Xenopus laevis is sexually mature in 10 to 12 months. Mating can take place during any time of the year, but is most common in the spring, and can take place up to four times per year. Males vocalize during the evening to attract females. Although the male lacks a vocal sac, it produces a mating call by rapid contractions of the intrinsic laryngeal muscles. This mating call sounds like alternating long and short trills. After the female hears this, she responds with either an acceptance call (a rapping sound) or a rejection call (slow ticking sound). This is a nearly unique behavior in the animal world; rarely does a female answer the males call. Mating often takes place at night, when there are few disturbances. The male develops mating pads on the underside of his forearms and hands. The mating embrace, amplexus, is pelvic, whereas most frogs have axillary (front limb) amplexus. The female can release hundreds of sticky eggs during the 3 to 4 hour event, which are typically attached to plants or other anchors, one or more at a time. The eggs grow into tadpoles, which filter feed. The tadpole metamorphoses into a small froglet, with the tail being absorbed into the body and sustaining its nutritional requirements during this period, which lasts about 4 to 5 days. The total change from egg to small frog takes about 6 to 8 weeks.
(Kaplan, 1995; Beck, 1994; Chang, 1998; Kelley, 1998, Jack Crayon, personal communication)
Breeding interval: African clawed frogs can breed up to 4 times each year.
Breeding season: Mating can take place during any time of the year, but is most common in the spring.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 10 to 12 months.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 10 to 12 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous