Amphibians

Species List

Salamanders                Frogs & Toads

Species List - Salamanders (Order Caudata)

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Old World Salamanders

Salamanders consist of 10 families and almost 600 described species of tailed amphibians with two or more usually four limbs. In general body form, they superficially resemble some of the earliest amphibians, though are considerably smaller. In fact they are unlikely to be closely related to these animals, and the modern salamander lineage evolved no earlier than around 310 million years ago, and likely within the Permian (299-250 Mya). Salamanders are distributed through all northern continents and are most diverse in temperate regions, particularly in North America. They are represented in the southern hemisphere only by species in northern South America.

Most salamanders are fully terrestrial and are often abundant in woodland, where it is estimated that their total mass may exceed that of birds and mammals combined. In Europe and North America, salamander species which have a largely aquatic adult stage during the breeding season are known as newts. Newt eggs and those of most other salamanders develop into carnivorous, aquatic tadpoles; in contrast to frog tadpoles, the forelegs develop before the hindlimbs, and prominent feathery gills are present throughout the aquatic stage of the life cycle. The terrestrial juvenile stage of these species is sometimes called an eft. By contrast, many salamanders have wholly terrestrial life cycles, in

which the larval stage is completed within an egg laid in a moist habitat on land, which then hatches a fully-formed

juvenile salamander. A number of species have adapted more fully still to a terrestrial lifestyle and give birth to live young. Conversely a small number of species, most famously the axolotl of central Mexico, are fully aquatic paedomorphs, bypassing the adult stage and reaching sexual maturity in their larval form.

Late-stage tadpole of a smooth or palmate newt.

As with other amphibians, salamanders breathe primarily through their skins, relying on gas exchange through the permeable surface to carry oxygen into the bloodstream. To a greater extent than other amphibians, salamanders' lungs are often reduced or completely absent. As gas exchange through the skin is inefficient with a large surface-volume body ratio and works most effectively when the skin is moist, such salamanders are small and restricted to damp habitats, especially the rainforests of Central and South America where these animals have been highly successful.

Although seemingly largely unaffected by the chytrid fungus implicated in catastrophic frog declines in the Americas and Australia, 50% of all salamanders are threatened with extinction through loss of habitat, pollution and overharvesting,. The Chinese and Japanese giant salamanders, the world's largest amphibians, are hunted for food throughout their range. The reliance of the largest group of caudates, the lungless salamanders, on moist environments may render this group especially susceptible to the effects of climate change.

OLD WORLD SALAMANDERS (SALAMANDRIDAE)

The most widely-distributed caudate family, associated primarily with Europe but ranging into North America and Asia. The Salamandridae contains all newts as well as many terrestrial salamanders, with more than 70 species overall. Mostly slender with long tails and well-developed limbs. Reproduction typically takes the form of internal fertilisation followed by the deposition of aquatic eggs. The European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is one of the few species in this order for which declines apparently due to chytrid fungus have been reported.

 

 

 

Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra
Pyrenean Brook Newt Calotriton asper

Palmate Newt

Lissotriton helveticus

Smooth Newt

Lissotriton vulgaris

Great Crested Newt

Triturus cristatus

 

 

Species List - Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

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Painted Frogs       Asian Toadfrogs        Australian Ground Frogs        Tree Frogs        Dwarf Frogs        Neotropical Frogs       

Poison Dart Frogs        True Toads        Narrow-mouthed Frogs        African Reed Frogs       Grassland Frogs         

Fork-tongued Frogs         Madagascar Frogs        Asian Tree Frogs        True Frogs       

 

Tailless amphibians are by far the most diverse group of living amphibians, and among the most diverse vertebrates, consisting of over 5,000 terrestrial, aquatic and semi-aquatic forms found in most regions of all continents except Antarctica. Frog diversity is greatest in the Neotropics, reflecting the evolutionary history of modern frog lineages, and in tropical regions of Asia. However, frogs are known from all areas of the temperate world and into the Arctic Circle. Remains from Madagascar and Poland indicate that ancestral frogs existed across the supercontinent of Pangaea by the end of the Triassic (250-200 Mya); however the majority of modern frogs are of more recent origin. It is likely that the two major lineages of modern frogs (the Hyloidea, containing tree frogs, true toads and most Neotropical frogs, and the Ranoidea, including true frogs, narrow-mouthed frogs, Asian tree frogs and allies) evolved in those parts of Gondwana that became South America and Africa/India-Madagascar respectively.

