Bombinatoridae Gray, 1825

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Bombinatoridae
9 species

Bombinatorina Gray, 1825, Ann. Philos., London, Ser. 2, 10: 214. Type genus: Bombinator Merrem, 1820.

BombinatoroideaFitzinger, 1826, Neue Class. Rept.: 36. Explicit family.

BombinatoridaeGray, 1831, Zool. Misc., Part 1: 38.

BombinatoresTschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 26; Leunis, 1844, Synops. Drei Naturr., Zool., Ed. 1: 146.

Bombitatores Fitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 32. Type genus: Bombitator Wagler, 1830 (= emendation of Bombinator Merrem, 1820). Objective synonym of Bombinatorina Gray, 1825; see Wagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 206; Dubois, 1987, Alytes, 6: 56-68.

BombinatoridaBayer, 1885 "1884", Abh. K. Böhm. Ges. Wiss., Prague, 12: 18.

Bombininae Fejérváry, 1922 "1921", Arch. Naturgesch., Abt. A,, 87: 25. Type genus: Bombina Oken, 1816. Synonymy by Dubois, 1983, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 52: 271; Dubois, 1987, Alytes, 6: 56-68.

BombinidaeTamarunov, 1964, in Orlov (ed.), Osnovy Paleontologii, 12: 126.

BombinatorinaeDubois, 1983, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 52: 271; Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 7.

BombinatoridaeFord and Cannatella, 1993, Herpetol. Monogr., 7: 94-117.

BombinatoroidiaDubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 7. Epifamily.

BombinatoroideaDubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 7. Superfamily.

English Names

Firebelly Toads (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 38).


France and Italy east to eastern Russia and Turkey, China, Korea, and Vietnam; Borneo (central Kalimantan, Indonesia), and the Philippines.


See Dubois, 1984, Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris, A—Zool., 131: 1–64, and Dubois, 1987, Alytes, 6: 56–68, for discussion of family-group nomenclature (in the sense of Bombinatoridae being included within former Discoglossidae). See comments under Alytidae for access to literature on phylogeny of the group. Lanza, Cei, and Crespo, 1975, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 9: 153–162, and Lanza, Cei, and Crespo, 1976, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 10: 311–314, considered, on the basis of immunological evidence, that Discoglossus should be maintained in Discoglossidae while Alytes and Bombina should be placed in a distinct family, Bombinidae; Barbourula was not assigned to family. (This relationship was also consistent with a study of precopulatory behavior by Bosch and Boyero, 2003, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 41: 145–151.) Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 12, suggested that Alytes should be placed in a distinct subfamily of his Discoglossidae, Bombinatorinae Gray, 1825, along with Bombina. Ford and Cannatella, 1993, Herpetol. Monogr., 7: 94–117, subsequently recognized Bombinatoridae for Bombina and Barbourula, but retained Alytes in a putatively monophyletic Discoglossidae (now Alytidae) along with Discoglossus, with Discoglossidae and Bombinatoridae being suggested to be only distantly related. Osteology of this family was discussed by Friant, 1960, Acta Zool., Stockholm, 41: 113–139. Estes and Sanchíz, 1982, J. Vert. Paleontol., 2: 18, discussed relationships within the family. Accounts and keys to most of the genera were supplied by Laurent, 1986, in Grassé and Delsol (eds.), Traite de Zool., 14. Roelants and Bossuyt, 2005, Syst. Biol., 54: 111–126, and 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: 1–370, provided further molecular evidence that Bombinatoridae is the sister taxon of Alytidae, thereby vitiating the rationale for recognizing the two units as families. Bossuyt and Roelants, 2009, in Hedges and Kumar (eds.), Timetree of Life: 357–364, suggested that Bombinatoridae diverged from Alytidae (Discoglossidae + Alytidae in their usage) in the late Triassic, while Blackburn, Bickford, Diesmos, Iskandar, and Brown, 2010, PLoS One, 5 (8: e 12090): 1–8, suggested a Jurassic divergence. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed the placement of Bombinatoridae as the sister taxon of Alytidae (their Alytidae + Discoglossidae). Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, discussed the taxonomic history of this taxon as well as the fossil taxa associated with it. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Fei and Ye, 2016, Amph. China, 1: 424–445, provided accounts, photographs, and range maps for the Chinese species. Roček, Baleeva, Vazeille, Bravin, Van Dijk, Nemoz, Přikryl, Smirina, Boistel, and Claessens, 2016, Russ. J. Herpetol., 23: 163–194, reported on the cranial anatomy and the relevance of this to the phylogeny of basal frogs. Blotto, Pereyra, Grant, and Faivovich, 2020, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 443: 31, discussed possible morphological synapomorphies of the hand and foot anatomy for this group. Elias-Costa, Araujo-Vieira, and Faivovich, 2021, Cladistics, 37: 498–517, discussed the evolution of submandibular musculature optimized on the tree of Jetz and Pyron, 2018, Nature Ecol. & Evol., 2: 850–858, which provided morphological synapomorphies for Bombinatoridae + Alytidae.  

Contained taxa (9 sp.):

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