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Lithobates catesbeianus: A Study of Diet, Disease, and Water Chemistry in Washington County

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Luke Alder

Additional Presenters:
Euan Andrew (
Lithobates catesbianus (American bullfrog) is a globally invasive amphibian species known to be detrimental to the ecosystems they invade that has been introduced into southern Utah. Up until now, the extent to which these frogs have affected the freshwater ecosystems they have invaded within Washington County, Utah has not been studied in-depth. We hypothesize that Lithobates catesbeianus is significantly impacting the local ecology of Washington County by outcompeting and preying upon native species and by acting as vectors of disease. In September and October of 2022, we captured 46 American bullfrogs at water bodies throughout the Virgin River basin in Washington County, UT. Currently, we are investigating their distribution through observation and capture methods and chemical testing of the aquatic habitats they inhabit. Subsequently, we will analyze their diet by means of dissection and stomach content analysis. Additionally, we will examine their roles as potential vectors of chytridiomycosis using skin swab samples amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Through collection of these data, we hope to better understand the impact of Lithobates catesbeianus on the indigenous species of southern Utah and what may be done to control this alien species.
University / Institution: Southern Utah University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Carrie Jo Bucklin
Location: Alumni House, DUMKE ROOM (1:45pm)