The common frog, a species whose range extends into the Arctic.

 

 

In the adult stage, anurans (a name which literally means 'without tail') all have four limbs, typically with varying degrees of webbing between the digits, prominent heads with distictly 'bulging' large eyes, short torsos, and no tails (the 'tail' of American tailed frogs is actually an extension of the reproductive organ). The hindlimbs are often considerably longer than the forelimbs. Anurans with 'warty' skin are often referred to as toads, although the names 'frog' and 'toad' are used variously to describe species within the same family or, occasionally, the same species. Despite their diversity and great differences in size, relative proportions and colouration, this frog body plan is extremely conservative and shows little variation from this general form.

 

Anuran diversity is at its greatest where it relates to reproduction and courtship. A frog's advertisement call, produced by pumping air into one or two vocal sacs, is specific to each species. In some cases a female's hearing may have evolved to be so fine-tuned that she is unable to hear sounds outside the frequency range of her species' vocalisations. Most temperate and many tropical frogs exhibit the most familiar amphibian life cycle. Males stationed around breeding sites attract mates, either singly or in congregations. Successful males then clasp the female in a mating embrace called amplexus, usually in the water, and fertilise a large mat or clump of eggs as they are deposited. These eggs develop through

                           a tadpole stage before undergoing metamorphosis into the adult form. Parents have no further involvement with

                           the development of their offspring.

Late-stage anuran tadpole.

 

Darksided chorus frogs in amplexus

 

Numerous other reproductive modes exist. Eggs are frequently laid out of but overhanging water, where they are protected from aquatic predators until tadpoles are ready to emerge and drop into water below. Some species construct foam nests either within or out of water to protect the eggs as they develop. Lacking the hard shell of other terrestrial vertebrate eggs, amphibian eggs may risk desiccation if laid on land, yet many frogs living in suitably damp environments lay terrestrial eggs that develop directly into young frogs, with no tadpole stage. Approximately 30% of all frogs exhibit some form of parental care, which ranges from simply guarding, and on occasion rehydrating, a clutch of eggs until they hatch, through to transferring young to individual nursery ponds, where the male encourages females to deposit sterile eggs as food for the growing tadpole. The gastric-brooding frogs of eastern Australia (Rheobatrachus) carried eggs in their stomachs as they developed through the tadpole stage, somehow deactivating their gastric juices during this period. Both species became extinct in the 1980s, apparently early victims of the chytrid fungus outbreak.

The Chantaburi warted treefrog lays small clutches of large eggs out of water.

 

 

Frogs exhibit a far greater range of environmental tolerances than either salamanders or caecilians, and correspondingly occur in a wider variety of habitats. The vast majority are confined to the tropics, where most are associated with forest habitats; however, some species occur in the high Andes while a number have become adapted for life in deserts. The Australian water-holding frogs (Cyclorana) can store water reserves for several years by sealing themselves into a cocoon to prevent evaporation. These frogs were traditionally an important source of water for Aboriginal peoples. Many frogs migrate far from aquatic habitats outside the breeding season; species exhibiting terrestrial development may never visit a waterbody. Arboreal frogs often have adaptations which enable them to survive basking in direct sunlight in the forest canopy. A number of frogs thrive in disturbed areas created by humans, including garden ponds, agricultural land and urban areas. For the most part, these animals benefit humans by eating crop pests and other insects; some larger human-associated Asian species (Hoplobatrachus) also provide a food source themselves. Infamously, however, at least two species have become major international pests in their own right: the cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia, and the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbianus) in much of Europe. This latter species preys on native amphibians and is a carrier species for the lethal chytrid fungus.

