Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Housing and Husbandry of Xenopus for Oocyte Production


Despite their importance as a research model, particularly in developmental toxicology investigations, there are few established standards for maintaining Xenopus spp. frogs in the laboratory. The authors review the literature on handling, housing, nutrition, and breeding of Xenopus spp. for optimal oocyte production.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Dawson, D.A., Schultz, T.W. & Schroeder, E.C. Laboratory care and breeding of the African clawed frog. Lab Anim. (NY) 21, 31–36 (1992).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Green, S.L. Factors affecting oogenesis in the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). Comp. Med. 52, 307–312 (2002).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Schaeffer, D.O. & Schultz, T.W. in Laboratory Animal Medicine 2nd edn (eds. Fox, J.G., Anderson, L.C., Loew, F.M. & Quimby, F.W.) 793–826 (Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 2002).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Gurdon, J.B. in The Biology of Xenopus (eds. Tinsley, R.C. & Kobel, H.R.) 3–8 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Nieuwkoop, P.D. & Faber, J. Normal Table of Xenopus laevis (Daudin) (Garland Publishing, New York, 1994).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Dumont, J.N., Schultz, T.W., Buchanan, M. & Kai, G. in Symposium on the Application of Short-term Bioassays in the Analysis of Complex Environmental Mixtures III (eds. Waters M.D., Sandhu, S.S., Claxton, L., Chernoff, N. & Nesnow, S.) 393–405 (Plenum Press, New York, 1983).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    American Society for Testing and Materials. ASTM E1439-98: Standard Guide for Conducting the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay: Xenopus (FETAX). (ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA, 1998).

  8. 8

    Burkhart, J.G. et al. Induction of mortality and malformation in Xenopus laevis embryos by water sources associated with field frog deformities. Environ. Health Perspect. 106, 841–848 (1998).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Kobel, H.R., Loumont, C. & Tinsley, R. in The Biology of Xenopus (eds. Tinsley, R.C. & Kobel, H.R.) 9–33 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Tinsley, R.C., Loumont, C. & Kobel, H.R. in The Biology of Xenopus (eds. Tinsley, R.C. & Kobel, H.R.) 35–59 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Kreil, G. in The Biology of Xenopus (eds. Tinsley, R.C. & Kobel, H.R.) 263–277 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Hilken, G., Dimigen, J. & Iglauer, F. Growth of Xenopus laevis under different laboratory rearing conditions. Lab Anim. (NY) 29, 152–162 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Kaplan, M.L. An enriched environment for the African clawed frog. Lab Anim. (NY) 22, 25–27 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Major, N. & Wassersug, R.J. Survey of current techniques in the care and maintenance of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). Contemp. Topics Lab. Anim. Sci. 37, 57–60 (1998).

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Stewart, P.L. An efficient, economical multicompartment tank for housing Xenopus laevis. Lab. Anim. Sci. 33, A30 (1994).

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Rogers, W.P., Simpson, T.W., Jones, L.M. & Renquist, D.M. An innovative aquatic non-recirculating system for use in housing African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Contemp. Topics Lab. Anim. Sci. 36, 72–74 (1997).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Bartholomew, J.L., Driessen, J.L., Walker-Harrison, P. & Riggs, R.R. Continuous flow aquatic system for long-term housing of Xenopus laevis. Contemp. Topics Lab. Anim. Sci. 32, 37 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Hilken, G., Willmann, G.H.F., Dimigen, J. & Iglaver, F. Preference of Xenopus laevis for different housing conditions. Scand. J. Lab. Anim. Sci. 21, 71–80 (1994).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Hoogstraten-Miller, S. & Dunham, D. Practical identification methods for African clawed frogs. Lab Anim. (NY) 26, 36–38 (1997).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Donnelly, M.A., Guyer, C., Juterbock, J.E. & Alford, R.A. in Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians (eds. Heyer, W.R., Donnelly, M.A., McDiarmid, R.W., Hayek, L.-A.C. & Foster, M.S.) 277–284 (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1994).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Wu, M. & Gerhart, J. Raising Xenopus in the laboratory. Methods Cell Biol. 36, 3–18 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Dawson, D.A. & Bantle, J.A. Development of a reconstituted water medium and preliminary validation of the frog embryo teratogenesis assay—Xenopus (FETAX). J. Appl. Toxicol. 7, 237–244 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Feder, M.E., Seale, D.B., Boraas, M.E., Wassersug, R.J. & Gibbs, A.G. Functional conflicts between feeding and gas exchange in suspension-feeding tadpoles, Xenopus laevis. J. Exp. Biol. 110, 91–98 (1984).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Dumont, J.N. Oogenesis in Xenopus laevis (Daudin). I. Stages of oocyte development in laboratory maintained animals. J. Morphol. 136, 153–179 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Smith, I.D., Xu, W.L. & Varnold, R.L. Oogenesis and oocyte isolation. Methods Cell Biol. 36, 45–60 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Crawshaw, G.J. in The Care and Use of Amphibians, Reptiles and Fish in Research (eds. Schaeffer, D.O., Kleinow, K.M. & Krulisch, L.) 41–48 (Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, Bethesda, MD, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Schaeffer, D.O. in Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals (eds. Kohn, D.F., Wixson, S.K., White, W.J. & Benson, G.J.) 337–378 (Academic Press, San Diego, 1997).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Bantle, J.A., Dumont, J.N., Finch, R.A. & Linder, G. Atlas of Abnormalities: A Guide for the Performance of FETAX (Oklahoma State University Publications Department, Stillwater, OK, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to T. Wayne Schultz MS, PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schultz, T., Dawson, D. Housing and Husbandry of Xenopus for Oocyte Production. Lab Anim 32, 34–39 (2003).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing