Marcus Rangel is an ordinary resident of Batesville, Texas. Even before that, he often caught frogs from the pond at his ranch, and, of course, many of them were large, but this incident struck both Marcus himself and the entire Internet after the publication of the picture with a gorgeous trophy.
The bullfrog that Marcus caught last week weighed 13 pounds (almost 6 kg.), And its size was more like a dog than an amphibian. In the photo we see a smiling American with an abnormally huge booty, which he called Frogzilla (Lagosilla). According to Marcus himself, such monsters live in a pond on his ranch in Batesville.
If the American’s words turn out to be true, the specimen caught by him will become the record holder of the Guinness Book of Records as the largest frog in the world. The representative of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Steve Lightfoot confirmed that the snapshot was real and was not changed using a graphical editor, although the size of the frog in the snapshot is misleading. “It’s not as big as it seems,” Mr. Lightfoot said. “It’s an optical illusion created by the fact that the frog is closer to the camera. It looks like the fishermen are holding the fish in front of them to make them appear larger. And still it’s a very big bullfrog. ”
However, there is reason for doubt. In all pictures, the animal is photographed as close to the camera as possible, while the happy frog hunter stands a little further. Photos caused controversy among Internet users.
Most people believe that the ranger holds the frog on a long stick, and creates the optical illusion that it is, oooooo very large. In fact, such individuals weigh no more than 1 pound (a pound). And even world champions, African reed toads, are not heavier than 7 pounds (3 kg).
Marcus Rangel was offended by reading such allegations. According to him, all the frogs in his pond grow to enormous size, and if someone does not believe, then he can come to visit him at any time and see for himself.
The original habitat was in eastern North America. It stretched from southern Canada to northern Mexico. In the west, its border passed through the territories of the American states of Oklahoma and Kansas, and in the east along the Atlantic coast.
Bullfrogs were introduced and successfully acclimatized in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. This led to the fact that they gradually began to displace other amphibians living in these states.
Later, the species came to Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay. In Europe, it spread to the Netherlands, Italy and France, and in Asia to China, South Korea and Japan. The basis of local populations was runaways from frog farms, laboratories, and released pets.
They began not only to eat representatives of related species, but also peddlers of the fungal disease chitridiomycosis caused by pathogenic fungi of the genus Batrachochytrium. The vast majority of amphibians do not develop immunity against this disease, which leads to their mass extinction.
A bull frog settles near reservoirs with shallow and warm waters. Preference is given to lakes, ponds and swamps. The animal adapts well to existence in an anthropogenic environment.
Oxfrogs are among the convinced hermits. They do not feel warm feelings for their weaker fellow tribesmen and are ready to eat them as soon as possible. When danger approaches, prudent creatures try to retire as quickly as possible.
Usually they hide from their pursuers, jumping into a pond and spraying them with a bunch of spray. Amphibians swim perfectly under water, so catching them in an aquatic environment is problematic for most terrestrial predators.
When attacking one frog, all the relatives located nearby will throw themselves scattered.
When caught, it emits a piercing grunt or heartbreaking scream that can discourage the aggressor and force it to release prey for a moment. This is enough to make the big-eyed creature briskly ride away and disappear in the nearest lake. In a panic, it easily jumps in excess of 10 times its own size.
The main natural enemies are caimans, alligators, predatory fish and Canadian otters (Lontra canadensis). Of the feathered bulls, herons (Ardeidae) and North American collared kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon), small birds with long beaks, specialize in eating.
The oxfrog is not very susceptible to the venom of some snakes, in particular northern American snakes (Nerodia sipedon), copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) and water moths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) that hunt it.
The bull frog is not too picky about the choice of food. She eats any animals that she can handle. The basis of the diet are various vertebrates. Most often, its victims are small rodents and amphibians, to a lesser extent fish trifle, snails, insects and earthworms.
The predator goes hunting mainly at night or in rainy and cloudy weather, but can also be active in the daytime.
She hunts mainly from an ambush, patiently waiting for the approach of potential prey. A gluttonous creature often ruins the nests of birds nesting on the ground, eating chicks and feasting on bird eggs.
Cannibalism is common among this species. Food of animal origin is sometimes supplemented by aquatic plants and algae.
The bullfrog first stuns the hunting trophy with a lightning strike of its sticky and muscular tongue, and then tightly clenches its jaws.
She has the ability to take into account the refraction of light at the interface between water and air. This allows her to strike at a chosen target in a place located behind her visible location.
The predator can sneak up on the intended victim in small leaps. If it turns out to be too large, the glutton pushes it into its mouth with its front paws. Having caught a mouse, she often dives with it to drown, and only then swallows an immobilized body.
In cool weather, bullfrogs hide in the hollows of trees or in burrows, and in their absence they dig in soft silt. In cold regions, fall into hibernation in autumn, which occurs under stones or fallen trees.
Puberty occurs at the age of 3-4 years. The mating season begins in February and lasts up to three months. In the south of the range, it continues until September. Spawning grounds are located in shallow water well heated by sunlight.
Males occupy areas up to 6 square meters and protect the occupied territory from encroachments of competitors. The sounds they make are designed to attract females and scare away other applicants.
Mating occurs in the aquatic environment at the initiative of the female. The male climbs onto her back and firmly clasps her partner with her front paws. She lays eggs in the water, and her partner simultaneously fertilizes her. The number of eggs depends on the age and fatness of the female and ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 pieces.
Embryos develop best at temperatures from 24 ° C to 30 ° C. Larvae hatch approximately 4 days after laying eggs. Their metamorphosis, depending on climatic conditions and the abundance of food, lasts from 5 months in the southern and up to 3 years in the northern regions, where low temperatures significantly slow down development.