Despite their range of adaptations, many frogs are poorly-suited to survive rapid environmental change. Frogs' extraordinary diversity is related to their naturally poor ability to disperse through the landscape and the corresponding tendency of many species to occupy small ranges. It is necessary to preserve both aquatic larval and adult terrestrial habitat for many species. Forest clearance exposes breeding sites to desiccation, all the more pronounced under climate change projections, as well as removing foraging and shelter sites. Larval stages of many species are highly susceptible to waterborne pollutants. It is this, together with the unhappy coincidence that frog diversity is most concentrated in the very tropical forests which are at greatest risk from habitat destruction, which has resulted in amphibians being more heavily threatened than either birds or mammals.

 

PAINTED FROGS (ALYTIDAE)

A small family whose 12 living species, unusually, are confined to southern and central Europe, and adjacent areas of Africa and the Middle East. Physiologically primitive, painted frogs are unable to project their disc-shaped tongues to catch prey in the manner typically associated with other frogs. Just over half the species (genus Discoglossus) exhibit a typical aquatic breeding mode and spend most of their time in water, however midwife toads (Alytes) are predominantly terrestrial, laying eggs on land which the male carries wrapped around his hindlegs as they mature, depositing them in shallow water shortly before hatching. Tadpoles can grow to large sizes and often mature rapidly, although some mountain populations of common midwife toad (Alytes obstretricans) may take two or three years to reach maturity. Europe's most endangered amphibian, the Majorcan midwife toad (Alytes millitensis) is a member of this family, and is presently at the centre of the first attempt to completely eradicate the pathogenic chytrid fungus from its island home.

Common Midwife Toad

Alytes obstetricans

 

ASIAN TOADFROGS (MEGOPHRYIDAE)

A family confined to mainland and island Southeast Asia, typified by stream-breeding woodland frogs with surface-feeding tadpoles. Small, stout terrestrial frogs with unwebbed fingers and partially-webbed toes. Some of the 84 species are noted for highly cryptic body colouration that closely resembles forest leaf litter. Some have fleshy "horns" above the eye bulge, and are consequently known as horned frogs (not to be confused with the Neotropical horned toads).

 

 

Malaysian Horned Frog

Megophrys nasuta

 

AUSTRALIAN GROUND FROGS (LIMNODYNASTIDAE)

Common terrestrial ground and pool frogs of Australia, a total of over 80 species. Mostly with robust bodies, short legs and broad heads. Most are small marsh or woodland frogs, and breeding mode is variable. Some species are adapted for life in deserts, and may have 'spades' on their feet to aid in burrowing. Most lack expanded toe discs. A number of species lay eggs in foam nests that float on the water surface. These frogs occur throughout Australia and as far north as New Guinea, though are generally uncommon and have restricted distributions on this island.

 

 

Ornate Burrowing Frog

Opisthodon ornatus

Northern Barred Frog

Mixophyes coggeri

 

TREE FROGS (HYLIDAE)

The Hylidae is by far the largest amphibian family, containing over 830 species with a predominantly Gondwanan distribution centred in South America, but also represented by the arboreal frogs of Europe and North America. Most species are slender-bodied with long limbs, elongated digits and expanded toe discs, an adaptation for climbing. Terrestrial Australian forms of the subgenus Cyclorana are an unusual exception, lacking toe discs and more closely resembling limnodynastid burrowing frogs. Reproduction is most commonly the typical anuran mode, with large clutches of eggs laid in standing water, but a great diversity of life history strategies exists in this family.

 

White's Tree Frog

Litoria caerulea

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog

Litoria fallax

Green-eyed Tree Frog

Litoria genimaculata

Dainty Green Tree Frog

Litoria gracilenta

Bumpy Rocket Frog

Litoria inermis

White-lipped Tree Frog

Litoria infrafrenata

Stony Creek Frog

Litoria jungguy

Waterfall Frog

Litoria nannotis

Striped Rocket Frog

Litoria nasuta

Common Mist Frog

Litoria rheocola

Desert Tree Frog

Litoria rubella

Northern Laughing Tree Frog

Litoria rothi

Stony Creek Frog

Litoria wilcoxi

Northern Red-eyed Tree Frog

Litoria xanthomera

Superb Collared Frog

Litoria (Cyclorana) brevipes

Eastern Snapping Frog

Litoria (Cyclorana) novaehollandeae

Orange-legged Monkey Frog

Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis

Painted Tree Frog

Tlalocohyla picta

Paradox Frog

Pseudis paradoxa

 

DWARF FROGS (LEIUPERIDAE)

A small, recently recognised family extending through the Americas from southern Mexico to Argentina. Over half the species belong to the genus Physalaemus, a group of small terrestrial frogs that typically deposit large clutches of eggs in foam nests.

Menwig Frog Physalaemus albonotatus

 

NEOTROPICAL FROGS (LEPTODACTYLIDAE)

A small family as now recognised, with a wide distribution throughout the Neotropics. The majority of species are terrestrial pool- or stream-breeders, in many cases tolerant of disturbance, and lay eggs in large foam nests on or near the water surface. Many species now assigned to other Neotropical families were until recently included within this family, which under that system contained over 1,200 species.

Cei's White-lipped Frog Leptodactylus chaquensis
Marbled White-lipped Frog Leptodactylus elenae

 

POISON DART FROGS (DENDROBATIDAE)

A moderately large family of small terrestrial, mostly diurnal species found throughout the Neotropics. Typically characterised by slender bodies with vivid contrasting warning colours and patterning. This striking appearance typically signals often highly toxic skin secretions, long used as a source of poison for blowpipe darts by indigenous peoples. However, not all forms are either brightly coloured or toxic. Most of the 200 species lay small numbers of terrestrial eggs. A number exhibit a degree of parental care that extends into the larval stage, a well-known example being the strawberry poison dart frog (Oophaga pumilio), which carries individual tadpoles on its back to nursery ponds in bromeliads  In many species, frogs engage in aggressive courtship battles with rival males.

 
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Oophaga pumilio
Green-and-black Poison Dart Frog  Dendrobates auratus

 

TRUE TOADS (BUFONIDAE)

Amphibians are often thought of as being intermediate between fully-terrestrial and fully-aquatic animals, occupying a primitive position within the vertebrate tree of life. In fact the majority of modern amphibian lineages emerged recently in evolutionary terms, and are not directly related to either fish or reptiles. Both fully-terrestrial and fully-aquatic forms exist but most amphibians do possess adult stages tied to terrestrial environments and wholly-aquatic larvae. Far from being 'primitive', this complex life cycle is an adaptation which allows amphibians to exploit the resources available in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and which limits competition between young and adult life stages. The metamorphosis from a tadpole to an adult amphibian is the most complex developmental process is any vertebrate, and although not all amphibians undergo metamorphosis, it is a key distinguishing feature of this group. As a testament to the success of this strategy modern amphibians occur throughout the world; and in habitats ranging from glacial lakes to deserts, although their intolerance for saltwater has made amphibians poor colonisers of oceanic islands. Two species of frog even occur within the Arctic Circle. Amphibians are especially diverse in their reproductive behaviour and many exhibit some form of parental care, ranging from guarding clutches of eggs from predators to pair bonds in which animals provide food for their developing young. 

Fry's whistling frog exhibits parental care.

