OTS monitoring work at Cape Point

26 October 2016

Monitorinf the Cape Clawed frog with the Organisation for Tropical Studies 

The Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS) are back in the Cape region and this is our chance to do a Faculty Field Project (FFP) on movement of Xenopus gilli in the Cape of Good Hope. They were with us back in February.

The weather was great and we managed to catch and mark lots of new frogs.

  Frogs  Xenopus

The complete genome of Xenopus laevis

20 October 2016

Finally, the complete genome of the African clawed frog is published

Yes, it's here. The paper that we've waited for, for what seems like quite a few years now. So, genome duplication made it a little more difficult than the average genome, but that's what you might expect from African clawed frogs: Xenopus laevis

Skip to the full paper here: Session et al 2016

In among the invasives

01 October 2016

Studying invasions inside can be dull...

So it really helps to get out into the surrounding area to see the effect first hand. This is what Stellenbosch University's 3rd year students did this weekend with Profs Brian van Wilgen (top right) & Jaco le Roux (top left), in nearby Pringle Bay.

Brian showed them how pines are escaping private gardens and taking over the nearby mountain, while Jaco explains how below ground interactions of plants and symbiotic bacteria also involve invasions.

The students also got hands on experience with some domestic exotics, trapping and removing African clawed frogs from the breeding grounds of the Endangered Cape platanna.


When is Xenopus a frog?

20 September 2016

Moving overland

This PeerJ publication provides a literature review on all the recorded instances of Xenopus laevis  moving overland. For a lot of people, it seems easy to forget that African clawed frogs are just like many other frogs, and unlike fish they do move from place to place overland.

Download the paper here 

Chopper for Alex

19 September 2016

Lucky Alex gets airlifted up the mountain

In the search for new species, Alex Rebelo was flown up a mountain in the du Toits kloof range to search for a new species of Capensibufo suspected to live on top. This followed the abortive attempt some weeks back with Krystal Tolley and Andrew Turner.

Happily, Alex came up trumps with the biggest mountain toadlet ever seen. 

This individual is more than twice their usual size. 

Well done, Alex!

  Frogs  Lab  News