Spawning the African Clawed Frog
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Xenopus laevis

 
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Clawed Frog Factoids

Origin

Eastern and Southern Africa

Size

Females 5 inches, males smaller

Temperature

Very flexible

Water

No special water.  Breathes air.

Attitude

Comical eager eaters

Threat

Adult Clawed Frogs eat fish.

Swimmers

Forward and backward -- fast

Security

Finds hiding places 

Foods

Prospers on “turtle sticks”

Supplements

None needed

Lighting

Immaterial

Breeding Age

10 months

Spawn Size

Up to 2,000 eggs 

Incubation Time

2 to 4 days based on temp

Fry Food

Infusoria or powdered food

Metamorphosis

Starts at six weeks

Fry Threat

Cannibalism

Setting the Stage, November28.  We had a couple of male African clawed frogs for a considerable period of time.  When someone traded in an obvious female, we decided to set up a suitable tank and put the menage together.  We fed them liberally.

LA
Our female star, an albino African clawed frog.

LA
Full frontal nudity.

LA
Tempted with a choice nightcrawler.

LA
Offering accepted.

LA
Females have an egg spout   Males do not.

LA
Our two cohabiting males eat nightcrawlers just as eagerly as the female.  They just take longer.

LA
Each male ate one nightcrawler.  The female always ate two.

LA
These particular males are the natural clawed frog coloration.

LA
His hands appear darker here.

LA
Scattered eggs make an appearance December 1, 2012.  The dime is for size reference.

LA
No change.  No hatched or hairy fungused eggs.  December 2, 2012.

LA
Little later in the day, we see some hairy, fungused eggs.

LA
Still some unchanged eggs, December 4, 2012.

LA
Breeding site -- standard 20H aquarium.  Parents were removed as soon as eggs appeared.

LA
A few eggs adhered to the glass.

LA
Most stuck to the rocks.

LA
Our female's egg spout became much more prominent after laying these few eggs.

LA
One of the male's "hands" grew darker but not black.

No Eggs Hatched, December 5, 2012.  Since we had no tangible results, we moved all the frogs to the tank next door.  We continued stuffing them with various foods because they might decide to lay additional eggs.

LA
We fed them Reptomin and Hikari large cichlid pellets.

LA
Clawed frogs instinctively look for food on the bottom.  They learn to eat floating foods.

LA
Floating pellets soften up fairly quickly.  She chews them up and makes a royal mess.

LA
Her little hands literally shove the pellets into her mouth.  Then we left the breeders alone.

LA
Next morning we observe them in amplexus.  We missed the amplexus of the first spawning.

The Rodeo Begins Again December 6, 2012.   Overnight they decided to resume their species continuation plan.  We missed this step in the first spawning run.  The extra "stud" decided to eat as many eggs as possible, so we extricated him.

LA
He hangs on for dear life.

LA

LA
He has no chance to reach the surface for air.

LA
She surfaces for air several times.  He cannot.

LA
Here you see her eggs coming out as he fertilizes them.

LA
They kept up this pace for several minutes.  When they separated, we moved them to a new tank.

Post Amplexus We Moved them to Another Tank.   December 7 they were at it again in their new tank.  Evidently they spawned considerably more eggs (or ate fewer of them), because we saw many more eggs all over this tank.

LA
Next morning they were at it again, December 7.

LA
Their semi-adhesive eggs adhere to the glass -- most were all over the bottom.

LA
Now it's becoming apparent where the reports of 2,000 eggs come from.

LA
Meanwhile, the eggs spawned two days earlier hatched -- 165 tadpoles.  The temp was 70 F.

LA
Lots more eggs in this clutch.  You can see the penumbra around the actual eggs.

LA
We always keep infusoria cultures and microworm cultures on hand.

Preparing Lunch for the New Tadpoles.   Since the tadpoles look to be numerous, we decided to enlarge the buffet a bit.  We inoculated some larger containers with these starter cultures.

LA
Powdered eggs and macerated watersprite make good infusoria foods.

More to Came.   We'll show the tadpoles developing later.  Signing off temporarily December 8 (I labeled the jars wrong.).  To be continued.  LA


© 2012  LA Productions
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