Noblella Barbour, 1930

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Superfamily: Brachycephaloidea > Family: Strabomantidae > Subfamily: Holoadeninae > Genus: Noblella
17 species

Noblella Barbour, 1930, Zoologica, New York, 11: 81. Type species: Sminthillus peruvianus Noble, 1921, by original designation.

Phyllonastes Heyer, 1977, Pap. Avulsos Zool., São Paulo, 31: 151. Type species: Euparkerella myrmecoides Lynch, 1976, by original designation. Synonymy by De la Riva, Chaparro, and Padial, 2008, Zootaxa, 1685: 67-68.

English Names

Heyer's Leaf Frogs (Phyllonastes [no longer recognized]: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 83).


Amazonian basin of southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, northeastern Bolivia and adjacent Brazil; eastern slopes of the Andes of southern Ecuador through Peru to Bolivia.


Removed from the synonymy of Phrynopus by De la Riva, Chaparro, and Padial, 2008, Zootaxa, 1685: 67–68, where it had been placed by Lynch, 1975, Occas. Pap. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas, 35: 8. See comment under Adelophryne. Duellman, 1991, Herpetologica, 47: 9–13, provided a key to the species of Phyllonastes. Lynch, 1986, J. Herpetol., 20: 423–431, suggested that Phyllonastes might be related to the Phrynopus peruvianus group. De la Riva and Köhler, 1998, J. Herpetol., 32: 328–329, suggested that the Phrynopus peruvianus group is likely paraphyletic with respect to Phyllonastes. Lehr, Fritzsch, and Müller, 2005, Zool. Scripta, 34: 593–603, confirmed the paraphyly of Phrynopus with respect to Phyllonastes, but did not act on this taxonomic problem. See comments under Phrynopus, Phrynopus bagrecito, and Phrynopus peruvianus. Cisneros-Heredia and Reynolds, 2007, Herpetozoa, Wien, 19: 184–186, mentioned at three unnamed species of Phyllonastes in Ecuador and two in Peru. See discussion by Hedges, Duellman, and Heinicke, 2008, Zootaxa, 1737: 102, who noted that the monophyly and relationships of this taxon remain unelucidated. Guayasamin and Terán-Valdez, 2009, Zootaxa, 2161: 47–59, provided a key to the species in the genus and discussed the ranges of the species. See Duellman and Lehr, 2009, Terrest.-breeding Frogs in Peru: 91–96, for brief accounts of the species in Peru. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, suggested that Noblella is polyphyletic, with one of their exemplars, Noblella peruviana being the sister taxon of Psychrophrynella and another, Noblella lochites, being the sister taxon of Barycholos. However, this specimen, KU 173495, has now been reidentified as Psychrophrynella usurpator (I. de la Riva and A. Catenazzi, personal commun., and  Padial, Grant, and Frost, 2014, Zootaxa, 3825: 10). Reyes-Puig, Reyes-Puig, Ron, Ortega, Guayasamin, Goodrum, Recalde, Vieira, Koch, and Yánez-Muñoz, 2019, PeerJ,  7 (e7405) : 1–26, presented molecular evidence of the non-monophyly of this genus, but hesitated to make the taxonomic remedy due to the lack of critical genetic samples (including the type species of Noblella, Noblella peruvianus). Reyes-Puig, Maynard, Trageser, Vieira, Hamilton, Lynch, Culebras, Kohn, Brito-M., and Guayasamin, 2020, Neotropical Biodiversity, 6: 164, provided molecular evidence of polyphyly of Nobella, with a clade composed of Noblella coloma, Noblella worleyae, (Noblella ochites, Noblella personina, Noblella heyeri, Noblella mymercoides, and Noblella naturetrekii being the sister taxon of Ischnocnema and one sample of Noblella myrmecoides and Noblella pygmaea being more closely relates to Psychrophrynella, but continued to resist making any taxonomic change. Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 435, resurrected Phyllonastes on the basis of Noblella peruviana not forming a monophyletic group with those species in their tree. Unfortunately, their example of Noblella peruviana is actually Psychrophrynella usurpator as noted above so they have yet to test the monophyly of NoblellaReyes-Puig, Guayasamin, Koch, Brito-Zapata, Hollanders, Costales, and Cisneros-Heredia, 2021, Acta Herpetol., Firenze, 16: 63–87, provided a tree of 16s mtDNA that suggests that evidence for the monophyly of Noblella is absent, in their analysis with a (non-significant) resolution of Noblella thiuni, Noblella madreselva, Noblella usurpator, Noblella glauca, Noblella losamigos, and Noblella pygmaea forming a monophyletic group that is the sister taxon of Microkayla + Qosqophryne and the remainder of Noblella falling outside of that group + Bryophryne. Portik, Streicher, and Wiens, 2023, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 188 (107907): 52, 67, also recovered Noblella as non-monophyletic with the type species (Noblella peruviana) being in one paraphyletic group, composed of Noblella madreselva, Psychrophrynella, Noblella pygmaea, Noblella losamigos, and Noblella thiuni) and a more distant group (Noblella personina, Noblella coloma, Noblella lochites, Noblella heyeri, and Noblella myrmecoides) being the sister taxon of Barycholos. They rendered no taxonomic remedy, although it would seem (DRF) that the name Phyllonastes may be available for the group that forms the sister taxon of Barycholos, should the other problems of monophyly be resolved. 

Contained taxa (17 sp.):

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