Limnodynastes Fitzinger, 1843

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Superfamily: Myobatrachoidea > Family: Limnodynastidae > Genus: Limnodynastes
13 species

Limnodynastes Fitzinger, 1843, Syst. Rept.: 31. Type species: Cystignathus peronii Duméril and Bibron, 1841, by original designation.

Wagleria Girard, 1853, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 6: 421. Type species: Not designated; Cystignathus peronii Duméril and Bibron, 1841, by subsequent designation of Gorham, 1966, Das Tierreich, 85: 140. Synonymy by Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 32.

LymnodynastesCope, 1865, Nat. Hist. Rev., N.S., 5: 113. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Heliorana Steindachner, 1867, Reise Österreichischen Fregatte Novara, Zool., Amph.: 32. Type species: Heliorana grayi Steindachner, 1867, by monotypy. Synonymy by Günther, 1867, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 3, 20: 54; Günther, 1868, Zool. Rec., 4: 145; Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 258; Nieden, 1923, Das Tierreich, 46: 528.

Ranaster Macleay, 1878, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales, 2: 135. Type species: Ranaster convexiusculus Macleay, 1878, by monotypy. Synonymy by Parker, 1940, Novit. Zool., 42: 42. Resurrected; without discussion, by Wells and Wellington, 1985, Aust. J. Herpetol., Suppl. Ser., 1: 4; see Tyler, 1985, Herpetol. Rev., 16: 69; Australian Society of Herpetologists, 1987, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 44: 116-121; Tyler, 1988, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 45: 152; Holthius, 1988, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 45 and decision by ICZN (Anonymous, 1991, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 48: 337-338).

Megistolotis Tyler, Martin, and Davies, 1979, Aust. J. Zool., 27: 136. Type species: Megistolotis lignarius Tyler, Martin, and Davies, 1979, by original designation. Synonymy by Schäuble, Moritz, and Slade, 2000, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 16: 379.

English Names

Australian Swamp Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 94).

Flat-headed Toadlets (Megistolitis [no longer recognized]: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 94).

Woodworker Frogs (Megistolitis [no longer recognized]: Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 104).


Australia and southern New Guinea.


The most recent generic reviews are by Parker, 1940, Novit. Zool., 42: 42, and Lynch, 1971, Misc. Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas, 53: 86. Morescalchi and Ingram, 1978, Experientia, 34: 584–585, reported on comparative karyology, in the sense of including what is now Platyplectrum. Roberts and Maxson, 1986, Aust. J. Zool., 34: 561–573, reported on immunological relationships among the species. Hutchinson and Maxson, 1987, Syst. Zool., 36: 387–414, suggested that Limnodynastes was paraphyletic with respect to Megistolotis. See Barker, Grigg, and Tyler, 1995, Field Guide Aust. Frogs., Ed. 2, for keys and accounts for Australian species. Schäuble, Moritz, and Slade, 2000, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 16: 379–391, discussed the phylogenetic relationships of the species and recognized four species groups: the Limnodynastes ornatus group (Limnodynastes ornatus and Limnodynastes spenceri), the Limnodynastes personii group (Limnodynastes peronii, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, Limnodynastes fletcheri, Limnodynastes depressus), the Limnodynastes salmini group (Limnodynastes salmini, Limnodynastes convexiusculus, Limnodynastes lignarius), and the Limnodynastes dorsalis group (Limnodynastes dorsalis, Limnodynastes terraereginae, Limnodynastes dumerilii, Limnodynastes interioris). Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 195, recognized the Limnodynastes ornatus group as the genus Opisthodon (now Platyplectrum) in order to prevent the polyphyly of Limnodynastes, provided a partial estimate of the phylogeny of Limnodynastes, and noted Heleioporus as the sister taxon of Limnodynastes. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed the monophyly of the taxon and provided a tree of their molecular exemplars. Parkin, Rowley, Gillard, Sopniewski, Shea, and Donnellan, 2024, Ichthyol. & Herpetol., 112: 76–105, revised the systematics and taxonomy of the Limnodynastes dorsalis group in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Tasmania, with substantial discussion of relevant topics. 

Contained taxa (13 sp.):

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