Georgia Wildlife Web

Home Glossary Classification Conservation Status Regions of Georgia Fishes of Georgia Make a Donation

Species Description

Pig Frog

Rana grylio


Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae


Grayish-green to brownish-black, with dark mottling on its back. The belly is white and may have many dark specks, especially towards the rear. The back of the thigh has an obvious row of lighter spots or a light line. This frog is large, 8.3 - 16.2 cm (3 1/4 - 6 3/8 in).

Life Cycle

The Pig Frog breeds from late spring through August. Fertilization is external. Eggs masses containing up to 10,000 eggs are laid in permanent water. The eggs hatch in several days. The tadpoles may take a year to transform into frogs. The Pig Frog is an opportunistic feeder and will eat insects, worms, small amphibians, and reptiles. The Pig Frog is more aquatic than the Bullfrog and will spend most of its time in the water, floating or among the emergent vegetation. It prefers the permanent open waters of ponds, marshes, and old rice fields. Both the Pig Frog and Bullfrog are hunted for their legs.


Pig Frog Region Map The Pig Frog is found throughout the Coastal Plain to the Fall Line.

Conservation Status

The Pig Frog is listed as a species Of Special Concern in South Carolina, but not in Georgia where it is considered common. Protecting wetlands will help maintain Pig Frog populations.

Similar Species

The Pig Frog is often erroneously called a "bullfrog" in southern Georgia.The range of the true Bullfrog and the River Frog completely overlap the range of the Pig Frog. The Carpenter Frog is also found on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, but the adult Carpenter Frog is generally smaller than an adult Pig Frog. The fourth (longest) toe of the Bullfrog, River Frog, and Carpenter Frog does not have webbing extending to its tip. In contrast, the fourth toe of the Pig Frog is completely webbed. The Pig Frog's head is more pointed than the head of the Bullfrog. Other frogs that approach the Pig Frog in size have dorsolateral folds, which the Pig Frog lacks.