Meet the biggest frog in the world: goliath frog facts, pictures and information. Found in Central Africa, the goliath frog is facing extinction due to both hunting and habitat loss.
Let’s find out more about this ferocious amphibian …
Goliath Frog Facts At A Glance
- Other Name(s): Goliath bullfrog, giant slippery frog
- Scientific name: Conraua goliath
- Type of Animal: Amphibian
- Animal Family: Conrauidae
- Where Found: Cameroon & Equatorial Guinea
- Snout-Vent Length: 17 to 32 cm (6.7 to 12.6 in)
- Weight: 6 to 3.3 kg (1.3 to 7.2 lb.)
- Conservation Status: Endangered
Meet The Goliath Frog: Introduction
The goliath frog is the world’s largest living frog species. The largest recorded individuals weighed about 3.3 kg (7.2 lb.).
What Does The Goliath Frog Look Like?
Watch the video below to see awesome footage of the goliath frog, or continue reading for in-depth info on the species …
The goliath frog has a flattened body shape, a triangular head and robust limbs. Its toes are fully webbed and have small discs at their tips.
The upper side of the frog’s body is greenish-brown in color with small, darker spots and irregular cross-bars on the legs. The belly and the underside of the limbs have a granular texture and are yellowish green or orange in color.
A prominent skin fold extends from behind the eye to the frog’s shoulder on either side of the body. The eyes are large, measuring up to 2.5 cm (0.98 in in) diameter and are located about 5 cm (2 in) from the tympanum (the eardrum). The tympanum is prominent and about 0.5 cm (0.2 in) in diameter.
Unusually for a frog species, the male is larger than the female. The male also lacks the nuptial pads present on many other male frogs (These are used by male frogs to hold onto the female during mating).
Goliath frog tadpoles are not much larger than the tadpoles of other frog species despite the adults’ exceptional size.
The goliath frog has a very narrow and discontinuous distribution range. The species is restricted to the coastal areas of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea in West Africa, extending from the Sanaga River basin in the Nkongsamba region in Cameroon south to the Benito River Basin in Monte Alén National Park in Equatorial Guinea.
The goliath frog primarily inhabits fast-flowing rivers and streams flanked by dense and humid West African rainforest. The species prefers rivers with a sandy bottom and water that is clear, slightly acidic and has a high concentration of oxygen. The animal is often found near waterfalls.
The amphibian may also occur in forest habitats near rivers and streams, but will not survive in highly altered habitats, such as farmland.
The species is generally found at lower altitudes below 1,000 m (3280 ft.).
The goliath frog is usually active at night, with adults jumping along the riverbanks in search of food. During the day (especially when it’s very hot) young frogs stay in the water for over 60% of the time with only their heads partially above the surface.
Older individuals may climb onto rocks to bask in the sun, but they keep themselves moist by returning to the river frequently as well as splashing water on themselves.
Adult goliath frogs appear to be territorial.
The breeding behavior of goliath frogs has not been extensively studied. At present it is unclear when and how frequently the frogs mate.
The male frogs appear to construct a ‘spawning nest’ out of rocks and gravel near the bank of a river or a stream prior to mating. The males also wrestle with one another to establish dominance. They attract females by producing a whistling sound which is made with the mouth open. The goliath frog lacks vocal sacs. Unlike most other frog species, it is unable to produce calls by expelling air from the vocal sacs.
After mating, the female lays hundreds of eggs in several large clumps. The eggs are about 3.5 mm (0.14 in) in diameter, and are attached into vegetation at the bottom of the river or stream.
Goliath frog tadpoles grow to a length of about 5 cm (2 in), and metamorphose into their adult form after 85 to 95 days.
What Do Goliath Frogs Eat?
Goliath frog tadpoles are herbivorous. During the first two weeks, the larvae feed exclusively on just one species of aquatic plant (Dicraeia warmingii warmingii), which grows on rocks by waterfalls and rapids. The restricted diet of the tadpoles is likely to be one of the reasons why the species has such a narrow distribution range.
Mature goliath frogs are carnivorous and have a far broader diet, feeding on almost anything that’s smaller than them in size. They feed on various insects (such as locusts and dragonflies), worms, spiders, scorpions, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, young snakes, other frogs and amphibians and even small mammals. Invertebrates make up the largest part of the animal’s diet.
Goliath Frog Predators
Potential predators of the goliath frog include crocodiles, snakes and large lizards. The greenish brown coloration of the frog’s skin offers some protection as it camouflages the animal while it basks on wet, moss-covered rocks near the water.
Is The Goliath Frog Endangered?
The goliath frog is rated ‘Endangered‘ by the IUCN.
It is estimated that the number of mature individuals has declined by over 50% in just 3 generations, and a similar rate of decline is predicted in the future.
The small distribution range and the highly specific habitat and dietary requirements of the species make it vulnerable to extinction.
The main threats to the goliath frog include:
- Hunting: Goliath frogs are hunted for food and also sold on as bushmeat. Some frogs are also exported for the pet trade and zoos. An estimated 300 goliath frogs per year are transported to the USA for use in competitive frog races.
- Habitat Loss & degradation: Goliath frog habitat is lost mostly due to human activities, including logging and the expansion of farmland and human habitation. Construction of dams and the accumulation of sediments in breeding rivers and streams is also problematic.
Goliath Frog Facts: Related Pages
You can find out about other amazing amphibians in the following articles:
- Hellbender Facts
- Cane Toad Facts
- Caecilian Facts
- American Bullfrog Facts
- Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog Facts
- Golden Poison Frog Facts
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