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The Big Bopper

The Big Bopper
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-02-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 100, Hoya UV-Guard (77mm)
Exposure: f/8, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Things in and around my house. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-02-18 17:58
Viewed: 4765
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Bullfrog (female)
Pyxicephalus adspersus

“This one is for Luc.” For all his lovely contributions of frogs to the site.

The most obvious characteristic that differentiates the Bullfrog from other frogs is its size; it’s one of the biggest, second only to the Rana Goliath of the Congo. They can weigh up to 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs). Unlike most other species of frog, the Bullfrog male is larger than the female. The male can be up to 24 cm (9.5 in.) long and the females are about 12 cm (4.45 in.). Their skin color is a dull green; the males have yellow throats and the females’ throats are cream-colored.

The body of the frog is very broad, with a short rounded snout, protruding jaw, and tooth-like projections in its lower jaw. It has a large mouth, sharp teeth and very little webbing on its feet. Another way that this bullfrog differs from other frogs is that it has very strong hind legs, which it uses to dig holes in ground, so that it can estivate during the dry season. It makes a dry, watertight cocoon for itself, which prevents the evaporation of body fluids; it loses approximately half of the water that a frog without a cocoon looses. The frogs can actually survive for several months in dry soil by absorbing water stored their bladder. Once the rainy season starts, the moisture will seep into the ground and soak the cocoon. Once it softens enough to split open, the frog eats it.

It is quite aggressive, and has been known to jump at things that it views to be a threat. Because of its sharp teeth, its bite can be quite serious. The male bullfrog will also aggressively defend his eggs if an animal or a human should approach. The call of Pyxicephalus adspersus is composed of loud, throaty bellows and deep grunts. These frogs can get rather territorial during mating and begin their mating calls only when they have established their territory.

The African bullfrog is carnivorous. It will feed on anything it can fit into its mouth; including insects, small rodents (such as mice), reptiles, birds, and amphibians (including other frogs).

This critter I found on my lawn tonight. I was very pleased since the small amount of rain we had kept them away. It’s the first one I have seen this season. They are huge! I posted a workshop of me removing the frog (my dog would lick it and get hurt) to a safer environment, so you can see it’s size. I would appreciate some advice on the usage of the flash in this instance since there are some hotspots and the slimy wet frog I found very difficult to expose correctly. Would you eat it? ;)

Fisher, marhowie, Luc, willie, ellis49, dew77, sAner, red45, Kirsten, PDP, liquidsunshine, AdrianW has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Luc: Thanx for the wordgerhardt 4 02-19 05:28
To Fisher: Thanx for the wordgerhardt 1 02-18 18:11
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Critiques [Translate]

Now that looks like a BIG frog, not at all like our puny English frogs.

I would love to catch this one with my bare hand. It would be a great challenge. As a child I caught Bullfrogs and found them challenging because of their speed and had to approach when stealth and patience. It would take about 15min. to reach out and with lightning speed, catch it.

Excelent capture and well done on the composition and details.


  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-02-19 0:13]
  • [+]

Thank you for your gesture, Gerhard.
But it was not compulsory to put my photo and to describe me so:
"The body ... is very broad...
...has a large mouth...
...makes a dry, watertight cocoon for itself...
...is quite aggressive... ;-)
Of what the other members are going to think of me? ;-)
Please next time (if there is next time) post an eagle or a lesser cat because I possess certain qualities of these animals also. ;-)

You did an excellent night capture and wrote a complete note (WS included).
Thanks Guerhard.

Very good night image Gerhard. The detail is excellent with very good notes. Well done. I havn't seen one of these for a very long time.TFS

Very good closes-up Gerhard.
great sharpness with very good details , composition and colours. Great note.
Well done.

Nice shot!
I don't really like photos with flash, couse they usually don't look very natural, but of course you did't have possibility not to use it.
Anyway it looks good and the details are nice shown.
Luckily Polish frogs are much more pretty and not so huge. I really can't imagine my grandma seeing something like this on the lawn ;-)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-02-19 4:26]

Man, these frogs are HUGE indeed! Good picture. Maybe a little bit too dark but you shot it at night, so that's understandable. Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-02-19 6:00]

Wow, Gerhard! I looked at workshop and it is really big one! I like its pose, sad face and dirty green tones of your photo.

I'm afraid of it! It some kind of monster :-))))

Great shot, thanks


Gerhard, Excellent sharpness & detail in your Bobber! I like the yellowish underparts in contrast to the dark greens top-side. The raised ridges of alternating green & white are cool-lookin' also..Superb note - Great night shot!

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-02-19 10:18]

Gerhard, very nice photo. I checked the WS too. The guy is really big.

Great pose and composition. As for the flash, sorry for not having any piece of advice.


That's a big one! Nice shot good details, you managed the light very well.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-02-19 11:53]

Bravo ! Sans doute pas facile de prendre cette photo. L'éclairage est parfait et la netteté les tout autant. J'aime bien l'herbe devant qui démontre bien la justesse des couleurs. Belle présentation et merci.

well, thats a BIG frog!he looks very blurpy (i don't know if that's a word) :D
it looks like he is ready to jump.good colours and exclenet details.lightning is good too,especialy for a night shot!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-02-19 16:23]

He's big alright but I can't comment on how he bops. Very nice capture Gerhard. Lovely pose and the lighting is good. He look like he could swallow the lunch Japie bought me today. Very good work.

Great shot Gerhard,
That is a monster bullfrog. Great capture.
well caught for a night shot
Thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-02-20 13:59]

Hi Gerhard
Did you kiss it? Will you believe it that I have never seen this critter in life? Nice shot here! You can underexpose the flash, bounce it off a card above the frog or use a diffuser, the bottom of a milk bottle - plastic, a piece of tracing paper or hanky, even tissue could all help with the flash being less harch, but he is "wet' and will reflect.
And about eating the goslinges, they actually do it!

Good shot! I agree with Callie about ways to reduce the flash effect, but as he's also mentioned these guys are naturally very reflective, so I think you've done pretty well here. There are a couple of issues as I see it though - firstly the shot's slightly underexposed in the midtones. This makes the grass seem darker than it should be IMO, and secondly due to the use of a single (not particularly diffuse) flash there's a strong shadow under his neck. The slightly dark midtones are correctable in Photoshop, just experiment with Curves (IMO a single point pulled top left improves things). The shadow is harder to deal with since there's not much detail there - hopefully your original has a bit more headroom than this resized version, it's still fixable even in this version, but it would take a bit of work. Excellent note as usual. I think it's well captured considering the constraints you were under too :-D

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