Sexing African Dwarf Frogs: Identify Male Vs Female

Are African Dwarf Frogs Aggressive

Knowing the accurate gender of pets are one of the crucial things for pet owners, especially if you own any aquatic pets. Do you own any African Dwarf Frog yet you’re having trouble determining its sex? If yes, then you’re in the right place.

Matured female African Dwarf Frogs tend to be larger than the males. In male African Dwarf frogs, the cloacal opening position is further from the body. Also, male African Dwarf frogs have muscular and thicker hind legs compared to the females.

Determining the sex of an African Dwarf Frog can be quite a hard nut to crack, as the differences between male and female are not obvious until they’re mature enough.

Owner: Thomas Jarrell

Key Takeaways

  • African Dwarf Frogs don’t reach the age of maturity until they’re age of nine months.
  • African dwarf frogs can grow to about 1.5 inches long.
  • The sexuality of a male ADF and a female ADF is easier to determine during their mating.
  • During mating season, the male ADF sings to attract the female ADF.
  • Their singing resembles “mood for love”. It can often be heard outside the tank and it sounds like faint humming or buzzing.
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The basic difference between male & female African Dwarf Frog are presented below:

SizeThey are not as big as the female when they’re matureUsually bigger than male
Leg lengthLonger front legsSlightly shorter front leg
Activityactive & territorial during mating seasonPassive
ReproductionHelps to fertilize the eggs with spermLays eggs after mating
Cloacal opening positionFurther from the bodyCloser to the body than males
Hind legMuscular and thickerLess muscular and thinner than males
two african dwarf frogs in tank
Owner: Vieno Carlos

How Do I Know the Sex of My African Dwarf Frog?

If you’re a newbie in determining the gender of your African Dwarf Frog, figuring out if it’s a male can be easiest for you. The male ADF will have a gland that resembles like a pimple on their armpits. This pimple can either be white, pink, grey or anything in between.

In the next paragraph, I’ll try to explain you a few ways you can determine the sex of your pet African Dwarf Frog. So, sit tight, as you’re going to learn some new aspects.

General Factors of Sexing an African Dwarf Frog:

1. Size

The size difference between male and female dwarf frogs cannot be noticeable until they reach the age of sexual maturity.  Female African Dwarf Frogs are usually a bit larger than the male ones. They become larger when they are carrying eggs.

2. Cloacle Folds

The Cloacle is the area where the waste from a frog’s body is eliminated. It is also the reproductive organ. Usually, the mature male frogs may have small, raised cloacle pads/folds on both sides of the vent/opening. The females don’t have it. Looking at the cloacle region can be a reliable method for determining the sex of African Dwarf Frog.

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3. Behavior

During breeding/mating season, the male African Dwarf Frogs become more aggressive in nature. This includes vocalization and attempts to mount a female for mating. In terms of behavior, the female is more passive.

4. Nuptial Pads

This is another thing that can be seen during breeding season. Nuptial pads are a kind of small, rough patches of skin. Male African Dwarf Frogs develop nuptial pads on their forearms. It is used to grip the female during mating. Of course, the female does not grow any nuptial pads in their lifetime.

5. Egg Laying

Female African Dwarf Frogs lay eggs, males do not. If you ever see any African Dwarf Frog laying eggs, know that it’s obviously a female. What the male frog does is, they release sperm all over those eggs in order to externally fertilize them.

multiple african dwarf frogs in a tank
Owner: Thomas Jarrell

Do African Dwarf Frogs Change Gender?

African Dwarf Frogs can never undergo through any kind of gender change in their lifetime. Moreover, they are quite distinctive when it comes to male & female sex. Like many other hermaphroditic creatures, they can’t possess both Male and Female organs.

What Does a Female African Dwarf Frog Look Like?

A female African Dwarf Frog can be distinguished from a male one by some physical characteristics. Usually, the female frogs are more robust than the males (they can grow upto 1.5-2 inches). They also have a cloacal papilla which is used for egg deposition. It is absent in male frogs. Also, during the breeding season, the female frog’s behavior changes a lot.

Can Female African Dwarf Frogs Sing?

Female ADFs do not sing. It’s the male frog who creates a vocalized sound during breeding season to attract the female. This vocalization is created by the movement of hind limbs against their body. The vocalization is also used to establish territory.

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Can Two Male African Dwarf Frogs Mate?

Certainly, two male African Dwarf Frogs cannot mate and reproduce. It’s because they’re lack of necessary reproductive organs for mating and fertilization. Usually, the female lay eggs after mating and the male frog fertilizes those eggs. It’s important to have both male and female African Dwarf Frogs together in order to breed them.

Final Words

By this time, you already know how to identify the sex of your pet African Dwarf Frog and answers to other relevant questions as well.

But always keep in mind that, those factors discussed above most possibly not be apparent in juvenile frogs. These frogs tend to show their sexuality more and more as they become mature or older and their distinctive features become more prominent.

We’ve learned many things alongside the sexing of African Dwarf Frogs, like, their reproductive system. Now, if you ever wonder that your pet female ADF is pregnant or not, you can always check this article out:

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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