Xenopus borealis Parker, 1936

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

Xenopus laevis borealis Parker, 1936, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 10, 18: 596. Syntypes: BMNH (5 specimens) (Marsabit), 1901.1.3.34–36 (Lake Nakuru), 1910.10.31.26 and 1909.11.15.4–7 (Nairobi), 1929.10.13.3–6 and 1913.4.24.17 and 1932.5.2.36–38 (Lake Naivasha), 1935.11.2.11–12 (Mt. Elgon), 1912.11.8.4–12 (Leikipia). MCZ 22302 (Marsabit) and 22303 (Mt. Elgon) (on exchange from BMNH, according to Barbour and Loveridge, 1946, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 96: 212), according to Tinsley, 1985, In Frost (ed.), Amph. Species World: 427. 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.


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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