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John Measey
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Where do African clawed frogs come from?

The surprising answer to this question is that if you're in the USA, they are probably from China!

The trade in live frogs is staggering, and the US market is importing animals from all over the planet to satiate their demand - except from Africa!

http://www.salamandra-journal.com/index.php/home/contents/2017-vol-53/1873-measey-j/file

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It's amazing how many different and growing ways frogs have are moved around southern Africa. Remarkably, we only have a few invasive species and they are home grown.

The message of this article is not to be complacent, we'll likely see new hoppers on the scene soon.

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Invasive populations of African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) in Europe have demonstrably shifted their niche, and are now exploring novel climatic space.

This is particularly interesting as the invasions are relatively recent (<50 years) and show these animals to be much hardier than previously thought.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3010/full
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Here's another interesting take on the continuing saga of hybridisation between the invasive Xenopus laevis and Endangered Xenopus gilli :

We found no evidence of hybridisation between these species, despite finding many F1 hybrids in the past. This suggests some post-zygotic isolation happening in the hybrid zones. These days, that's just about everywhere for X. gilli

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African clawed frogs (genus Xenopus) are frequently full of surprises, especially since they are often used as model amphibians in many biological areas.

We've been delving into the stomachs of the largest species, Xenopus laevis (the lab rat of frogs), and found inside the IUCN Endangered Xenopus gilli.

The diets of these two species have almost complete overlap, which is quite shocking when one considers that X. laevis occur at all sites of X. gilli.

Read about it in this Open Access paper: https://peerj.com/articles/3130/?td=bl

The pictures below show Xenopus gilli (live) and another individual which was extracted from the stomach of a large X. laevis. Lastly, some of the authors in the field in Kleinmond, South Africa.
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Lenticular cloud, Muizenberg, South Africa.

Sometimes these beauties are mistaken for jelly-fish...
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How repeatable is EICAT?

EICAT is the new impact scoring scheme for invasive species.

We assess consistency in the new invasive impact scoring system using alien amphibians

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.2877/full

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Deep in the Canadian snow
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Functional responses can or can't unify invasion biology? Follow the links to see a heated exchange on the topic recently published in Biological Invasions

Feel free to comment "Can" or "Can't"!

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-016-1355-3

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-016-1356-2

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-016-1361-5
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