Xenopus laevis - (Daudin, 1802)
African Clawed Frog
Other English Common Names: Common Platanna
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Xenopus laevis (Daudin, 1802) (TSN 173549)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102083
Element Code: AAABG01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Pipidae Xenopus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Xenopus laevis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13Nov2003
Global Status Last Changed: 18Oct1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (SNA), California (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Native to Africa. First brought to the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s for laboratory use and later as an aquarium pet. Introduced and established locally in California (San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Imperial counties) and Arizona (Tucson area) (Stebbins 1985, Lafferty ad Page 1997). Apparently established in Baja California (see Mahrdt et al. 2003). Recorded but not established in Colorado.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: May have declined recently in southern California, due possibly to drought and fish predation (McCoid et al. 1993).

Short-term Trend Comments: May have declined recently in southern California (McCoid et al. 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Native to Africa. First brought to the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s for laboratory use and later as an aquarium pet. Introduced and established locally in California (San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Imperial counties) and Arizona (Tucson area) (Stebbins 1985, Lafferty ad Page 1997). Apparently established in Baja California (see Mahrdt et al. 2003). Recorded but not established in Colorado.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZexotic, CAexotic

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: An aquatic frog.
Reproduction Comments: May during all but the coolest periods of the year in southern California (McCoid and Fritts 1989). Female lays several hundred eggs; eggs laid singly or in small clusters (Behler and King 1979).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, Moderate gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: In the U.S., found in slow streams, irrigation canals, ponds, and lakes. Eggs are attached to aquatic plants or other submerged vegatation, logs, or rocks.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Highly opportunistic, feeds on invertebrates, amphibians and fish. Larvae filter protozoa, bacteria, and other small food particles from the water (Stebbins 1985).
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Forages at night; rests on the bottom, or hides under rocks during the day.
Length: 13 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Species Impacts: This species is a threat to a number of native U.S. amphibians and fishes (e.g., tidewater goby, Lafferty and Page 1997).
Management Requirements: Rotenone is not an effective control; introduced predatory fishes might be detrimental as a control because of negative impacts on native species; trapping might be a safe method for reducing frog densities (see Lafferty and Page 1997).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway, especially at night, such that frogs rarely if ever cross successfully; urban development dominated by buildings and pavement; dry upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: This highly aquatic frog seldom leaves the water, so dry upland habitat (unless of exceedingly small extent) may be a barrier whereas wetlands and mesic uplands may be treated as unsuitable habitat.

Data on dispersal and other movements are not available. Separation distance (in aquatic kilometers) is arbitrary but reflects the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of aquatic habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 13Nov2003
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 02Feb1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Lafferty, K. D., and C. J. Page. 1997. Predation on the endangered tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi, by the introduced African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, with notes on the frog's parasites. Copeia 1997:589-592.

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  • McCoid, M. J., and T. H. Fritts. 1989. Growth and fatbody cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, XENOPUS LAEVIS (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction. Southwest. Nat. 34:499-505.

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