Animals

African Dwarf Frog: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

One of the interesting African dwarf frog facts is that they have webbed feet on all four legs.
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African dwarf frogs are a type of frog from Equatorial Africa. There are four different species of the African dwarf frog. All these species are amphibians, but spend their entire lives in water, making them aquatic frogs, although this doesn’t mean they have gills. In fact, the African dwarf frog has well developed lungs that it uses to snatch breaths from the surface of the water. Their skin must be kept moist for their survival.

The African dwarf frog is called such because all species of this frog are fairly small. The females tend to be larger than the males. They are a popular pet in the aquarium trade and are found around the world as a result.

Their diet comprises of small insects, larvae, small fish, and worms, and they use their feet to shove food into their mouths.

You'll find in this article African dwarf frog facts for kids, information regarding African dwarf frog tank water temperature, African dwarf frog behavior, African dwarf frog aquarium environment, and so on.

For more relatable content, check out these African clawed frog facts and bullfrog facts for kids.

African Dwarf Frog

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fish, worms, insects, larvae

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

500-2000 eggs per spawn

How much do they weigh?

Less than 0.0625 lb (0.028 kg)

How long are they?

1.5 – 3 in (3.81 - 7.62 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Black spots, olive-green to brown skin, black claws

Skin Type

Moist and permeable skin

What are their main threats?

Environmental destruction

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Shallow rivers, ponds, flooded forest areas, tropical forests, aquariums

Locations

Worldwide

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Amphibia

Scientific Name

Eastern Dwarf Clawed Frog: Hymenochirus boulengeri Zaire Dwarf Clawed Frog/Congo Dwarf Clawed Frog: Hymenochirus boettgeri Western Dwarf Clawed Frog: Hymenochirus curtipes Gaboon Dwarf Clawed Frog: Hymenochirus feae

Family

Pipidae

Genus

Hymenochirus

African Dwarf Frog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African dwarf frog?

An African dwarf frog is a small type of frog. These frogs are freshwater frogs, like the goliath frog and the pool frog.

What class of animal does an African dwarf frog belong to?

African dwarf frogs are amphibians, which means they have lungs and can breathe air, but also live in water. All these species of frog African dwarf, have adapted to live fully in water, only surfacing to breathe.

How many African dwarf frogs are there in the world?

All four species of the African dwarf frogs are fairly common in the areas that they are found. Their populations are stable.

Where does an African dwarf frog live?

African dwarf frogs are found in the rivers, ponds, and flooded forest grounds in the tropical forests of Equatorial Africa. They also live comfortably in aquariums.

What is an African dwarf frog's habitat?

The African dwarf frog, like its close relative the African clawed frog, is originally from the tropical forests of Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is an amphibian, but fully aquatic, so it is found in the shallows of the water bodies in the forests. It is not a very strong swimmer, so it prefers to live in still or slow-flowing waters. It must also frequently surface from the water to breathe, so it prefers the shallows.

In African dwarf frog tanks, the water quality is important. The temperature needs to be between 75-82 °F (23.8-27.7 C) to mimic the warm water and environment of the tropical rainforests. Its preferred pH is between 6.5 – 7.5 ph. It also likes to have spaces to hide in so it is important to fill the tanks with things like rocks, real or silk aquatic plants and other fillers.

Who do African dwarf frogs live with?

African dwarf frogs are social creatures that live peacefully with their own kind. When they are kept as pets, they should be kept in pairs or groups of up to four frogs because they like having company.

In an aquarium, they are fairly non-aggressive, even about food, and will not attack other fish. However, if they get hungry, they might try to eat the smaller fish! So it is very important to make sure that your African dwarf frogs have enough food.

How long does an African dwarf frog live?

The average lifespan of the African dwarf frog is 5-15 years, even in aquarium tanks.

Sometimes, the African dwarf frog may live up to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Like all amphibians, the African dwarf frog lays eggs.

When it is time to mate, the male African dwarf frog will grab the females in an ‘amplexus’ which means a hug. The males use their front legs to hug the females around the abdomen. The female lays eggs and the male fertilizes them as soon as she spawns.

A female African dwarf frog can spawn as many as 500-2000 eggs at once.

These eggs will hatch into tadpoles after two to five days, depending on the water quality. These tadpoles will eventually become adult frogs six to eight weeks after hatching, depending on the availability of food. In aquariums, it is good to feed the tadpoles powdered versions of the African dwarf frog food to help them grow.

What is their conservation status?

There are four species of the African dwarf frog. These are the Zaire dwarf clawed frog, the Western dwarf clawed frog, the Eastern dwarf clawed frog and the gaboon dwarf clawed frog.

All four species are common in their specific areas and habitats with no threat to their food sources, their numbers are not threatened. For this reason, the IUCN has assigned all four species of African dwarf frogs the conservation status of Least Concern.

African Dwarf Frog Fun Facts

What do African dwarf frogs look like?

African dwarf frogs love to hide in the gravel or among aquatic plants in their tanks.

African dwarf frogs are also called dwarf clawed frogs for their resemblance to the African clawed frogs. Both of these types of frogs are from sub-Saharan Africa, with olive to brown skin and claws on their front legs. These frogs also have no tongues or teeth and are completely aquatic and eat the same kind of food.

