Part of the Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibition.

Most frogs and other amphibians hatch as fish-like larvae called tadpoles, or "pollywogs." Tadpoles exist to eat and grow. They eventually transform into froglets, a process called metamorphosis. These soft globs of flesh provide tasty morsels for snakes, fish, birds, and even other frogs. The tadpole stage can last for days or years, depending on the species and the weather.


Courtesy of Clyde Peeling's Reptiland

American bullfrog tadpoles are found in the United States in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. Their tadpoles take up to two years to metamorphose.

American Bullfrog Tadpoles

Rana catesbeiana

Class: Amphibia
Family: Ranidae
Size: 4 to 6 inches
Food: Algae, organic material, insect larvae
Range: Eastern and central U.S; introduced in the western U.S.
Habitat: Aquatic; ponds, lakes and slow moving streams
Life Cycle: Females lay up to 20,000 eggs in long strings. Tadpoles take up to two years to metamorphose.