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ONTARIO: Seven-year-old's blue frog a 'one in a million' catch

Rare blue bullfrog found in Wahnapitae

Seven-year-old Jesse Chamberland may have to take up the moniker "the frog whisperer" after grabbing hold of a rare blue bullfrog at Red Deer Lake in Wahnapitae on Aug. 4.

Jesse and his parents were at their camp on Red Deere Lake over the long weekend when the young outdoorsman made the catch of a lifetime.

"He's a very outdoorsy kid, and one of his favourite things to do at camp is going out and catching frogs," said Jesse's mom, Chantel Chamberland.

"He goes out with his bucket and comes back with a lot of green and black and yellow frogs, but we had never seen anything like that before."

According to an article published on Earth Touch News Network, these blue bullfrogs are incredibly rare, and are found in as few as one in one million bullfrogs.

The mutation is caused by a condition called axanthism, and it occurs when a creature is missing pigments from yellow and orange colouration.

In animals such as frogs and snakes, this condition will often leave them a dull grey or brown colour, but in some very rare instances, the lack of yellow gives them a bright blue colour.

This rare find was a special one for Jesse, who wanted to keep the amphibian as a pet.

"We don't know much about caring for a bullfrog as a pet so we released it," laughed Chantel. "He went back out the next day to look for it again but it was gone."

Axanthism may be rarely seen, but it's pretty widespread in amphibians. It's been documented in more than 20 species of frogs and salamanders. The condition is often pretty obvious by the animals' unusual colouration, but axanthism can also leave a critter totally normal-looking except for strangely black eyes.

"Mother Nature can be so beautiful, and it was really cool to see something like that here," said Chamberland.



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