Although frogs and salamanders are familiar creatures, and are  valuable to humans as food, for controlling insect pests and as a source of toxins and medicinal compounds, amphibians are the most poorly-known terrestrial vertebrate group. Over half of the approximately 6,500 known species have been described within the past half-century, including almost a thousand between 2005 and 2008. At the same time, amphibians are now known to be the most threatened of all terrestrial vertebrates, with between a third and a half of species threatened by habitat loss, climate change, pollution and infectious disease. Amphibians' glandular skin and reliance on both terrestrial and aquatic environments is believed to make them particularly susceptible to environmental change. Over 100 species are thought to have become extinct since the 1970s, many succumbing to an emerging fungal disease, although habitat loss remains the greatest cause of amphibian declines. 2008 was designated the Year of the Frog, and amphibians are becoming increasingly important to conservation planning, making it more important than ever to raise awareness of their plight.

A familiar, wide-ranging family found almost worldwide, with its greatest diversity in the Asian and American tropics. The majority of the nearly 500 species are fully terrestrial. Most exhibit the familiar stout, short-legged body form, warty skin and hopping locomotion of the genus Bufo. The Neotropical harlequin frogs (Atelopus sp.) more closely resemble tree frogs. Many species are adaptable and common in areas of human disturbance; however this is also the family with the largest recorded number of 'mystery' declines and extinctions, those which appear to have happened in undisturbed, protected areas. Many if not most of these declines are attributable to chytrid fungus, casualties of which include the Costa Rican golden toad (extinct), Panamanian golden frog (extinct in the wild) and the Kihansi spray toad from Tanzania (possibly extinct in the wild). Clutch sizes in some species of terrestrial toads are among the highest known for any vertebrates.

 

 
Cane Toad Rhinella marina
Common Asiatic Toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus
Common Toad Bufo bufo  
Gulf Coast Toad  Incilius valliceps

 

NARROW-MOUTHED FROGS (MICROHYLIDAE)

A large family of over 400 species largely confined to the tropics, but with some North American representatives in southern states. Microhylids are commonly terrestrial among leaf litter and active at night. Many species in the Neotropics, Australia, New Guinea and Madagascar are rainforest specialists; by contrast in Southeast Asia some species are highly abundant in disturbed habitats. Most species have short limbs, stout bodies and small heads, with webbing largely or completely absent. Arboreal forms may have small toe discs. Many burrowing species are notably rotund. Microhylids are most active following heavy rains, and exhibit a range of breeding modes from full terrestrial development to pool-breeding.

 

 

 
Inornate Froglet Micryletta inornata
White-spotted Humming Frog  Chiasmocleis allopunctata
Two-coloured Oval Frog Elachistocleis bicolor
Asian Banded Bullfrog  Kaloula pulchra
Striped Spadefoot Froglet  Calluella guttulata
Noisy Froglet Microhyla butleri
Darksided Chorus Frog  Microhyla heymonsi
Ornate Chorus Frog Microhyla fissipes
Painted Chorus Frog Microhyla pulchra
Northern Whistling Frog Austrochaperina fryi
Robust Whistling Frog  Austrochaperina robusta
Rattling Nursery Frog Cophixalus hosmeri
Creaking Frog  Cophixalus infacetus
Mountaintop Nursery Frog Cophixalus monticola
Ornate Nursery Frog  Cophixalus ornatus

 

AFRICAN REED FROGS (HYPEROLIIDAE)

Reed frogs fill the niche that in the Americas is occupied by hylid and in Asia by rhacophorid tree frogs. These are the common arboreal frogs of Africa, where they have diversified into over 200 species in 17 genera. Elsewhere, they occur only in Madagascar and the Seychelles, each of which has an endemic genus. Reed frogs broadly resemble tree frogs from other parts of the world, but are unique in possessing a gland on the throat. Most species are small, but some reach 80 mm in length. Habits and reproductive strategies are rather varied within the family; several are terrestrial, and include both forms that hop and those that walk or run in a manner more characteristic of toads. At least one species specialises in eating snails, and another is the only known terrestrial frog to prey on the eggs of other anurans. Hyperoliids commonly breed in water, however a number construct foam nests and species of Afrixalus affix eggs to vegetation before folding over and gluing leaves into a nest. Reed frog tadpoles develop in standing water, and characteristically have large dorsal fins on the tail.

