Re: African Clawed Frog

> In a message dated 96-06-19 03:58:33 EDT, Todd March wrote:
> << As far as eradicating snails... Is anyone familiar with dwarf frogs? Amano
>  raves about them for snail plagues in his book ('"dwarf shimegaeru"), but
>  my local Japanese supplier, that sells me the marvelous yamanto-numaebi and
>  bumble bee shrimp, doesn't think this "dwarf shimegaeru" comes from Japan,
>  as he can't find them. >>
> Neil Schneider (PacNeil at aol_com) responded:
> I talked to an knowldedgable sales lady at my local aquarium store about me.
> She thought the snail eater was the clawed african frog. She also told me
> this frog was illegal to sell, at least here in California. 

They are illegal in many states, and I think they are illegal for import
(federally) to the USA.  I read some articles on these frogs twelve or fifteen 
years ago in Illinois that described the widespread ecological damage that 
escaped African Clawed Frogs were making in the environment.

I used to work in a library that had four of these frogs.  I would read
a sentence of the article, then look at the little guys who I'm convinced
were smiling at me in an evil, knowing way.  :-)

They are more predatory and voracious than most native American frogs (their 
claws are not just for show).  They are omnivorous and  eat a lot, and can 
consume something almost as big as itself; but they will try to eat things 
three times their own size.  They will often bite onto a large fish and
take a "free ride" until the fish tires, and then they will rip off a piece
of the fish by pulling with their mouth against their clawed hind legs.
Their front legs are clawed also, which are actively used to rip apart food
that sits still (such as dead fish).

However, there are a lot of them still in pet stores even though they were
banned for import over a decade ago.  I'm guessing that somebody in the States 
is still breeding them (the federal law just doesn't let you import them), but 
specific states have them explicitly outlawed (I think California and Illinois, 
but don't know about many others).

I guess they would eat snails; they eat everything else.  :-)

cbay at jeppesen_com