Astylosterninae Noble, 1927

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Arthroleptidae > Subfamily: Astylosterninae
30 species

Astylosterninae Noble, 1927, Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 30: 110. Type genus: Astylosternus Werner, 1898. Proposed as a subfamily of the Ranidae.

AstylosternidaeDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 352.

AstylosterniniFrost, 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: 234.

Leptodactylodontini Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 222. Type genus: Leptodactylodon Andersson, 1903. Tribe. 

English Names

None noted.


Subsaharan Africa.


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: 234, provided a taxonomic history and discussed phylogeny in the group, placing Arthroleptidae and Astylosternidae as tribes, Arthroleptini (Arthroleptis, Cardioglossa, and Scotobleps) and Astylosternini (Astylosternus, Leptodactylodon, Nyctibates, and Trichobatrachus) in a monophyletic Arthroleptinae and transferred Leptopelinae from Hyperoliidae to Arthroleptidae, as the sister subfamily of Arthroleptinae. Laurent, 1951, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 45: 119, included Arthroleptinae and Astylosterninae (and Hemisotidae and, provisionally, Scaphiophryninae) in his Hyperoliidae, which was suggested to be monophyletic. Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 159, retained astylosternines, arthroleptines, and hemisotines in Ranidae, as did most subsequent authors. Dubois, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 259, included Arthroleptinae with Astylosterninae in his Arthroleptidae (which was apparently intended to be paraphyletic), and excluded Hyperoliidae and Hemisotidae. Bogart and Tandy, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 81, suggested on the basis of karyology a common ancestry of arthroleptines with sooglossids. Subsequently, Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 34, placed Arthroleptinae, Astylosterninae, and Hyperoliinae (Hyperoliidae of this catalog) in an enlarged Arthroleptidae (the name of which has priority over Hyperoliidae). Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 305–352, changed the rank of these taxa from subfamilies to families (Arthroleptidae, Astylosternidae, and Hyperoliidae), apparently to deal with the possible paraphyly of Arthroleptidae sensu Dubois, 1987, 1992 (fide Ford and Cannatella, 1993, Herpetol. Monogr., 7: 94–117). Laurent, 1984, Alytes, 3: 97–111, suggested that Astylosterninae is most closely related to Hyperoliidae (Hyperoliinae in his usage). See Laurent, 1941, Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 34: 192–234, for discussion of subgeneric, generic, and subfamilial relationships. Laurent, 1984, Alytes, 3: 97–101, considered Astylosternini to be paraphyletic with respect to Hyperoliidae. Dubois, 1999, Alytes, 17: 90–91, provided tables of generic and family-group name priorities that will be very helpful to those undertaking revisions. Scott, 2005, Cladistics, 21: 523, placed Astylosternidae as a subfamily of Arthroleptidae (and considered the leptopelines as a family, Leptopelidae). Bossuyt, Brown, Hillis, Cannatella, and Milinkovitch, 2006, Syst. Biol., 55: 579–594, provided new evidence (albeit on much less dense taxonomic sampling) that Arthroleptinae of Frost et al. (2006) is paraphyletic with respect to Leptopelinae. Amiet, 1978 "1977", Ann. Fac. Sci. Cameroun, 23–24: 101–103, compared the genera of Astylosternini. Rödel and Bangoura, 2004, Tropical Zool., 17: 210, provided instructive comments regarding the taxonomy of this group in West Africa. Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 42, provided a key to the species of southern Africa, and Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 46–64, provided keys and accounts for the species of East Africa. van der Meijden, Vences, Hoegg, Boistel, Channing, and Meyer, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 44: 1017–1030, provided evidence that Arthroleptinae is paraphyletic with respect to Leptopelinae. Blackburn, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 49: 806–826, discussed phylogenetics of the group. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, considered their Astylosterninae to be the sister taxon of Leptopelinae + Arthroleptinae. Portik and Blackburn, 2016, Evolution, 70: 2017–2032, found only ambiguous evidence for the monophyly of Astylosterninae, with Leptodactyldon in some analyses forming the sister taxon of all other arthroleptids (including Artholeptinae and Leptopelinae) and in other forming part of a monophyletic Astylosterninae. Portik, Bell, Blackburn, Bauer, Barratt, Branch, Burger, Channing, Colston, Conradie, Dehling, Drewes, Ernst, Greenbaum, Gvoždík, Harvey, Hillers, Hirschfeld, Jongsma, Kielgast, Kouete, Lawson, Leaché, Loader, Lötters, van der Meijden, Menegon, Müller, Nagy, Ofori-Boateng, Ohler, Papenfuss, Rößler, Sinsch, Rödel, Veith, Vindum, Zassi-Boulou, and McGuire, 2019, Syst. Biol., 68: 866, confirmed the monophyly of the subfamily. 

Contained taxa (30 sp.):

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