The Xenopus

Scienfic Name:- Xenopus Laevis

African clawed frogs are native to South Africa and can grow up to about 12cm long.   However,   the males are much smaller than females.   They have a flattened body with strong hind legs and small front legs.   Their hind legs have 5 webbed toes,   with the inside 3 having claws that give the frog its name.   The front legs have 4 unwebbed toes.

These frogs do not have a tongue or teeth and their ears are not visible.   They have small eyes that gaze upwards and have no eyelids.   Their skin is very slippery due to it being covered in a thick mucous layer,   which provides protection to the permeable skin.   There skin can be many colours including albino,   brown,   olive green,   black and grey.

They are social animals so should be kept with at least one other of the same species.   African clawed frogs,   as well as other frogs,   should not be handled without gloves as their sensitive skin can dry out very easily.   Their skin produces a chemical,   which may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Habitat :- They are very good swimmers as this is an important skill when catching prey,   and they spend most of their time in water,   only surfacing to breathe.   In the wild if their water supply dries up the frogs either migrate or bury themselves in the mud,   leaving a small opening to breathe through,   until the rainy season arrives.   They can survive for up to 10 months like this.

They should be housed in a large fish tank with water at least 30cm deep and kept at a temperature of between 68-75o􏰀F.   The pH range of the water must be 6.5-8.5.   Clean treated tap water or spring water must be used in the tank and replaced regularly to ensure it stays clean.   There must be good access to fresh air.   The tank should have a filter and a gravel substrate,   however care must be taken when choosing substrate as the frog can accidentally swallow small stones.   Ornaments, plants and hides are also an important part of the frogs home so that they can hide away and feel safe.

Diet :- Naturally they are scavengers and will eat as much as they can when they get the chance.   They find prey by smell and touch and use their front toes to push the food into their mouths.   There is a variety of foods that can be fed to pet African clawed frogs including bloodworms,   chopped earthworm,   prawns,   brine shrimps,   and mosquito larvae.   A vitamin and mineral supplement is important to add to the food to help keep the frog healthy.

Life expectancy :- 5-15 years.

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