Xenopus gilli Rose and Hewitt, 1927

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

Xenopus gilli Rose and Hewitt, 1927, Trans. R. Soc. S. Afr., 14: 343. Holotype: AMG number not stated; AMG 5112 by museum records, now PEM A1523 according to Conradie, Branch, and Watson, 2015, Zootaxa, 3936: 66, who discussed difficulties surrounding determination of types. Type locality: "Cape Flats .... near Cape Town", Rep. South Africa, but specified as near Sylvermyn River.

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

English Names

Cape Platanna (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 97; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 3; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 48; Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 330).

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

Gill's Clawed Frog (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14; Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 48).

Gill's Clawed Toad (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Gill's Platanna (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14; Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 241).

Gill's Frog (Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 241 [alternative name).


Blackwater ponds on the Cape Flats and Cape Peninsula together with isolated inland localities on the southwestern Western Cape, Rep. South Africa, 10-140 m elevation.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: South Africa

Endemic: South Africa


Kobel, du Pasquier, and Tinsley, 1981, J. Zool., London, 194: 317-322, demonstrated natural hybridization and gene introgression between this species and Xenopus laevis (both with 2n = 36 chromosomes). Evans, Morales, Picker, Kelley, and Melnick, 1997, Mol. Ecol., 6: 333-343, discussed historical structure within this nominal species. See accounts by Picker, 1988, in Branch (ed.), South Afr. Red Data Book, Amph. Rept.: 25-27, Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 241-243, De Villiers, 2004, in Minter et al. (eds.), Atlas Frogs S. Afr. Lesotho and Swaziland: 260-263, and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 330. Rau, 1978, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., 76: 248, noted the range. See photograph, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 474. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 295, provided information on comparative larval morphology. In the Xenopus laevis group of Evans, Carter, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Kelley, McLaughlin, Pauwels, Portik, Stanley, Tinsley, Tobias, and Blackburn, 2015, PLoS One, 10(12): e0142823: 29. 

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