African dwarf frog

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Insects, Reptiles and Fish

iAfrican dwarf frogs

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Subclass: Lissamphibia
Superorder: Batrachia
Order: Anura
Family: Pipidae
Genus: Hymenochirus
Boulenger, 1896

See text.

African dwarf frogs of genus Hymenochirus, also known as dwarf aquatic frogs (ADF or DAF for short), are frogs native to Sub Saharan Africa. They are members of Family Pipidae.

They are entirely aquatic though they do break the water surface as they are air breathers. They are nearly blind at close range being far-sighted, but have keen sight 7 cm or further away. They rely on a sharp sense of smell and touch to find food. They are meat eaters and eat small insects, worms, fish meat and red mosquito larvae, also known as bloodworms (though this food should only be fed once a week in captivity). They are often sold in pet shops and can live in captivity for 10-20 years.

They are cousins to the larger African clawed frog. When very young, African dwarf frogs can be confused with African clawed frogs, but may be distinguished by their heavily webbed toes. They are usually only an inch and a half in body length when fully grown; females are generally larger than the males.

The male makes a quiet mating call when sexually active; females are typically silent. At 6 months old, males reach sexual maturity, and can be identified by a red section of skin behind each armpit that appears as a result of gland development.


  • Zaire African Dwarf Clawed Frog, Hymenochirus boettgeri
  • Eastern African Dwarf Clawed Frog, Hymenochirus boulengeri
  • Western African Dwarf Clawed Frog, Hymenochirus curtipes
  • Hymenochirus feae

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