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Pig Frog Fact File

Lithobates grylio

Credit: Public Domain

Weight

30g

(1oz)

Length

8-16.2cm

(3.25-6.5in)

Lifespan

Wild 5-20 years

Captive 5-20 years

Diet

Carnivore

Fish, invertebrates

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

Pig frogs are named for the call which males make at their mating sites. This has been likened to the grunt of a pig.

Males which successfully attract a mate will become the father to thousands of eggs which are laid by the female. These hatchlings spend their first year of life in the water as a tadpole.

They are carnivores which will feed on a range of crustaceans, fish and invertebrates.

This species is threatened by habitat loss and collection for food.

Read on to learn more about these amazing amphibians.

Appearance

What does the pig frog look like?

The body of the pig frog is covered by grayish-green or brown skin. On the upper side they may have black mottling. Their underside is lighter in color than the upper side. Males often have a yellow throat. Along the sides there are yellow spots.

On either side of the head is a large visible ear drum known as the tympanum. This is larger in males than females.

Their toes are webbed to help with moving through the water.

An average pig frog will measure between 8 and 16.2cm (3.25 and 6.5in) long with females growing to be larger than males. An average weight for this species is 30g (1oz).

Diet

What does the pig frog eat?


As adults they are carnivores and will feed on insect larvae, fish and crustaceans primarily in the water.

Pig Frog (Lithobates grylio)

Credit: Ken and Nyetta, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Range

Where can you find the pig frog?

North America is the native home of the pig frog. Here they live in the south east of the country in the following states – Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.

They have been introduced to Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.

Habitat

What kind of environment does the pig frog live in?

These animals require areas of water to survive. They will make use of lakes, streams, swamps and marshes. They use permanent water bodies. The will also make use of abandoned rice fields and canals.

They mostly occur in areas of mangroves and forest.

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Reproduction

How does the pig frog produce its young?

Mating takes place during April.

Males produce a call which is likened to the sound of a pig grunting. Multiple males will gather at a site and call together creating a deafening chorus. While undertaking their call they will float in the water.

Fertilization takes place outside of the body.

The female will lay several thousand eggs. These are attached to the stem of plants near the water. Eggs hatch within a few days of being laid.

It takes a year for the larvae known as tadpoles to transform in to their adult form through their metamorphosis. There is some variation to this with animals in the south seen to metamorphose quicker.

Tadpoles are boldy colored with a yellow belly, black pectoral region and throat with the pectoral area being green. Yellow spots are found on the sides and along the tail.

Sexual maturity is reached at two years old.

Behavior

What does the pig frog do with its day?

These animals are rarely seen during the day and are likely active by night. Much of their time is spent hiding in vegetation.

Pig Frog (Lithobates grylio)

Credit: Ken and Nyetta, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the pig frog?

Populations of the pig frog are decreasing. A boom and bust population pattern has been observed with declines during droughts and increases during times of wet weather.

Threats faced by this species include habitat loss and urbanization.

They have been assisted by the development of rice paddies which provide additional habitat. These animals have also been introduced to additional areas expanding their population.

In some areas they are collected for food.

Quick facts

They are sometimes referred to as the "Florida bullfrog.'

References

Jackson, T. and Chinery, M., 2012. The illustrated encyclopedia of animals of the world. London: Southwater.

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2021. Lithobates grylioThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T58611A118982371. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T58611A118982371.en. Accessed on 20 December 2021.

Ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu. 2021. Pig Frog. [online] Available at: <https://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/pigfrog.shtml> [Accessed 20 December 2021].

Fws.gov. 2021. Pig Frog – Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [online] Available at: <https://www.fws.gov/refuge/ARM_Loxahatchee/wah/pig_frog.html> [Accessed 20 December 2021].

Nps.gov. 2021. Pig Frog – Big Cypress National Preserve (U.S. National Park Service). [online] Available at: <https://www.nps.gov/bicy/learn/nature/pig-frog.htm> [Accessed 20 December 2021].

Outdoor Alabama. 2021. Pig Frog | Outdoor Alabama. [online] Available at: <https://www.outdooralabama.com/frogs-and-toads-alabama/pig-frog> [Accessed 20 December 2021].

Srelherp.uga.edu. 2021. Species Profile: Pig Frog (Rana [Lithobates] grylio) | SREL Herpetology. [online] Available at: <https://srelherp.uga.edu/anurans/rangry.htm> [Accessed 20 December 2021].

Herrmann, B. 2000. "Lithobates grylio" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 19, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lithobates_grylio/

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