image catesbyrs vol272
Image number: RS.18816
Credit: ©The Royal Society

American bullfrog




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference





Content object

   > animal
      > frog


Zoological study of an American bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus, referred to here as Rana maxima Americana aquatica, shown alongside a Cypripedium acaule flower.

Signed and inscribed: 'Rana maxima Helleborine'

Written in the associated description: 'The Noise they make has caused their Name; for at a few Yards Distance their Bellowing sounds very much like that of a Bull a quarter of a Mile off, and what adds to the Force of the Sound, is their fitting within the hollow of the Mouth of the Spring.'

Plate 72 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas