Western Clawed Frog, Xenopus, tropicalis

The western clawed frog is also known as the tropical clawed frog and is found widespread in the regions of Nigeria, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Cameroon, the Ivory coast, and surrounding areas.

The habitat for the western clawed frog is moist areas in tropical and subtropical rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, agricultural ponds, and canals.

The body color of the western clawed frog is light to dark brown and covered with grey and black spots. The eyes protrude up from the head. Tubercles are scattered around the flattened body. The feet are fully webbed with three to five toes that have black claws. The male will reach an average length of 1.5 inches and the average female will be two inches.

The diet of the western clawed frog consists mainly of worms, insect larvae and tadpoles. This species will suck in its prey then cram it further into the mouth with the forelimbs.

The time of year for breeding depends on the region. The eggs are laid and attach to aquatic vegetation. The tadpole will hatch and metamorphosis will occur in three to five months. The tadpole will feed with the head pointed down and suck water into the mouth filtering the food particles.

The western clawed frog’s embryos and eggs are also used for biomedical research. It is listed as least concern on the IUCN list.

Kingdom:      Animalia
Phylum:      Chordata
Class:      Amphibia
Order:      Anura
Family:      Pipidae
Subfamily:   Xenopodinae

Image Caption: Xenopus tropicalis. Credit: Václav Gvoždík/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)