Clawed Frogs

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Clawed Frogs
Smooth clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

Smooth clawed frog ( Xenopus laevis )

Superclass : Jaw mouths (Gnathostomata)
Row : Land vertebrates (Tetrapoda)
without rank: Amphibians (Lissamphibia)
Order : Frog (anura)
Family : Tongueless (Pipidae)
Genre : Clawed Frogs
Scientific name
Wagler , 1827

The genus clawed frogs ( Xenopus ) belongs to the family of tongue-less frogs (Pipidae) within the order of the Froschlurche (Anura). The almost 30 species have - in contrast to the dwarf clawed frogs - no webbed feet between the front fingers. The best known species of this genus is the smooth clawed frog .


The genus is common in sub-Saharan Africa. There is an isolated population in the Ennedi region , in northeastern Chad . Some species have been introduced to parts of the United States, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, and Europe.

Way of life

Clawed frogs have neither a tongue nor teeth; the food intake takes place by sucking in the prey animals, whereby they also use their arms for help. The food spectrum includes insects , worms , small fish and other amphibians . To protect against predators such as snakes , otters or cormorants , the clawed frogs secrete toxins through their skin. Mating can take place throughout the year.


There are 29 species in the genus. In more recent works, the distinction between two sub-genres is no longer made.

As of September 24, 2019


The genus got its name from the appearance of the feet of its species, because the word Xenopus is made up of the Greek word xenos (= the stranger) and the Greek word pous (= foot). The meaning "strange foot" indicates that clawed frogs only have claws on the three inner of the five toes.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Darrel R. Frost: Xenopus Wagler, 1827 . In: Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1998-2019, accessed September 24, 2019
  2. a b Ben J. Evans, Timothy F. Carter, Eli Greenbaum, Václav Gvoždík, Darcy B. Kelley, Patrick J. McLaughlin, Olivier SG Pauwels, Daniel M. Portik, Edward L. Stanley, Richard C. Tinsley, Martha L Tobias, David C. Blackburn. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog ( Xenopus , Pipidae) from West and Central Africa. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (12): e0142823 DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0142823

Web links

Commons : Clawed Frogs  - Collection of images, videos and audio files