 
Betsileo Shrub Frog Heterixalus betsileo

 

GRASSLAND FROGS (PTYCHADENIDAE)

A family of sub-Saharan Africa, although members of the genus Ptychadena extend into the Nile Valley region of Egypt. Other members of this genus also occur in Madagascar, the Seychelles and the Mascarene Islands; long thought to be introductions, genetic evidence suggests that the Madagascan species at least is a native, endemic form. Long regarded as part of the family Ranidae, Ptychadenidae has only recently been recognised as a family, and unifying features of the group are poorly-known. Ptychadenids resemble 'true' frogs in both body form and habit, having a typical terrestrial-aquatic lifestyle and, in all known cases, laying eggs as a film on the water surface. These animals may be very common in disturbed areas, as is the case for many ranids elsewhere in the world.

Madagascar Common Frog Ptychadena madagascariensis

 

FORK-TONGUED FROGS (DICROGLOSSIDAE)

A family composed of predominantly Asian pool, grass and forest frogs formerly included within the Ranidae. It was distinguished largely on the basis of genetic evidence, and so exhibits few if any consistent morphological differences with other "ranid" frogs. The name "forked-tongued frogs" is a literal translation of the family name, but this characteristic is not universal within the family. Species of Limnonectes are highly diverse in Asian rainforests, while a number of large disturbance-tolerant species in the genus Hoplobatrachus are harvested for human consumption. The mangrove frog (Fejervarya cancrivora) is among very few frogs known to be tolerant of saltwater, and in mangrove habitats these animals may even immerse themselves in briny pools to evade predators. Breeding modes are diverse, with many forest species being stream-breeders and others laying eggs on the ground close to water.

 

 

 
Capped Frog  Limnonectes gyldenstolpei
Koh Chang Frog Limnonectes kohchangae
Lesser Marsh Frog  Limnonectes paramacrodon
Mangrove Frog  Fejervarya cancrivora
Asian Grass Frog  Fejervarya limnocharis
Marten's Puddle Frog  Occidozyga martensi

 

MADAGASCAR FROGS (MANTELLIDAE)

Bright-eyed Frogs            Mantellinae

Mantellids are descended from the most successful group of amphibians to have colonised Madagascar; over 170 species have already been classified, and many more cryptic forms are known to occur on the island. The majority are tied to the rainforest habitats that harbour Madagascar's greatest diversity of amphibians, but they are known from all habitats and some may tolerate a degree of disturbance. Bright-eyed frogs (subfamily Boophinae) very closely resemble rhacophorid tree frogs, and the two families are united as sister groups by certain skeletal features. These frogs are arboreal and deposit eggs in water. Habits and breeding mode are more variable within the major mantellid lineage (subfamily Mantellinae); most breed away from water, several exhibit direct development, and at least one species of Mantella is known to raise individual tadpoles in the leaf axils of bromeliads and to exhibit parental care, a reproductive strategy best-known from the superficially similar poison dart frogs of the Neotropics. Although the vast majority of mantelline frogs are small to medium-sized, cryptically-coloured nocturnal species, the dozen species of often brightly-coloured mantella are this family's best-known representatives, being popular in the pet trade and potentially a valuable export for Madagascar. In their natural state, however, most mantellas have rather restricted ranges and several are threatened by habitat loss.

Bright-eyed Frogs (Subfamily Boophinae)

These frogs get their common name by their especially large eyes, which reflect light well at night and make them easy to spot using a torch. These are Madagascar's tree frogs, over 50 species which occur primarily in rainforest but with broad habitat tolerances as a group, with one lineage penetrating into the dry northwest. Boophids are often rather large mantellid frogs, with the largest forms exceeding 80 mm in length, and a number are spectacularly-coloured in shades of green and red or pink.

