Species in News: Indian Bullfrog


  • At any other time during the year, the Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) roam alone and have a varied dull olive green-brown appearance, camouflaging well with their immediate surroundings.

About Bullfrog:

  • Classified under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Least Concern category, it is one of the most familiar and abundant frogs of South and South-East Asia, and also the largest frog found in the Indian Subcontinent. They can be identified by the pointed snout and long hind limbs, which help them jump.
  • Being nocturnal and formidable ambush predators, they lie in wait for their unsuspecting prey to come closer before lunging and grabbing them with their mouths.
  • At times they may swim or stealthily hop towards their prey in order to catch them by surprise. The powerful jaws and sharp teeth, efficient tongue-play, and fairly large hands allow them to grab, constrict and push its helpless meal inside the mouth bit by bit.
  • In the way of the Nature, they also are an important prey-base for several other creatures like birds, bigger snakes, and at times desperate carnivore mammals. Rat snakes for instance live in sewers and feed on the frogs that also inhabit the area.
  • The Indian Bullfrog’s loud croaking call, attracts the opposite sex, but also predators, especially in areas with freshwater bodies like ponds, marshes, and lakes, a habitat that they prefer. Their feet are nearly entirely webbed to help them adjust to the water and the vegetation surrounding it. When threatened, they can jump on the surface of the water, just like on land, despite being large in size.
  • Bullfrog legs are considered a delicacy and they are illegally hunted and served in several places across the country even though the species is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1971.
  • It is the most hunted frog across the country and the forest department works diligently towards any leads to try and curb its consumption.
  • Their opportunistic feeding behaviour, prolific breeding (with large egg clutches) and adaptability makes them invasive in nature, where they tend to overpower other native species, a problem frogs native to Andamans are facing at present. The species was also introduced in Madagascar and the situation follows the same course.
  • Areas like Sanjay Van and Lodhi Garden are presently homing a large number of breeding Indian Bullfrogs.

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