Physalaemus ephippifer (Steindachner, 1864)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Leptodactylidae > Subfamily: Leiuperinae > Genus: Physalaemus > Species: Physalaemus ephippifer

Physolaemus ephippiger Jan, 1857, Cenni Mus. Civ. Milano: 52. Type(s): MSNM. Type locality: "Brasile". Nomen nudum, likely in this synonymy (DRF).

Leiuperus ephippifer Steindachner, 1864, Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, 14: 277. Type(s): NHMW, not traced. Type locality: "Parà und Caiçara [a locality in Mato Grosso, apparently in error]", Brazil. Restricted to "Belém, Pará", Brazil by Bokermann, 1966, Lista Anot. Local. Tipo Anf. Brasil.: 70.

Gomphobates ephippiferGünther, 1865, Zool. Rec., 1: 128.

Physalaemus ephippiferBokermann, 1966, Lista Anot. Local. Tipo Anf. Brasil.: 70.

English Names

Steindachner’s Dwarf Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 83).


Vicinity of Belem (Pará, Brazil), and a related but unnamed species in the Guianas to eastern Bolívar state, Venezuela. See comment for taxonomic issues. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Brazil

Likely/Controversially Present: French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela

Endemic: Brazil


In the Physalaemus cuvieri group of Nascimento, Caramaschi, and Cruz, 2005, Arq. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, 63: 308. See comments under Physalaemus enesefae and Physalaemus fischeri. Gorzula and Señaris, 1999 "1998", Scient. Guaianae, 8: 69-71, provided the Venezuela record. Ernst, Rödel, and Arjoon, 2005, Salamandra, 41: 179-194, suggested that Physalaemus had not been recorded for Guyana prior to their record of Physalaemus sp., so inclusion of that country in the range of this species may be in error. Kaefer, Erdtmann, and Lima, 2011, Zootaxa, 2929: 57–58, reported on the advertisement call. See account for Suriname population by Ouboter and Jairam, 2012, Amph. Suriname: 216-219. See Barrio-Amorós, Rojas-Runjaic, and Señaris, 2019, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 13 (1: e180): 99, for comments on range (with special reference to Venezuela) and literature, suggesting that most references to Physalaemus fischeri from eastern Venezuela are actually Physalaemus ephippifer. Further complicating the issue, Nascimento, Lima, Suárez, Baldo, Andrade, Pierson, Fitzpatrick, Haddad, Recco-Pimentel, and Lourenço, 2019, Frontiers in Genetics, 10 (719): 1–15, reported on the phylogenetics of the Physalaemus ephippifer–Physalaemus cuvieri group, suggesting that the Guianan/Venezuelan population is an unnamed species. Hepp and Pombal, 2020, Zootaxa, 4725: 1–106, discussed this species as part of a genus-wide discussion of bioacoustical traits among the species. Lescure, Dewynter, Frétey, Ineich, Ohler, Vidal, and De Massary, 2022, Bull. Soc. Herpetol. France, 181(5): 1–17, noted records from western Pará (Brazil), Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana correspond to an unnamed species, Physalaemus cf. ephippifer, as first noted by Courtois, Vilette, Dewynter, and Fouquet, 2020, Bull. Soc. Herpetol. France, 175: 57–59. Souza, Pierson, Tenório, Ferro, Gatto, Silva, Andrade, Suárez, Haddad, and Lourenço, 2024, Sci. Rep. (Nature, London), 14 (1119): 1–17, reported on the karyology of multiple contact zones among unnamed lineages of Physalaemus cuvieri and Physalaemus ephippifer in eastern Brazil. 

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