Aromobatidae Grant, Frost, Caldwell, Gagliardo, Haddad, Kok, Means, Noonan, Schargel, and Wheeler, 2006

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Superfamily: Dendrobatoidea > Family: Aromobatidae
137 species

English Names

Cryptic Forest Frogs (Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 460).

Cryptic Poison Frog (Hedges, Powell, Henderson, Hanson, and Murphy, 2019, Caribb. Herpetol., 67: 7. [Unfortunately, this is a non-toxic clade–DRF]). 


Pacific slopes the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador; eastern slopes of the Andes from Venezuela to Bolivia, throughout the Amazonian region, and in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil; southern Nicaragua to Colombia.


See comment under Dendrobatidae, with which the literature of Aromobatidae was identical until the recent taxonomic revision by Grant, Frost, Caldwell, Gagliardo, Haddad, Kok, Means, Noonan, Schargel, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 299: 1-268. Lötters, Jungfer, Henkel, and Schmidt, 2007, Poison Frogs: 44-55, provided accounts and discussed the evidence for the phylogenetic placement of the family. Santos, Coloma, Summers, Caldwell, Ree, and Cannatella, 2009, PLoS Biol., 7(3: e1000056): 1-14, provided a discussion of phylogenetics and biogeography, disputed recognition of Aromobatidae at that rank, but corroborated the phylogenetic structure upon which this partition was based. They also presented in their tree (their Fig. S3A) the unexpected result of Allobates alagoanus (= Allobates olfersioides) as the sister taxon of all remaining aromobatids, but did not comment on this anomaly, which, if not due to some error, suggests that both Allobates and Allobatinae are paraphyletic with respect to Anomaloglossinae and Aromobatinae, both of which they recovered as monophyletic. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543-583, confirmed the monophyly of this group and its sister-taxon status of Dendrobatidae, although they did not include Allobates alagoanus, but found Rheobates as the sister taxon of all other aromobatids, therefore suggesting the paraphyly of Anomaloglossinae; they also adopted the taxonomy of Santos et al., 2009. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39-55, retained Aromobatidae and discussed the controversy as well as dispensing with subfamilies due to the apparent paraphyly of Allobates and Anomaloglossinae. These subfamilies are provisionally retained pending an overall analysis. Cole, Townsend, Reynolds, MacCulloch, and Lathrop, 2013, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 125: 317-578, provided identification keys and accounts for the species in Guyana. Sánchez, 2013, Zootaxa, 3637: 569–591, reported on comparative larval morphology. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Grant, Rada, Anganoy-Criollo, Batista, Dias, Jeckel, Machado, and Rueda-Almonacid, 2017, S. Am. J. Herpetol., 12 (Special Issue): 1–90, provided a detailed phylogenetic analysis and revisonary notes on the systematics of the group. 

Contained taxa (137 sp.):

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