"Elachistocleis ovalis" (Schneider, 1799)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Microhylidae > Subfamily: Gastrophryninae > Genus: Elachistocleis > Species: "Elachistocleis ovalis"

Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, Hist. Amph. Nat.: 131. Type(s): "Musei Ducalis Brunovicensis", "Museo Barbyensi", "Gronovius Musei" and frogs illustrated by Gronovius, 1763, Zoophyl. Gronov.: no. 65, and Seba, 1734, Locuplet. Rer. Nat. Thesaur. Descript. Icon. Exp. Univ. Phys. Hist., 2: Pl. 37, fig. 3, by original designation; Daudin, 1802 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Rain. Gren. Crap., Quarto: 92, and Daudin, 1803 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Gen. Part. Rept., 8: 187, reported the holotype to be in the collection of the "duc de Brunswick", the current status of this specimen not known. Type locality: Not stated. See discussion by Lavilla, Vaira, and Ferrari, 2003, Amphibia-Reptilia, 24: 269–284.

Bufo ovalisDaudin, 1802 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Rain. Gren. Crap., Quarto: 92.

Engystoma ovalisFitzinger, 1826, Neue Class. Rept.: 65; Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 51. (Disagreement in gender.)

Dactylethra ovalisCuvier, 1829, Regne Animal., Ed. 2, 2: 112, by implication (see Cuvier, 1831, Animal Kingdom (M'Murtrie), 2: 84).

Microps ovalisWagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 200.

Engystoma ovale — Hensel, 1867, Arch. Naturgesch., 33: 140; Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 216. 

Microps unicolor Wagler, 1828, Isis von Oken, 21: 744. Holotype: RMNH. Type locality: "unbekannt" (= unknown). Reported by XXX as a substitute name for Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, by XXX, but this is incorrect. Synonymy by Wagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 200; Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86; Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: 741.

Stenocephalus microps Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86. Type(s): RMNH. Type locality: not designated. Possibly a substitute name for Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, and Microps unicolor Wagler, 1828. Synonymy by Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86; Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: 741.

Engystoma micropsDuméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: 744; Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920, Rev. Mus. Paulista, São Paulo, 12: 282.

Gastrophryne microps — Stejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 166.

Synapturanus microps — Bokermann, 1966, Lista Anot. Local. Tipo Anf. Brasil.: 38.

Engystoma ovale var. puncticulatum Steindachner, 1902, Denkschr. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 72: 110. Holotype: Not located; not in ZSM according to Glaw and Franzen, 2006, Spixiana, München, 29: 183, and not noted in recent NHMW type lists. Type locality: "Bodega Central am Rio Magdalena", Colombia. See comments by Glaw and Franzen, 2006, Spixiana, München, 29: 183. Description does not appear in Steindachner, 1901, Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 38: 194, contrary to other authors.

Gastrophryne ovalisStejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 166.

Engystoma ovalisNieden, 1926, Das Tierreich, 49: 66.

Elachistocleis ovale ovaleParker, 1927, Occas. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 187: 4.

Elachistocleis ovaleMertens, 1930, Folia Zool. Hydrobiol., Riga, 1: 163.

English Names

Oval Frog (Shaw, 1802, Gen. Zool., 3(1): 111).

Common Oval Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 89).

Slate Burrowing Frog (Eterovick and Sazima, 2004, Anf. Serra do Cipó: 115).

Northern Oval Frog (Hedges, Powell, Henderson, Hanson, and Murphy, 2019, Caribb. Herpetol., 67: 15). 


Nominally, Elachistocleis ovalis is a nomen inquirenda (see comment), not applied to a biological population. Not included as a nomen inquirenda in this database due to the limitations of the database structure and the amount of associated literature, which tends to get lost when applied to these kinds of names (DRF). 


Literature prior to  Caramaschi, 2010, Bol. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, N.S., Zool., 527: 1–30, should be used with great caution. Literature below is in the process of being sorted (if possible) to appropriate species accounts as time is available (DRF). 

See comments under Elachistocleis, Elachistocleis nigrogularis, and Elachistocleis bicolor.

Advertisement call described by De la Riva, Márquez, and Bosch, 1996, Am. Midl. Nat., 136: 418–422.

Lescure and Marty, 2000, Collect. Patrimoines Nat., Paris, 45: 272–273, provided a photo and brief account for French Guiana.

Köhler, 2000, Bonn. Zool. Monogr., 48: 143–145, provided a brief account.

Gorzula and Señaris, 1999 "1998", Scient. Guaianae, 8: 82–83, commented on geographic variation and difficulty sorting species in Venezuela.

Lavilla, Vaira, and Ferrari, 2003, Amphibia-Reptilia, 24: 278–279, regarded this nominal form to cover a complex of species.

 Eterovick and Sazima, 2004, Anf. Serra do Cipó: 115–116, provided a photograph and brief account (as Elachistocleis cf ovalis).

Canelas and Bertoluci, 2007, Iheringia, Zool., 97: 21–26, provided a record for the Serra do Caraça, southern end of the Serra do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Brusquetti and Lavilla, 2006, Cuad. Herpetol., 20: 25, suggested that this species is only found north of the Amazon River and that records south of there are referable to Elachistocleis bicolor.

See comments under Elachistocleis skotogaster and Elachistocleis surinamensis.

Silva, Santos, Alves, Sousa, and Annunziata, 2010, Sitientibus, Ser. Cienc. Biol., 7: 334–340, provided records for Piauí, Brazil.

Caramaschi, 2010, Bol. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, N.S., Zool., 527: 1–30, considered the name Rana ovalis to be a nomen inquirenda and applied alternative names to all populations from Brazil; the status of populations outside of Brazil remains unsettled, although the naming of Elachistocleis tinagua and Elachistocleis sikuani from Colombia has started to resolve the issue.

 Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 285, provided a brief summary of natural history for Elachistocleis "ovalis"

See Barrio-Amorós, Rojas-Runjaic, and Señaris, 2019, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 13 (1: e180): 103, for comments on range and literature.

Jowers, Othman, Borzée, Rivas-Fuenmayor, Sánchez-Ramírez, Auguste, Downie, Read, and Murphy, 2021, Organisms Divers. Evol., 21: 189–206, addressed the problem that is Elachistocleis "ovalis", and provided a polygon range map of the ranges of the species formerly confused with Elachistocleis ovalis

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