Tadpoles first develop aground at the very bottom, and gradually grow to depth as they grow. They initially have three pairs of external gills and several rows of labial teeth. They pump water through the gills with mouth movements, trapping bacteria and unicellular organisms in the filtering organ, which is in the throat.
The grown tadpoles are gradually moving to a larger living creature. During the first 8 months of life, their weight increases from 5 to 175 g.
The body length of adults, depending on gender, reaches 10-18 cm. Females are larger and heavier than males. The champions grow to 20 cm and weigh more than 500 g.
The upper torso is painted in various shades of olive green, gray or brownish. The head is often light green, on the back there are often dark spots placed in an irregular order.
The ventral part is whitish, with grayish spots or a marble pattern. The females have a creamy throat and yellow males. In spring, males have dark corns on their forelegs. On the hind legs between the fingers there are swimming membranes.
Life expectancy in the natural habitat is 8-10 years. In captivity, the bull frog survives to 15 years.
How to catch a frog for catfish bait on a hook simply and quickly?
The question is how, without running with a landing net along the river or the edge of the swamp, to catch this wonderful bait for catching catfish.
The answer is very simple: you need a good flashlight and preferably a partner, in my case it was Andrei's son-in-law.
It was at the end of July, in the Astrakhan region, near the village of Samosdelka. As soon as it got completely dark, we went to a sand spit on the Old Volga River. The water is warm, the bottom is clean, I walked with a flashlight, knee-deep in water, ahead of Andrei.
He walked a little behind along the shore so as not to frighten the frogs sitting on the sand. In aquatic vegetation, and along the shore of frogs, there were a lot. We did not expect this, as well as the fact that you can take any hands. I chose medium-sized ones, gave them to Andrei, and he folded them in a metal fish tank.
Immediately we scored thirty pieces of medium-sized frogs, and the night river kept calling us to move on. It was in this process that something attractive, even gambling. When they caught the first cancer, then the second, they thought that we would treat ourselves. But more crayfish did not come across.
At first, we did not take very large frogs, but there were enough of them. Strange, but even a large catfish, for some reason, prefers medium-sized frogs.
I told my son-in-law that in the early nineties, in Astrakhan there was a company that procured large frogs for shipment to France.
And we decided to recruit giants for ourselves. We must one day try what the French frogmen like so much. Andryukha barely dragged a garden with frogs to the house.
That’s the whole secret of successful, quick and pleasant harvesting of frogs as bait for catching catfish.
How to put a frog on a hook
By the way, put the frog on the hook through the back foot. So she stays alive longer, and, pushing with her free foot, attracts fish better. I, on such a frog, also caught good sized pikes several times.
Yes, about large frogs - who cares.
In the morning, I chopped off the hind legs of the giants, cut off the flippers, washed the frog legs. I cleaned it from the skin, dropping it in boiling water for a couple of minutes, soaked in cold water for an hour. The legs were swollen, white, elastic. Salted, and stupidly fried in vegetable oil, until golden brown. Prepare very fast. The meat is white, reminiscent of chicken. They ate everything, but not habitually, you understand that you eat a frog.
But soma is familiar and joyful.
Sergey Klest - Specially for Homemade Fishing
The content of the digging frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus)
Most part of time African digging frog spends without movement, sitting in the corner of the terrarium. Despite its large size, it jumps well and far and can accidentally bite your hand. To maintain it, a horizontal or cubic terrarium with a tight lid is required. As a substrate, you can use synthetic foam, fallen leaves.
Type: horizontal or cubic, with a tight cover.
Dimensions: terrarium with a volume of about 70 liters (for one adult frog).
Substrate (substrate): synthetic foam, fallen leaves, moss, sawdust, sandstone. The substrate layer is thick (15-20 cm).
Cleaning: every 2-3 weeks with light disinfectants.
Temperature: daytime - 22-25 ° C (lowering is not advisable, since this negatively affects the health of frogs), nighttime - 21-23 ° C.
Lighting: fluorescent lighting (low power bulb), daylight hours 10-12 hours.
Humidity: 50-70%. Once a day, water is sprayed over the substrate.
Pond: necessary (depth 5-15 cm).
Design: Savannah plot with many hidden places, hollow stones, driftwood.
It is possible to give: motionless food also eats. When feeding use forceps. They eat everything that fits in the mouth: small pieces of low-fat red meat, small fish, mice, large insects, worms and other invertebrates.
You can not feed: you can not overfeed! Obesity is a serious health threat.
Frequency of feeding: adults - every 4-5 days, young (growing) -
Water: a dish with fresh water. Water is changed every day.
Mineral dressing / vitamins: 2-3 times a week give powdered calcium and vitamins.
Socialization / Taming:
Taming: Get used to the person who cares for them.
Compatibility: individually, as they are prone to cannibalism.
Character: quite aggressive and can bite.
Preparation: during the breeding season, frogs are placed in a common terrarium. Breeding is very difficult. All known cases of breeding of this species have been associated with gonadotropic injections.
The ratio of males and females: 1: 1. Make sure that the male does not eat the female.
Feeding young people: frogs feed on insects (crickets), earthworms, and as they grow, they switch to newborn mice, frogs, and then to larger mice and frogs.
Disease predisposition: predisposed to obesity.
Major diseases: amphibian diseases
Comments: In winter, an African digging frog buries itself in the substrate and does not leave the hole for several months. In the spring, the hole needs to be torn up and a frog removed from there. Amphibian is placed in a dish with water. Wakes up very hungry.