Physalaemus Fitzinger, 1826

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Leptodactylidae > Subfamily: Leiuperinae > Genus: Physalaemus
50 species

Physalaemus Fitzinger, 1826, Neue Class. Rept.: 39. Type species: Physalaemus cuvieri Fitzinger, 1826, by monotypy.

Paludicola Wagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 206. Type species: Bufo albifrons Spix, 1824, by monotypy. Synonymy with Engystomops by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 275. Synonymy by Parker, 1927, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 20: 460.

PhysolaemusJan, 1857, Cenni Mus. Civ. Milano: 52. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Liuperus Cope, 1861 "1860", Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 12: 517. Type species: Liuperus biligonigerus Cope, 1860, by monotypy. Synonymy by Parker, 1927, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 20: 458.

Gomphobates Reinhardt and Lütken, 1862 "1861", Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., Ser. 2, 3: 172. Type species: Gomphobates notatus Reinhardt and Lütken, 1862 "1861", by monotypy. Synonymy (with Liuperus) by Cope, 1869 "1868", Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 20: 312. Synonymy (with Paludicola) by Peters, 1873, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1873: 617. Synonymy with Paludicola by Boulenger, 1885, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 16: 195. Synonymy by Parker, 1927, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 20: 456. Considered a synonym of Physalaemus (but employing the younger name) by Steindachner, 1867, Reise Österreichischen Fregatte Novara, Zool., Amph.: 11.

Eupemphix Steindachner, 1863, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Phys. Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 48: 188. Type species: Eupemphix nattereri Steindachner, 1863, by monotypy. Synonymy by Faivovich, Basso, Haddad, Rodrigues, Wheeler, Lavilla, and Ferraro, 2012, Cladistics, 28: 465. See comments by Segalla, Berneck, Canedo, Caramaschi, Cruz, Garcia, Grant, Haddad, Lourenço, Mângia, Mott, Nascimento, Toledo, Werneck, and Langone, 2021, Herpetol. Brasil., 10: 124.

Nattereria Steindachner, 1864, Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, 14: 279. Type species: Nattereria lateristriga Steindachner, 1864, by monotypy. Synonymy by Parker, 1927, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 20: 456.

English Names

Dwarf Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 83).

Foam Frogs (Lee, 2000, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Maya World: 80).


Northern and central Argentina; eastern Bolivia; Paraguay; Uruguay; Brazil and the Guianas; lowlands of southern Venezuela and llanos of southeastern Colombia.


Argentinian species discussed by Cei, 1980, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Monogr., 2. See Lynch, 1970, Copeia, 1970: 488–496, for discussion of species groups noted in accounts and the generic nomenclature. Amaral, Cardoso, and Recco-Pimentel, 2000, Caryologia, 53: 283–288, suggested on the basis of karyological evidence that Physalaemus biligonigerus and Physalaemus fuscomaculatus are closely related. See comment under Engystomops. Nascimento, Caramaschi, and Cruz, 2005, Arq. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, 63: 297–320, provided a phenetic study from which the species groups noted in the comments were drawn; in addition these authors removed Engystomops and Eupemphix from the synonymy of PhysalaemusLobo, 1995, Cuad. Herpetol., 9: 21–43, provided a tree of Pseudopaludicola that suggested the paraphyly of Physalaemus with respect to both Eupemphix and PseudopaludicolaCardozo and Suárez, 2012, Zootaxa, 3515: 75–82, reanalysed the data of Lobo (1995) the the inclusion of Physalaemus canga and confirmed this topology. Tomatis, Baldo, Kolenc, and Borteiro, 2009, J. Herpetol., 43: 555–560, reported on karyology in the Physalaemus henseli group and suggested that karyological evidence did not support the recognition of the Physalaemus henseli species group. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583,  suggested that recognition of Eupemphix renders Physalaemus paraphyletic, with at least Physalaemus signifer being more closely related to Eupemphix than to other species of Physalaemus; they also provided a tree of exemplar species and retained Eupemphix and a paraphyletic Physalaemus without comment. Ruggeri and Weber, 2012, Zootaxa, 3200: 1–26, reported on larval morphology within the taxon. Lourenço, Targueta, Baldo, Nascimento, Garcia, Andrade, Haddad, and Recco-Pimentel, 2015, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 92: 204–216, provided a phylogenetic analysis of the species based on molecular data and redelimited the Physalaemus cuvieri group. Guerra Batista, Morais, Gambale, Oda, and Bastos, 2017, Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ., 52: 103–111, reported on advertisement call variation in a comparative framework within the Physalaemus cuvieri clade. Grosso, Baldo, Cardozo, Kolenc, Borteiro, Oliveira, Bonino, Barrasso, and Vera Candioti, 2019, PLoS One, 14(6: e0218733): 1–37, reported on the phylogenetics and ontogenetics of early larval development in the genus. Hepp and Pombal, 2020, Zootaxa, 4725: 1–106, reviewed and compared the bioacoustical traits of the species in the genus. 

Contained taxa (50 sp.):

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