Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis): a systematic review
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African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are often referred to as `purely aquatic' but there are many publications which suggest extensive overland movements. Previous reviews which considered the topic have not answered the following questions: (1) is there evidence for overland dispersal in native and invasive ranges; (2) what is the range of distances moved overland; (3) when does overland movement occur; and (4) is there evidence of breeding migratory behaviour? A systematic review was chosen to synthesise and critically analyse all literature on the overland movement in Xenopus laevis. Database searches resulted in 57 documents which revealed a paucity of empirical studies, with 28 containing no data, and 19 having anecdotal content. Overwhelming evidence shows that both native and invasive populations of X. laevis move overland, with well documented examples for several other members of the genus (X. borealis, X. gilli, X. muelleri, X. fraseri and X. tropicalis). Reports of distances moved overland were from 40 m to 2 km, with no apparent difference between native and invasive ranges. Overland movements are not confined to wet seasons or conditions, but the literature suggests that moving overland does not occur in the middle of the day. Migrations to temporary water-bodies for breeding have been suggested, but without any corroborating data.
- RESEARCH: Measey, J