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Shovelnose frog

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Shovelnose frogs
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Family: Hemisotidae
Cope, 1867
Genus: Hemisus
Günther, 1859

Hemisus barotseensis
Hemisus brachydactylus
Hemisus guineensis
Hemisus guttatus
Hemisus marmoratus
Hemisus microscaphus
Hemisus olivaceus
Hemisus perreti
Hemisus wittei

Distribution of Hemisotidae (in black)

The shovelnose frogs are nine species of frog in the genus, Hemisus. The is the only genus in the Family Hemisotidae. They are found in tropical and subtropical sub-Saharan Africa.

The shovelnose frogs are medium sized frogs, reaching a length of 8 centimetres (3.1 in). They are round-bodied, with short legs. Their head is small and narrow, with a hard, upturned nose.[1]

The shovelnose frogs are digging frogs. They live most of their life underground. The female will dig underground while it is in amplexus. It then will lay the eggs in an underground hole. The male will leave through the tunnel, and the female will stay with the eggs. Once enough rain has fallen, the female will dig, with her nose, towards a water source. The tadpoles will stay there until metamorphosis.[1] The tadpoles may stay out of water for up to a few days.

Unlike most digging frogs, the shovelnose frogs dig head first. Other frogs dig rear first.

Some species are kept as pets.




  1. 1.0 1.1 Zweifel, Robert G. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-12-178560-2 .
  • Cogger, H.G.; R.G. Zweifel, and D. Kirschner (2004). Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians Second Edition. Fog City Press. ISBN 1-877019-69-0