CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to California's
Reptiles and Amphibians




Sounds of
African Clawed Frog - Xenopus Laevis

(Daudin, 1802)
Click the speaker icon to listen to an mp3 sound file.
Male frogs and toads sometimes make a variety of sounds. These calls can have different functions.


Advertisement Calls

The advertisement call is the most well-known call of a frog or toad. It is made by a male during the breeding season to establish his territory and repel rival males and to attract females as potential mates. Males usually make the call in or near bodies of water near areas that are attractive to a female as a good place to lay her eggs. Advertisement calls can be heard during the evening and at night, and often during daylight at the peak of the breeding season. Sometimes an advertisement call will be heard outside of the breeding season and away from water. The reason for this is not understood.

Each species has its own unique advertisement call. This is necessary to differentiate them when there is more than one species calling. The evolution of this specific male advertisement call and its recognition by females is considered to be an important isolating mechanism in the evolution of a species.


The call of Xenopus laevis is a 2-part trill, about 1/2 second, repeated up to 100 times per minute. Males have no vocal sacs and call from underwater during the day and at night. Calls are only faintly heard in the air, if at all.

Sound Sound
This is a 1 minute 16 second edited recording of the fairly close calls of African Clawed Frogs recorded underwater in a small pond in Los Angeles County (shown below) with an underwater microphone. These recordings were made on a sunny afternoon. The recording is an edit of 5 different calls from 5 different parts of the pond, presumably from 5 different frogs, though no frogs could be seen. Assorted mysterious underwater sounds are also heard in the background.

This is a 3 minute edited recording of distant calls of African Clawed Frogs recorded underwater in a small pond in Los Angeles County (shown below.) These recordings were made on a sunny afternoon. 6 different calls are edited together. Assorted eerie underwater sounds are also heard in the background.
Sound  
This is a 2 minute 30 second unedited recording of African Clawed Frogs recorded underwater in a small pond in Los Angeles County (shown below) with an underwater microphone. These recordings were made at night, on the same day as the previous daytime recordings. More frogs are calling simultaneously and more continuously at night at the same location than they did in the daytime. Really weird otherworldly underwater sounds are also heard in the background.
African Clawed Frog Habitat

Sound Sound
This is a 10 second recording of the advertisement call of a male African Clawed Frog made underwater in the laboratory of John Gerhart, University of California, Berkeley, 1/25/94 by Carlos Davidson.
Used here with the permission of Carlos Davidson.

This is an underwater recording of the advertisement call of a male African Clawed Frog © Jeff Rice of the Western Soundscape Archive.
Not to be used without permission.
Waveform and Sonogram
Sound sonogram
This is a recording of the advertisement call of an African Clawed Frog, recorded underwater during the day in Los Angeles County.

The image on the right is a visual representation of this call.

Click on it to see a larger image.

Click here for information about how to read the waveform and sonogram images.

You can listen to more sounds of African Clawed Frogs on this cd:

Carlos Davidson - Frog and Toad Calls of the Pacific Coast - Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

cd cover

and on the cd that comes with this book:

Lang Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, and Carlos Davidson - The Frogs and Toads of North America - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

book cover





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