 

Eastern White-lipped Tree Frog

Boophis albilabris

Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog Boophis madagascariensis
Bright-eyed Frog Boophis sp. aff. madagascariensis

 

 

Subfamily Mantellinae

 

This is the largest radiation of frogs in Madagascar, with over 100 described species. It includes Madagascar's largest native frogs, the stream frogs Mantidactylus grandidieri and M. guttulatus, both of which can exceed 100 mm in length, but most species are considerably smaller. Mantelline taxonomy is complex, with numerous recognised subgenera within the genera Mantidactylus and Guibemantis, which may reflect differences in arboreality or behaviour. Typically mantellines are terrestrial forest species, often associated with streams, although species of Guibemantis and Spinomantis are among a number of tree-dwelling forms.

 

Free Madagascar Frog

Guibemantis liber

Madagascar Glass Frog Guibemantis pulcher
Frog Guibemantis (Duboimantis) sp.
Frog Guibemantis (Vatomantis) sp.
Grandidier's Stream Frog Mantidactylus grandidieri
Frog Mantidactylus sp.
Frog Mantidactylus sp.
Tree Frog Spinomantis aglavei

 

ASIAN TREE FROGS (RHACOPHORIDAE)

The typical tree frogs of Asia and southern Africa, represented by around 300 species. These forms closely resemble arboreal hylid frogs in body form, with long, slender limbs, forward-facing eyes and prominent toe discs. Webbing is usually extensive, and in a number of Asian species of 'flying frog' is used as an aide to gliding flight. These frogs generally lay eggs out of water, often protected within a foam nest, and usually with an aquatic tadpole stage, with the exception of the diverse genus Philautus. These frogs undergo direct development. Parental care is rare among rhacophorids, but nest-guarding behaviour is known from several species.

 

 

 

 

Chantaburi Warted Tree Frog Theloderma stellatum
Common Bush Frog  Polypedates leucomystax
Hansen's Bush Frog Chiromantis hansenae
Nong Khor Bush Frog Chiromantis nongkhorensis

 

TRUE FROGS (RANIDAE)

The most widely-distributed anuran family, containing the only two species of frog that range into the Arctic Circle as well as many forms found in temperate and tropical regions of all continents aside from Antarctica. The family is absent only from temperate and western tropical Australia and from South America. Ranids are the common, familiar pond frogs of the Northern Hemisphere; most are terrestrial or semi-aquatic and though principally nocturnal many are also active by day. Most exhibit the 'typical' anuran mode of reproduction, laying large jelly-covered egg masses on the surface of ponds and streams that develop into aquatic tadpoles. The typical body form is streamlined, with long limbs and prominent pointed heads, but this is not universal.

 

 

Common Frog

Rana temporaria

Brown Swamp Frog

Hylarana baramica

Green Paddy Field Frog

Hylarana erythrea

Yellow Frog

Pelophylax lateralis

Black-spotted Rock Frog

Staurois natator

 

TAXONOMIC NOTE

The family divisions, species names and arrangement of families presented here is based on that of Frost et al (2006) to reflect our best understanding of evolutionary relationships. This taxonomy, however, remains highly contentious among practising ecologists, particularly the subdivision of the large genera Bufo and Rana, as there is a widespread feeling that such wide-ranging changes to species names represent a recipe for confusion.

 

REFERENCES

 

Wikipedia, Hyperoliidae

Arnold, N. & Ovenden, D. 2002 Collins Field Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe Collins, London: 288pp

Faivovich, J., Haddad, C.F.B., Garcia, P.C.A., Frost, D.R., Campbell, J.A. and Wheeler, W.C. 2005 Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 294: 1-240

Frost, Darrel R. 2008. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.2 (15 July, 2008). American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

Frost et al. 2006 The Amphibian Tree of Life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370

Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (eds.) 2002 The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 228pp

San Mauro, D., Vences, M., Alcobendas, M., Zardoya, R. and Meyer, A. 2005 Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea The American Naturalist 165: 590-599