Ceratophryidae Tschudi, 1838

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ceratophryidae
12 species

Ceratophrydes Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 26. Type genus: Ceratophrys Wied-Neuwied, 1824.

CeratophreidinaBonaparte, 1850, Conspect. Syst. Herpetol. Amph.: 1 p.

CeratophreinaBonaparte, 1850, Conspect. Syst. Herpetol. Amph.: 1 p.

CeratophrydidaeCope, 1863, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 15: 50.

TelmatobiidaeMiranda-Ribeiro, 1920, Rev. Mus. Paulista, São Paulo, 12: 320.

CeratophriidaeWaite, 1927, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust., 51: 328.

CeratophryinaeParker, 1933, Trop. Agric., Trinidad, 10: 11.

CeratophryidaeParker, 1933, Trop. Agric., Trinidad, 10: 12; 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: 127.

CeratophrydaeLutz, 1954, Mem. Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, 52: 156.

CeratophryninaeReig, 1960, Acta Trab. Primer Congr. Sudam. Zool., 4: 117.

CeratophrynidaeReig and Limeses, 1963, Physis, Buenos Aires, 24: 125.

Stombinae Gallardo, 1965, Pap. Avulsos Zool., São Paulo, 17: 82. Type genus: Stombus Gravenhorst, 1825; Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 712.

CeratophrynaeCei, 1970, Acta Zool. Lilloana, 27: 183.

CeratophryniniLaurent and Teran, 1981, Fund. Miguel Lillo, Misc., 71: 7.

Lepidobatrachidae Bauer, 1987, Ripa, Netherlands, 1987 (February): 5. Type genus: Lepidobatrachus Budgett, 1899. 

Ceratophryoidea — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 176. 

Ceratophryoidae — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 176. Epifamily.

Lepidobatrachinae — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 176. Attributed to Bauer, 1987. 

English Names

Common Horned Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 71).


South America.


Lynch, 1971, Misc. Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas, 53: 1–238, considered Ceratophryinae (in his restricted sense) to be the primitive subfamily from which Telmatobiinae (in his sense as including Eleutherodactylinae [now the bulk of Brachycephaloidea]) was derived (a view that J.D. Lynch In Cannatella, 1985, in Frost (ed.), Amph. Species World: 235, subsequently rejected). Reig, 1972, in Blair (ed.), Evol. Genus Bufo: 14–36, and Estes and Reig, 1973, in Vial (ed.), Evol. Biol. Anurans: 11–63, considered Ceratophryinae to be a distinct family, Ceratophryidae, which gave rise directly to Bufonidae. Also considered a distinct family by Cei, 1980, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Monogr., 2: 216. Laurent, 1986, in Grassé and Delsol (eds.), Traite de Zool., 14: 687–689, transferred Macrogenioglottus, Odontophrynus, and Proceratophrys (as the tribe Odontophrynini) into this subfamily, with Ceratophrys (including Chacophrys) and Lepidobatrachus being retained in Ceratophrynini. See Maxson and Ruibal, 1988, J. Herpetol., 22: 228–231, for discussion of intra-subfamilial relationships. Haas, 2003, Cladistics, 19: 23–89, suggested that Ceratophryini and Odontophryini might not form a monophyletic group, each being closer to other groups of frogs; the former being closer to hylids and the latter being closer to other leptodactylids and bufonids. 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: 126, showed that Ceratophryini and Odontophryini were not closest relatives, the content of Odontophrynini being transferred to Cycloramphidae. These authors also reformulated the content of Ceratophryidae on phylogenetic content and recognized two subfamilies, Ceratophryinae (Atelognathus, Batrachyla, Ceratophrys, Chacophrys, and Lepidobatrachus) and Telmatobiinae (Telmatobius). Grant, Frost, Caldwell, Gagliardo, Haddad, Kok, Means, Noonan, Schargel, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 299: 126, reformulated the subfamilies, recognizing a third: Batrachylinae. Roelants, Gower, Wilkinson, Loader, Biju, Guillaume, Moriau, and Bossuyt, 2007, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 887–892, on the basis of less inclusive sampling, a smaller molecular dataset, and a different analytical method from Grant et al. (2006) found Ceratophryidae to not be demonstrably monophyletic, with Telmatobiinae and Batrachylinae, forming a monophyletic group, and Ceratophryinae possibly being distant from that group. Bossuyt and Roelants, 2009, in Hedges and Kumar (eds.), Timetree of Life: 357–364, treated these units as Telmatobiidae (including Batrachylinae and Telmatobiinae) and Ceratophryidae. Heinicke, Duellman, Trueb, Means, MacCulloch, and Hedges, 2009, Zootaxa, 2211: 1–35, suggested on the basis of considerable molecular evidence, but narrower taxon sampling than Frost et al. (2006) that Ceratophryidae is not monophyletic, with Batrachylus (Batrachylinae, presumably) possibly being outside of an inclusive monophyletic group containing Telmatobiinae and Ceratophryinae. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, regarded the three subfamilies as distinct families (Ceratophryidae, Batrachylidae, and Telmatobiidae) on the basis of the inferred lack of monophyly of Ceratophryidae (sensu lato), an arrangement followed here. Fabrezi, 2006, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 44: 153–166, reported on phylogenetics of this taxon. See comment under Batrachylidae. Fabrezi and Quinzio, 2008, Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 154: 752–780, reported on the morphological distinctiveness of this taxon. Ruane, Pyron, and Burbrink, 2011, J. Evol. Biol., 24 : 274–285, discussed phylogenetics and the effect of fossils on divergence times. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, commented on the fossil members of the taxon and reviewed the nomenclatural history of the family-group. Cole, Townsend, Reynolds, MacCulloch, and Lathrop, 2013, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 125: 317–578, provided identification keys and accounts for the species in Guyana. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Faivovich, Nicoli, Blotto, Pereyra, Baldo, Barrionuevo, Fabrezi, Wild, and Haddad, 2014, S. Am. J. Herpetol., 9: 207–227, reported on the molecular phylogenetics of the group. Streicher, Miller, Guerrero, Correa-Quezada, Ortiz, Crawford, Pie, and Wiens, 2018, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 119: 128–143, suggested on the basis of a molecular analysis of hyloid frogs that Ceratophryidae is part of a monophyletic group, along with Hemiphractidae and Hylidae (sensu lato), within a group they named Amazorana. Vieira, Montenegro, Santana, and Vieira, 2018, PLoS One, 13 (9: e0202813): 1–17, discussed the potential ranges of the species in light of predicted climate change. Gómez and Turazzini, 2021, J. Syst. Palaeontol., 19: 91–130, reported on the fossil record and phylogenetics of the family. 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 of this taxon. Barcelos, Almeida-Silva, Santos, and Verdade, 2022 "2021", J. Syst. Palaeontol., 19: 1449–1466, provided a phylogenetic analysis of the family, including extant and extinct species, and provided estimates of divergence times. Barcelos and Santos, 2023, Paleodivers. Palaeoenvironm., 103: 341–405, reviewed the fossil localities and the literature of the fossil history of this group in South America.  

Contained taxa (12 sp.):

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