The native range extends from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and southern Quebec, Canada, west to the Great Lakes region, and south through most of the central and eastern United States and south into northeastern Mexico. The western limits of the native range are ambiguous due to widespread introductions in western North America. The species also has been introduced and is established in the Greater Antilles, Hawaii, and many other locations worldwide.
American bullfrogs inhabit ponds, swamps, lakes, reservoirs, marshes, brackish ponds (e.g., Hawaii), stream margins, and irrigation ditches, especially sites with abundant floating, emergent, or submerged vegetation. They may disperse from water in wet weather and sometimes are found in temporary waters hundreds of meters from permanent water. Bullfrogs sometimes make seasonal migrations to and from ephemeral bodies of water, or between adjacent permanent aquatic habitats. Individuals often remain in one pond or in a cluster of adjacent ponds throughout a season but may move up to a kilometer or more from one year to the next. Breeding sites are primarily permanent slow- or nonflowing bodies of water.