Phrynobatrachidae Laurent, 1941

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Phrynobatrachidae
96 species

Hemimantidae Hoffmann, 1878, in Bronn (ed.), Die Klassen und Ordnungen des Thier-Reichs, 6(2): 613, 635. Type genus: Hemimantis Peters, 1863.

Phrynobatrachinae Laurent, 1941 "1940", Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 34: 79. Type species: Phrynobatrachus Günther, 1862. Given precedence over Hemimantidae Hoffmann, 1878, and placed on the Official List of Family-Group Names in Zoology, by Opinion 1921, Anonymous, 1999, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 56: 96–100.

HemimantinaeDubois, 1982, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 39: 136.

PhrynobatrachidaeDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 313.

Phrynobatrachoidea — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 229. Superfamily. 

English Names

Puddle Frogs (Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 473).


Subsaharan Africa.


Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 17, considered Phrynobatrachidae to be a subfamily of Ranidae. 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: 136, placed Phrynobatrachidae phylogenetically as the sister taxon of Petropedetidae + Pyxicephalidae and rendered a partial revision. Bossuyt, Brown, Hillis, Cannatella, and Milinkovitch, 2006, Syst. Biol., 55: 583, corroborated the monophyly of Phrynobatrachidae (their Phrynobatrachinae), and its placement as the sister taxon of Petropedetidae + Pyxicephalidae. The placement of Phrynobatrachidae + (Petropedetidae + Pyxicephalidae)—Africanura of Frost et al. (2006)—they placed in a slightly different position. Frost et al. (2006) placed Africanura as the sister taxon of Saukrobatrachia (Dicroglossidae + Mantellidae + Rhacophoridae + Nyctibatrachidae + Ranidae) and Bossuyt et al. (2006) placed Africanura as the sister taxon of a larger group composed of Saukrobatrachia of Frost et al. (2006) as well as Micrixalidae and Ceratobatrachidae, placed by Frost et al. (2006) outside of this group. Wiens, Sukumaran, Pyron, and Brown, 2009, Evolution, 63: 1217–1231, suggested considerable phylogenetic structure within the group although their placement of Phrynobatrachidae within Ranoides has no confidence numbers attached to it, suggesting that this placement may not be well-supported. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed this arrangement. See comments under Ericabatrachus and Natalobatrachus (Pyxicephalidae: Cacosterninae). Bossuyt and Roelants, 2009, in Hedges and Kumar (eds.), Timetree of Life: 357–364, considered this taxon a distinct family based on its Mesozoic origin. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, briefly reviewed the taxonomic history of this taxon. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of biology, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Yuan, Zhang, Raxworthy, Weisrock, Hime, Jin, Lemmon, Lemmon, Holland, Kortyna, Zhou, Peng, Che, and Prendini, 2018, Natl. Sci. Rev., Beijing, 6: 10–14, reported on phylogenetics and biogeography as an element of Natatanura.  Elias-Costa, Araujo-Vieira, and Faivovich, 2021, Cladistics, 37: 498–517, discussed the evolution of submandibular musculature optimized on the tree of Jetz and Pyron, 2018, Nature Ecol. & Evol., 2: 850–858, which provided morphological synapomorphies of this taxon.   

Contained taxa (96 sp.):

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