Bullfrog vs Green Frog

August 18, 2015

A young bullfrog enjoys the morning in its personal puddle on a lily pad at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. Although the park is best known as a sink for neotropical migrants, such as magnolia warblers and other colorful travelers, it is a treasure trove of additional photographic opportunities, including water turtles, toads, frogs, herons, raptors and a variety of other critters.

The bullfrog in the featured image, only a few inches long, looked like a sculpture on an acrylic base. The light was sufficient to highlight the details of the frog’s skin, nostrils, and eye, but still mild enough to support a pleasing composition.

Sometimes when I see a small frog on lily pad, I assume it is a green frog. Green frogs are similar to young, small bullfrogs, at least to the casual observer. A closer look reveals that the two species are very different in appearance. Among other distinguishing characteristics, the green frog has a fold of skin that runs posterior to each eye. This “dorsolateral fold,” which extends to mid-body, is clearly shown in the image of the green frog below, which was captured at Shaw Nature Reserve.


Thanks to Andrea Schuhmann, my friend and natural heritage biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, for reminding me of this distinguishing detail. The next time I see a small frog on a lily pad, I won’t be such a “casual observer” myself!

Thanks for looking,



Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery and Fine Art Prints:  Here

Note:  My website gallery has been completely remodeled so take a look if you get a chance and let me know what you think.

6 comments on “Bullfrog vs Green Frog”

  1. Thanks for showing up the distinction…so distinctly. Getting eye-level shots of these creatures isn’t easy!

  2. Great shooting angle and shots. The personal puddle image is pretty special. Enjoyed the natural history too.

  3. “WOW “.Danny, You managed to capture both images in a mystical light, which makes them both look as though, they were made out of resin. Incredible. Thank’s for sharing.


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