Xenopus borealis Parker, 1936

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pipidae > Subfamily: Dactylethrinae > Genus: Xenopus > Species: Xenopus borealis

Xenopus laevis borealis Parker, 1936, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 10, 18: 596. Syntypes: BMNH 1901.1.3.34–36 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.52–53 by museum records, Lake Nakuru), 1910.10.31.26 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.60, Nairobi), 1909.11.15.4–12 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.61–70, Nairobi), 1935.12.1.53–57 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.71–74, Marsabit), 1929.10.13.3–6 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.55–58, Lake Naivasha), 1913.4.24.17 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.80, Lake Naivasha), 1932.5.2.36–38 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.75–77, Lake Naivasha), 1935.11.2.11–12 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.59, Mt. Elgon), and 1912.11.8.4–12 (now renumbered 1947.2.24.61-70, Leikipia) according to Tinsley, 1985, in Frost (ed.), Amph. Species World: 427, and museum records. Lang, 1990, Doc. Trav., Inst. R. Sci. Nat. Belg., 59: 11, regarded IRSNB 1.094 (exchanged from BMNH) as a syntype. Type locality: "Marsabit"; "hot spring of Lake Nakuru"; "Nairobi"); "Lake Naivasha"; "Mt. Elgon, 6000 feet"; "Leikipia, 7–8000 feet", Kenya.

Xenopus borealisTymowska and Fischberg, 1973, Chromosoma, Berlin, 44: 336.

Xenopus (Xenopus) borealisKobel, Barandun, and Thiebaud, 1998, Herpetol. J., 8: 13.

English Names

Marsabit Clawed Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 97).

Kenya Smooth Clawed Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 110).

Northern Clawed Frog (Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 240).


Savanna in northern Tanzania, and central, southwestern, and an isolated northern record (Mount Marsabit) in Kenya, above 1350 m elevation. One record for southern Tanzania. Likely to be found in eastern Uganda. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Kenya, Tanzania

Likely/Controversially Present: Uganda


Tymowska and Fischberg, 1973, Chromosoma, Berlin, 44: 336, distinguished Xenopus borealis from the Xenopus laevis group by chromosome morphology and suggested closer affinities with Xenopus muelleri. Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 240–241, provided an account and map. Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 55, provided a brief account. Malonza, Lötters, and Measey, 2010, J. E. Afr. Nat. Hist., 99: 54, commented on range, life history, and conservation status in the Taita Hills region of Kenya. Measey, Malonza, and Muchai, 2009, Amph. Taita Hills: 14–15, provided a very brief account and photo for the Taita Hills, Kenya. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 293–294, provided information on comparative larval morphology. Harper, Measey, Patrick, Menegon, and Vonesh, 2010, Field Guide Amph. E. Arc Mts. Tanzania and Kenya: 252–253, provided a brief account and photograph. In the Xenopus muelleri group of Evans, Carter, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Kelley, McLaughlin, Pauwels, Portik, Stanley, Tinsley, Tobias, and Blackburn, 2015, PLoS One, 10(12): e0142823: 29. Spawls, Wasonga, and Drewes, 2019, Amph. Kenya: 31, provided a range map for Kenya, photograph, and brief characterization. 

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