This species was previously thought be wide ranging across sub-tropical East and West Africa. However, following Evans et al. (2015), it has now been restricted to southern Togo, Benin and northwestern Ghana, with most of the previous subpopulations now assigned to other Xenopus species. The full extent and boundaries of its distribution are unclear, with the map based on historical records with no specified localities for southern Togo and Benin.
There is a lot of uncertainty around the previous records from Angola [which could belong to either this species, Xenopus andrei (Ernst et al. 2015) or Xenopus allofraseri and from the Central African Republic, with these records now removed from the distribution map. Records from northern and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, up to the border with Uganda, probably refer to Xenopus pygmaeus and have also been removed from the map.
Habitat and Ecology
The species habitat and ecology is poorly known. The precise localities are unknown and therefore the type of habitat the specimens were found in are speculative. From what is known, one sample from Wa in Ghana is a disturbed savanna environment. Similarly the type specimen is thought but unconfirmed to have originated from the Dahomey gap – also a dry savanna habitat. Therefore the current best estimate of this species is a savanna like habitat but this awaits confirmation (B. Evans pers. comm. December 2015). The breeding is unknown but is likely to have filter-feeding tadpoles like closely related species.
It is a very abundant species. In early 2016, surveys in undisturbed habitat and opportunistically in disturbed habitats failed to record this species (B. Evans pers. comm. January 2017). Due to ongoing decline in the extent and quality of habitat, the population is suspected to be decreasing.
If it is confirmed that this species occurs in savanna habitat, then it can be thought that this is an adaptable species. It is possible that this species is harvested for human consumption and it is also found in the pet trade, which could have an impact on local biological populations.
This species occurs in several protected areas.
Research on the distribution, population, habitat and ecology, and impacts of harvesting is urgently required for this species.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient because the taxonomic revision has restricted this species to historical records where a lot of assumptions have had to be made about its habitat, ecology and threats.
Xenopus allofraseri and Xenopus parafraseri have previously been confused with this species and subpopulations from Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea), Cameroon, Congo, DRC and Gabon have now been allocated to these two species (Evans et al. 2015).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Xenopus fraseri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T89257302A18397804. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T89257302A18397804.en .Downloaded on 20 January 2019