Ranaviruses (Iridoviridae) are increasingly associated with mortality events in amphibians, fish, and reptiles. They have been recently associated with mass mortality events in Brazilian farmed tadpoles of the American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Shaw, 1802. The objectives of the present study were to further characterize the virus isolated from sick R. catesbeiana tadpoles and confirm the etiology in these outbreaks. Sick tadpoles were collected in 3 farms located in Goias State, Brazil, from 2003 to 2005 and processed for virus isolation and characterization, microbiology, histopathology, and parasitology. The phylogenetic relationships of Rana catesbeiana ranavirus (RCV-BR) with other genus members was investigated by PCR with primers specific for the major capsid protein gene (MCP) and the RNA polymerase DNA-dependent gene (Pol II). Sequence analysis and multiple alignments for MCP products showed >99% amino acid identity with other ranaviruses, while Pol II products showed 100% identity. Further diagnostics of the pathology including histology and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the viral etiology of these mass deaths. As far as we know, this is the first report of a ranaviral infection affecting aquatic organisms in Brazil. Additionally, our results suggest that American bullfrogs may have served as a vector of transmission of this virus, which highlights the potential threat of amphibian translocation in the world distribution of pathogens.