Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 10, pp 3383–3387 | Cite as

Xenopus laevis (Daudin, 1802), a new exotic amphibian in Portugal

  • Rui Rebelo
  • Patrícia Amaral
  • Marta Bernardes
  • João Oliveira
  • Paulo Pinheiro
  • Domingos Leitão
Invasion Note


The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis has been introduced at several locations, including Mediterranean climate-type regions. In 2006, several individuals of this species were found inhabiting a stream at Oeiras, about 20 km W of Lisbon, Portugal. Although the place and time of introduction are not clearly identified, there are reasons to believe that this population may be the result of an almost 30-year-old introduction proceeding from research laboratories located nearby. Field surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2008 on the distribution and abundance of this species in the region. The species was found in two streams, about 5 km from each other. While being locally abundant, the adults of X. laevis are smaller than those from South Africa and California. In spite of an abundant production of eggs and tadpoles at one of the streams, no tadpoles were found in advanced developmental stages. Until now, most individuals were found in heavily urbanized areas that should constrain their ability to cross overland to other water bodies. An eradication program may be feasible, but the presence of adults on two streams indicates that the species may be expanding, in spite of the urban landscape.


Amphibian Iberian Peninsula Urban Distribution Reproduction 



We thank Cláudia Faria, Carla Santos, Vítor Almada (ISPA) and Fátima Gil (Aquário Vasco da Gama) for providing access to their results on X. laevis distribution, the Portuguese ICNB (National Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity) for the collecting permits and the Oeiras Municipality for the facilities provided. This work was partially funded by FCT (Portugal) through its pluriannual funding program to R. Rebelo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Rebelo
    • 1
  • Patrícia Amaral
    • 1
  • Marta Bernardes
    • 1
  • João Oliveira
    • 2
  • Paulo Pinheiro
    • 3
  • Domingos Leitão
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaCBA, Centro de Biologia AmbientalLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.CITAB, Centro de Investigação e de Tecnologias Agro-Ambientais e BiológicasUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.CEF, Centro de Estudos FlorestaisInstituto Superior de AgronomiaLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Departamento de Ambiente e EquipamentoCâmara Municipal de OeirasOeirasPortugal

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