The banded bullfrog

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A banded bullfrog is seen in Bijia Mountain Park, Futian District. 

The banded bullfrog

The Asian painted frog or banded bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra) is a medium-sized frog of about 7.5 centimeters in length. It has a tiny head with a rounded snout and a rounded, broad, robust body covered in dark brown. This amphibian is named “banded” (or “painted”) for the two well-defined dark orange stripes that go from the face to the groin. 


One of the most remarkable characteristics of this frog is that when threatened, it will inflate its body to look bigger and stronger, so attackers may be discouraged from attacking. However, this behavior becomes futile in the face of big predators like egrets or snakes.


Aside from their ability to inflate their bodies, these fascinating frogs also secrete a sticky, milky substance that can be disgusting for the palate of predators, which prefer instead to feed on other frog species. 


These fabulous frogs are nocturnal and spend their daytime hiding under dead litter or inside tree trunk holes. They prefer places near water sources, and their reproductive time starts with the rainy season, when males become noisy. They make deep, loud calls while floating in the water along with other males, and their calls can be heard from quite a distance. 


Kaloula pulchra individuals love feeding on ants, and they are always on the lookout for a good spot where an ant parade is passing. They will find a comfortable position and then start feasting on the insects by spreading out their broad sticky tongues and eat until they are satisfied. 


Like other frog species, Asian painted frogs have been introduced to several countries including the Philippines, where they have become an environmental problem. It is essential to take care of local species. It is also vital to respect every ecosystem, preserve them the way they are meant to be, and be cautious about introducing non-native species.