Anyone who has lived in Thailand has probably seen one of these frogs. With their little fat bodies, orange stripes, pudgy round faces and their bulbous eyes…. what’s not to love about them? They are the Banded Bullfrogs (Kaloula pulchra)
You will hear these frogs a lot, especially during the rainy season, although you may not have known it was them. This is because their calls are quite bizarre and don’t sound like they’d come out of such a small frog. Their booming calls are also far more cow-like than frog-like.
Below is a link to a video I took where you can listen to one making this strange call. Although you can’t see the frog, the pipe it’s hiding in acts as a megaphone ensuring you’ll definitely hear it. Banded Bullfrog Call
One cool thing about these frogs is they’re around all year if you want to see them and you know where to look.They are a fossorial species which means they spend a lot of time underground, only emerging when it’s cool and moist enough; a good strategy in such a hot country. This fact has lead to a lot of mess in our garden as they love to dig in our potted plants and throw the dirt onto the floor. Below is a picture of one I caught in the act emerging from its burrow in one of our potted plants. Whenever we want to see him we just give the plants a lot of water and a little chubby face will appear.
If you want to see these frogs in large numbers you don’t have to go on a trek into a jungle or wade into a swamp. They love urban areas and often wait by lights to catch the insects that fly to close to them.
One night there was a huge swarm of flying termites that were surrounding every light in our neighbourhood. Of course the frogs were taking advantage of this and waiting by the lights to catch the insects. One of the frogs wasn’t doing as well as his friends so we decided to help him out a bit. We used a torch to lure some of the insects a little closer to him so he could catch them.Here’s a link to a video that we took of him catching one of the flying termites. Banded Bullfrog Feeding
You can read more about the chubby frog featured above here Banded Bullfrog Update