Osteocephalus Steindachner, 1862

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Hylidae > Subfamily: Hylinae > Genus: Osteocephalus
28 species

Osteocephalus Fitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 30. Type species: Osteocephalus taurinus Fizinger, 1843 (a nomen nudum), by original designation.  

Osteocephalus Steindachner, 1862, Arch. Zool. Anat. Fisiol., Fasc. 1, 2: 77. Type species: Osteocephalus taurinus Steindachner, 1862, by subsequent designation of Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 149.

English Names

Slender-legged Treefrogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 61).


Coastal northern South America in Venezuela and the Guianas to the mouth of the Amazon and north-eastern Brazil (Piaui) in the East, to central Brazil (Mato Grosso) and central Bolivia in the south and to the eastern Andean slopes from Bolivia to Colombia up to about 2000 m elevation. 


See Trueb and Duellman, 1971, Occas. Pap. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas, 1: 1–47, for a review of this genus. See comment under Tepuihyla. Ron and Pramuk, 1999, Herpetologica, 55: 435, noted at a least three species remain undescribed the upper Amazon basin in Ecuador and Peru and that Osteocephalus was likely paraphyletic with respect to some group of other casque-headed treefrogs. Jungfer and Hödl, 2002, Amphibia-Reptilia, 23: 21–46, named one of these species and provided much useful comparative information on members of the genus. Lynch, 2002, Rev. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. Exact. Fis. Nat., 26: 289–292, commented on the relationships of this taxon. In Lophyohylini of Faivovich, Haddad, Garcia, Frost, Campbell, and Wheeler, 2005, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 294: 107–108. Moravec, Aparicio, Guerrero-Reinhard, Calderón, Jungfer, and Gvoždík, 2009, Zootaxa, 2215: 37–54, provided a tree for exemplars of the species and noted a rather large number of likely misidentifications associated with GenBank sequences. MacCulloch and Lathrop, 2009, R. Ontario Mus. Contrib. Sci., 4: 14, reported a likely undescribed species from Mount Ayanganna, Guyana. Ron, Toral, Venegas, and Barnes, 2010, ZooKeys, 70: 67–92, provided a molecular tree for nine species. Ron, Venegas, Toral, Read, Ortiz, and Manzano, 2012, ZooKeys, 229: 1–52, provided a revision of the Osteocephalus buckleyi group and a tree based on molecular evidence. Salerno, Ron, Señaris, Rojas-Runjaic, Noonan, and Cannatella, 2012, Evolution, 66:3000–3013, provided a molecular tree of the species. Jungfer, Faivovich, Padial, Castroviejo-Fisher, Lyra, Berneck, Iglesias, Kok, MacCulloch, Rodrigues, Verdade, Torres-Gastello, Chaparro, Valdujo, Reichle, Moravec, Gvoždík, Gagliardi-Urrutia, Ernst, De la Riva, Means, Lima, Señaris, Wheeler, and Haddad, 2013, Zool. Scripta, 42: 351–380, provided a phylogenetic analysis and revision. Dewynter, Marty, Courtois, Blanc, Gaucher, Martinez, and Fouquet, 2016, Cah. Fondation Biotope, 7: 1–16, provided an illustrated key to the species of French Guiana. Chasiluisa, Caminer, Varela-Jaramillo, and Ron, 2020, Neotropical Biodiversity, 6: 21–36, discussed the phylogenetic relationships (mtDNA tree, ML and Bayesian) within OsteocephalusBlotto, Lyra, Cardoso, Rodrigues, Dias, Marciano, Vechio, Orrico, Brandão, Assis, Lantyer-Silva, Rutherford, Gagliardi-Urrutia, Solé, Baldo, Nunes, Cajade, Torres, Grant, Jungfer, Silva, Haddad, and Faivovich, 2021, Cladistics, 37: 36–72, reported on the molecular phylogenetics of this group as well as its placement within the lophiohylines. Melo-Sampaio, Ferrão, and Moraes, 2021, Breviora, 572: 1–21, provided a tree of a 16S mtDNA and a distribution map for members of the Osteocephalus alboguttatus group. Venegas, García Ayachi, Toral, Malqui, and Ron, 2023, Evol. Syst., 7: 237–251, provided a molecular tree of species within the genus. Ortiz, Hoskin, Werneck, Réjaud, Manzi, Ron, and Fouquet, 2023, Organisms Divers. Evol., 23: 395–414, reported on the historical biogeography of Amazonia based on molecular evidence for Osteocephalus, Tepuihyla, and Dryaderces. 

Contained taxa (28 sp.):

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.