Arthroleptidae Mivart, 1869

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Arthroleptidae
153 species

English Names

None noted.


Subsaharan Africa.


Vences, Kosuch, Glaw, Böhme, and Veith, 2003, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 41: 205–213, presented data to suggest that Leptopelinae is more closely related to former Astylosternini (Arthroleptidae) than to Hyperoliidae, but retained the group within Hyperoliidae pending additional confirmation. They also suggested on the basis of 16S mDNA (their fig. 2) that Arthroleptis is not monophyletic; Zimkus and Blackburn, 2008, Breviora, 513: 9, noted in the Vences et al. (2003) paper a misidentification of a Phrynobatrachus sequence as Arthroleptis, which likely is responsible for this result. Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297, provided additional evidence, showed Leptopelinae to be the sister taxon of Arthroleptinae (in which they included the astylosternines), and transferred Leptopelinae from Hyperoliidae into Arthroleptidae, the sister taxon of Hyperoliidae. Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 13, considered Arthroleptinae, Astylosterninae, and Leptopelinae (Arthroleptidae of this catalog) to constitute three of six subfamilies of his enlarged Brevicipitidae, an arrangement that has enjoyed little acceptance. Bossuyt and Roelants, 2009, in Hedges and Kumar (eds.), Timetree of Life: 357–364, considered Astylosterninae (their exemplar being Trichobatrachus) and Arthroleptidae (including Leptopelinae) as distinct families apparently because of a suggested Mesozoic divergence. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, in their large molecular study suggested that Arthroleptidae of Frost et al., 2006, is paraphyletic with respect to Leptopelinae and they recognized Astylosterninae as a remedy for this. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, discussed the taxonomy of the group and did not recognize subfamilies due to evidentiary uncertainty. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 88–126, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Yuan, Zhang, Raxworthy, Weisrock, Hime, Jin, Lemmon, Lemmon, Holland, Kortyna, Zhou, Peng, Che, and Prendini, 2018, Natl. Sci. Rev., Beijing, 6: 10–14, reported on phylogenetics and biogeography as an element of Natatanura.    

Contained taxa (153 sp.):

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.