Scientific Name: xenopus laevis
Habitat: ponds, lakes, marshes, rain pools, streams, reservoirs, ditches
Diet: living/ dead insects, crustaceans, small fish, tadpoles, plant matter
Life Span: up to 15 years (20 in captivity)
Young: up to 1,000 eggs per clutch
Size: 60 – 200 g; females are larger than males
The African Clawed Frog occurs naturally in southern Africa. However, they have been introduced in many other areas such as Great Britain, California, and Chile. This nocturnal frog is almost totally aquatic.
This frog is unique in that it has clawed toes. Lacking a tongue, it uses its specialized toes to stuff food into its mouth. The African Clawed Frog lives in water and is unable to hop on land. It has smooth, slippery skin that is multicolored with blotches of brown and gray on its back, and creamy white with a yellow tinge on its belly. Their skin produces an antibiotic which may have medical uses for humans.
Biologists believe they are the origin of the spread of chytrid fungus, an infectious disease that affects amphibians worldwide. It causes sporadic deaths in some populations and 100% mortality in others.
For more information about the African Clawed Frog visit Animal Diversity Web, or come check out the Edmonton Valley Zoo!