The African dwarf frogs are smaller than the African clawed frogs. Their skin has brownish-black spots, which are fairly distinctive. Their snouts are pointed, and all four of their feet are webbed, like the common frog. Their eyes are positioned on the side of their heads, and they have black claws on their hind legs as well, which they lose over time.

How cute are they?

African dwarf frogs don’t have any special features that would make them look cute. They look like an average frog, with dull colors suited to their habitat. They are not even brightly colored like the tree frogs.

However, if you think frogs are cute, you might find the African dwarf frogs cute for their small size.

How do they communicate?

African dwarf frogs have poor eyesight and tend to find their sensitive fingers and sense of smell to find food. They have no real need to communicate except when they need to find a mate. This is unlike poison frogs, which do croak and make other vocalizations.

To find a mate, the male African dwarf frogs sing. Their singing sounds like humming. Sometimes the females might hum back, but the majority of the singing is by the males.

How big is an African dwarf frog?

The African dwarf frog got the name because of its small size. The average size of an African dwarf frog ranges between 1.5–3 in (3.81-7.62 cm) in length. In comparison, the African Bullfrog can reach sizes ranging between 4.5 – 9.5 in (11.43-24.13 cm) in length.

This means that the African dwarf frog is almost 4 times smaller than the African Bullfrog!

How fast can an African dwarf frog swim?

No one has ever measured and recorded the swimming speed of the African dwarf frog. While they are aquatic frogs, they need to swim up to the surface to breathe because they have lungs, not gills. But they tend to stay in shallow water because they are not very strong or fast swimmers.

How much does an African dwarf frog weigh?

An African dwarf frog is very small, which makes them very light. On average, the dwarf-clawed frog would weigh less than an ounce, which is just a few grams.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female African dwarf frogs.

What would you call a baby African dwarf frog?

Baby African dwarf frogs would be called different names based on their size. When they are first hatched, they are called tadpoles. Then, after around six to eight weeks, they lose their tails and are called froglets. The healthy froglets grow to become adult frogs.

What do they eat?

African dwarf frogs are opportunistic about their food. They are carnivores and will eat most things smaller than them. In the wild, this means their diet includes larvae, worms, smaller fish, and insects.

In tanks, the frogs will live peacefully with fish of their size, but if they don’t have enough food, they might try to feed on fish smaller than them.

They are tolerant of frozen food and their diet can include freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex worms. It is recommended that you thaw out the brine shrimp, worms, or other food before feeding your African dwarf frog.

They don’t need to eat a lot at once, but they do need to feed twice a day in captivity to stay healthy.

How far can they jump?

African dwarf frogs can jump anything between 3-4 in (7.62-10.62 cm) from a solid base. They have to be kept in aquariums with lids because of the danger in them jumping out of the tanks and drying out.

Would they make a good pet?

African dwarf frog care is easy for adults who enjoy keeping aquariums. So they make for wonderful pets. They do well in pairs or small groups of four, and they can be kept with other fish in the same tank.

Their small delicate bodies make them unsuitable pets for small children. Any small children near these animals would need to be supervised so that they don’t harm the frogs. They can help with feeding the frogs to understand them better.

The African dwarf frogs are entertaining to watch in their tanks, especially when they are most active, which is at night.

Did you know...

Some fun African dwarf frog facts for kid includes they fact that these frogs can eat food inside water. They do this by sucking water into their mouths using their buccal cavity.

These frogs sleep for 12 hours a day, in the morning. They are nocturnal animals and are most active at night.

Sometimes, the African dwarf frogs like to float on the surface of the water in their tanks with their legs spread out. This makes it appear like they are dead but they are not. This is called the ‘Zen position’. African dwarf frogs love to hold it regularly to breathe and be in water at the same time.

Needs of the African dwarf frog

When kept as pets, it is important that you set up the ideal habitat for your African Dwarf Frog in their tanks. This is to make sure that your frog is healthy and happy.

The tank should be no deeper than 20 in (50.8 cm) and should have a cover to prevent your frog from jumping out. There should not be any strong currents in the tanks. Gravel is a good base for the tank. The frogs are indiscriminate when feeding and messy, so gravel is easy to clean.

The water in your tanks should be changed every time it starts getting cloudy. This means changing out 25% of the water in the tanks every week or so. If you have an under-gravel filter, the water will remain cleaner for longer and will not hurt the frogs.

Each of your frogs will need about a gallon of water. So if you’re keeping a pair of frogs, you will need a tank that can fit that much.

African Dwarf Frogs are social creatures, so it is good to keep them in pairs or groups of four.

The water in the tanks should be freshwater with a pH between 6.5-7.5 and a temperature ranging between 75-82 °F (23.8-27.7 C).

These frogs also need consistent day and night lighting and aquatic plants. If you’re using fake plants, do not use plastic as that could hurt their fragile bodies.

Behavior of the African dwarf frog

African dwarf frogs are nocturnal creatures. They sleep for around 12 hours in the day and come alive at night. They have playful behaviors like hiding, staying at the bottom of the tank, or resting on aquarium plants when they are taking a break.

They also get along with most aquarium fish like goldfish, tetras, and guppies, and are very docile.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians from our Surinam toad facts and blue poison dart frog facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one on our free printable African dwarf frog coloring pages.

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