Pixie Frog

Pyxicephalus adspersus
Pixie Frog African Bull Frog
The Pixie frog is the largest amphibian in sub Saharan Africa, and the second largest frog in the world. Males have a yellow or orange belly and throat. Females are beige underneath. African bullfrogs spend a lot of time buried just below the surface of the ground and wait for prey to come to them. They are sedentary in the dry season and can grow a cocoon of skin to help keep moisture during hibernation. This is called Estivation. They usually awaken at the on-set of the rainy season and will breed and be most active at that time.

The African bullfrog is a species of frog in the family Pyxicephalidae, from which the name Pixie frog originates. The Pixie frog’s natural habitats are mostly found in the open grasslands in sub Saharan Africa.

During the grassland’s dry season, temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees and easily drop sharply to below freezing. Due to this, the Pixie frog will spend as much as 10 months below the surface of the ground in hibernation.

During the rainy season, the Pixie frogs will wake from their hibernated state and gather together in temporary flood plains and ephemeral ponds scattered throughout their natural habitat.

The male Pixie frogs will then gather in groups to attract the nearby females. The larger male frogs will entice most prospective females. One way the larger male Pixie frog ensures he is selected is with a call to the prospective female that lasts about a second and sounds like a deep, low-pitched whoop.

Soon after the selection, the female Pixie frog will lay between 3,000 to 4,000 eggs in shallow water for the male frog to fertilize. A rarity in the Amphibian world, the male Pixie frog will stay with and guard his offspring. During his watch, hatched tadpoles will feed on small fish, invertebrates, and even each other. The male African bullfrog will continue this watch until the tadpoles metamorphose within about three weeks and venture off on their own.

Even though the African bullfrog will eat almost anything, Birds are their main predator.

DIET

The Pixie frog’s diet consists of bugs, fi sh, mice, birds,
other frogs, reptiles and small mammals. They will eat
just about anything that will fit in their mouth.

FAST FACTS

Size: Males 8 – 10 inches length
Females 4 – 6 inches length
Weight: 2 – 4 lbs
Lifespan: 20 – 40 years in
the wild

CONSERVATION STATUS

LEAST CONCERN