Grey-brown back, sometimes with spots or large dark mottling; belly pale. Well developed eardrum, clearly much bigger than the eye.

Frequents wet environments with large sheets of water like lakes, marshlands and rivers in various types of habitats: woods, meadows and human settlements.

The adults tends to be solitary. In the breeding season, the males emit their characteristic deep-pitched croak and fiercely defend their territory where they attract the females.

The eggs are laid in summer in large jelly-like masses. The large tadpoles hibernate in winter and complete metamorphosis the summer after they are born.

They feed on any animals they can catch: arthropods, other frogs, snakes and even small mammals and birds.

Originally from the United States of America, the Bullfrog has been introduced for alimentary purposes in several parts of the world, including Italy, where it first arrived in the '30's and colonised the Po Valley. It is now acclimatised in Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia, Tuscany and Lazio.