African Clawed Frog

In their natural habitat, the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) lives in streams that are not too fast-flowing and also in ponds.

  • They do make lovely pets for those just starting out with frogs, but also for the experienced frog-owner. In captivity they can live for up to 15 years
  • They have small eyes high up on their heads, near the top, to enable them to look out for predators on the surface of the water. They have very muscular legs and fantastic large, fully webbed feet that are just perfect for swimming.  Their bodies are quite flat.  On their toes they have claws (hence the name). 
  • They are usually a grey/brown colour and white underneath.
  • The females are usually larger than the males and this is quite common among frogs.  Females do tend to be larger.
  • There is also a golden clawed frog which is actually an albino variant of the african clawed frog, and this is more commonly seen in captive-bred frogs.
  • The male frog emits a mating call to the female during the evening, and this is a 'clicking' sound.  If the female is happy to respond to this mating call,  she emits a reply like a rapping sound, and if she is not interested in the male, she emits a slow ticking sound.

African Clawed Frog

  • This frog is totally aquatic and is very easily looked after in an aquarium.  It is nice to keep a pair of these frogs, as they are sociable and they can be bought from tropical fish shops. 
  • If you are going to keep these frogs, then your aquarium needs to have an escape-proof lid that is well-ventilated.  They enjoy basking in the light of which there should be a good amount.
  • The water should be kept at about 20cm depth, and heated to a temperature of between 22-27 degrees centigrade.  They like to hide in the water and providing them with suitable places to hide will give them a sense of security and help them feel at home. The water should obviously be kept clean so you will need to change it partially often, and totally change the water every couple of months.
  • A layer of gravel could be used as a substrate.  Then you can decorate the aquarium however you wish - perhaps with some rocks and artificial plants.
  • These clawed frogs do enjoy a lot of food!  They have wide mouths and will have a go at eating practically anything that moves!  Feed them earthworms and insects two or three times a week.
  • Unfortunately you cannot handle clawed frogs and a net should be used when you need to clean their aquarium and so need to transfer them to another container. They can't be handled as they would dry out quickly and so it's best to touch and pet them when they are in the water.  They are likely to try and nibble your fingers when you do this, but the African Clawed Frog is toothless and so it won't hurt when it tries to nibble!
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