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African dwarf frogs are wee amphibians that are part of the genus Hymenochirus. Several different species of these small water frogs exist, including both the Congo dwarf clawed frog and the eastern dwarf clawed frog. These diminutive creatures of the family Pipidae come from regions of sub-Saharan Africa, and spend the vast majority of their time underwater.
Congo Dwarf Clawed Frog
The Congo dwarf clawed frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri) is abundant throughout western central regions of Africa -- think Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria. These grayish or brownish aquatic creatures rely heavily on H20, and as a result are never far from water sources. Some common environments for Congo dwarf clawed frogs include lowland rainforest and rivers that move very slowly. These relatively long-limbed dwarf frogs prefer to spend their time in water that has some shady covering from above.
Western Dwarf Clawed Frog
The western dwarf clawed frog (Hymenochirus curtipes) species lives solely in Congo in many regions of the nation, including the very western and northern areas. Western dwarf clawed frogs are common in lowland rainforests and areas near rivers. It is very important for these sub-Saharan African amphibians to always be near plentiful water, as with other dwarf frog species. Reproduction for these frogs generally occurs in calm and steady water settings.
Eastern Dwarf Clawed Frog
The eastern dwarf clawed frog (Hymenochirus boulengeri) is found in Congo, but might have a bigger geographical range than that, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eastern dwarf clawed frogs have a host of different natural living environments, such as damp tropical or subtropical forests, freshwater bogs, lakes and rivers.
Gaboon Dwarf Clawed Frog
The Gaboon dwarf clawed frog (Hymenochirus feae) lives only in Gabon, which is a central African coastal country. These dwarf clawed frogs reside on the nation's coasts, and similarly to Congo dwarf clawed frogs, usually inhabit rivers and lowland forest settings. In terms of physical appearance, both species of African dwarf frogs are very similar, except that the Gaboon varieties possess entirely webbed toes and fingers.
Pet African Dwarf Frog
African dwarf frogs also are common household pets. To keep a pet African dwarf frog as healthy, lively and content as possible, it's important to provide him with a comfortable aquarium habitat. Make sure the tank you use is spacious and can accommodate a minimum of 10 gallons of water. Keep the H20 temperature somewhere in the range of 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. These frogs are rather active and leap around a lot, so a sturdy top is vital. Since African dwarf frogs are rather meek in temperament, ample hiding spots are key -- think plants, for example. Also make sure your pet has access to natural light, but never place the tank in the way of direct sunlight. Keep the temperature of your pet frog's room environment as stable as possible.
- AmphibiaWeb: Hymenochrius Boettgeri
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Hymenochirus Boettgeri
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Hymenochirus Curtipes
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Hymenochirus Boulengeri
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Hymenochrius Feae
- Deban Laboratory: Hymenochirus
- Aquatic Community: African Dwarf Frog
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images