Xenopus fraseri Boulenger, 1905

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

Xenopus fraseri Boulenger, 1905, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1905: 250. Syntypes: 2 specimens in the BMNH, by original designation; BMNH 1947.2.24.78–79 (formerly 1852.2.22.23–24) recorded as syntypes by museum records; BMNH 1947.2.24.78 designated lectotype by Evans, Carter, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Kelley, McLaughlin, Pauwels, Portik, Stanley, Tinsley, Tobias, and Blackburn, 2015, PLoS One, 10(12): e0142823: 34. Type locality: "West Africa . . . therefore probably from Nigeria or Fernando Po [= Bioko, Equatorial Guinea]". See comment. 

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

English Names

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

Fraser's Platanna (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 237–249).


Edge of the Sahel in northern Ghana and northern Cameroon. Although there is taxonomic uncertainty the species is expected in the Sahel of Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, and northern Nigeria. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Cameroon, Ghana

Likely/Controversially Present: Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo


 Evans, Carter, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Kelley, McLaughlin, Pauwels, Portik, Stanley, Tinsley, Tobias, and Blackburn, 2015, PLoS One, 10(12): e0142823: 34, provided an account and restricted the name to the type series from an imprecise type locality and another population in northern Ghana. All previous literature is therefore reasonably assumed to apply to other species in the Xenopus amieti group. The ploidy level of this species is not know, previous reports having been conflated with the tetraploid Xenopus parafraseri (B. Evans, personal commun.). The reports from Equatorial Guinea by De la Riva, 1994, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 8: 131–132, and Lasso, Rial, Castroviejo, and De la Riva, 2002, Graellsia, 58: 21–34 (who provided notes on ecological distribution), presumably apply to the newly named Xenopus parafaseri or Xenopus allofraseri. The record from Gabon by Frétey and Blanc, 2002 "2001", Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 126: 379, presumably applies to the newly named Xenopus parafraseri. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 295–296, provided information on comparative larval morphology, under this name, but the identification likely corresponds to either Xenopus allofraseri or Xenopus parafaseri, recently named.  Ernst, Schmitz, Wagner, Branquima, and Hölting, 2015, Salamandra, 51: 147–155, discussed the range of nominal Xenopus fraseri (at the time, now partitioned into a number of species), previous records that are questionable due to the great morphological similarity to Xenopus andrei.  Nagy, Chifundera, Collet, and Gvoždík, 2013, Herpetol. Notes, 6:  413–419, provided a record (as Xenopus cf. fraseri) as did Baptista, Conradie, Vaz Pinto, and Branch, 2019, In Huntley, Russo, Lages, and Ferrand (eds.), Biodiversity in Angola: 256, noted specimens of Xenopus cf. fraseri from Luki, Dem. Rep. Congo, near the Cabinda Enclave, Angola, although subsequent revisionary literature suggests this is mistaken. Evans, Gansauge, Stanley, Furman, Cauret, Ofori-Boateng, Gvoždík, Streicher, Greenbaum, Tinsley, Meyer, and Blackburn, 2019, PLoS One, 14 (9: e0220892): 1–14, detailed the systematics of this species, diagnosed it, placed it in the Xenopus muelleri group and the sister taxon of Xenopus fischbergi, and stated its range to be on the edge of the Sahel in northern Ghana and northern Cameroon. 

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.