Species of Thailand

Banded bullfrog

Kaloula pulchra, John Edward Gray, 1831

(In Thai: อึ่งอ่างบ้าน)

The banded bull frog (Kaloula pulchra) is also known as the chubby frog (in the pet trade), Asian painted frog, rice frog, or bubble frog. These frogs belonging to the narrow-mouthed frog family have round bodies with mahogany brown backs and cream stomachs. The distinctive stripes down the side can range from copper-brown to salmon pink in color. Males have darker throats than females. Frogs grow to 7–8 cm with females generally being larger than males. They may live for as long as 10 years.


This frog is native to South East Asia, and usually lives on the forest floor, in rice fields, and even inside homes. These frogs are voracious eaters, and will eat flies, crickets, moths, grasshoppers, earthworms and more. Painted frogs hide under leaf litter during the day hours and eat in the evening.

Like many other narrow-mouthed frogs, painted frogs have the ability to expand themselves when threatened, and to secrete toxic glue-like substances from their bodies as a defense mechanism. They are also able to survive dry conditions by burying themselves in the ground and waiting for rain.

The species is a potential invasive species. It has been introduced and become established in Guam, Singapore, Borneo and Celebes with specimens noted in Australia and New Zealand.


In India, the frogs call after the first heavy monsoon showers in April–May. The males call while afloat in pools of water. The pulses of the calls recorded in India were 28–56 per second with a frequency range of 50–1760 Hz. In Thailand the dominant frequency was 250 Hz (duration 560–600 ms long) and 18–21 pulses/call.

The tadpoles can metamorphose in as little as two weeks.


These frogs are big eaters and are very slow. They eat many kinds of insects such as crickets, worms, grasshoppers and other insects that can fit in its mouth. Meal worms can be fed once a week or so if one Asian Painted Frog is kept at home, but should not make up most of its diet they can be used as a laxative.

Pet trade

Chubby Frogs are commonly sold in pet stores. They are sensitive to chlorine in water. They are maintained in aquariums with substrate choices consisting of peat–soil mixes or potting soil with sphagnum moss. They need high humidity and prefer temperatures of 80 - 85 F C.

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Scientific classification

Kaloula pulchra

Common names

  • English:
    • Banded bullfrog
    • Malaysian narrowmouth toad
    • Ox frog
    • Painted bullfrog
    • Painted burrowing frog
    • Piebald digging frog
  • Thai: อึ่งอ่างบ้าน

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Banded bullfrog, Kaloula pulchra in Thailand
Range map of Kaloula pulchra in Thailand