Ptychadenidae Dubois, 1987

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ptychadenidae
63 species

English Names

Grassland Frogs (Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 471).


Subsaharan Africa.


Originally recognized as a tribe (Ptychadenini) within Raninae (largely equivalent to Ranoidia of this catalogue) by Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 55. Subsequently elevated in rank to a subfamily (Ptychadeninae) by Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 316, and to family by 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: 235, who considered it to be the sister taxon of a group composed of their Ceratobatrachidae, Micrixalidae, Phrynobatrachidae, Petropedetidae, Pyxicephalidae, Dicroglossidae, Mantellidae, Rhacophoridae, Nyctibatrachidae, and Ranidae. This result was corroborated by Bossuyt, Brown, Hillis, Cannatella, and Milinkovitch, 2006, Syst. Biol., 55: 583, and Wiens, Sukumaran, Pyron, and Brown, 2009, Evolution, 63: 1217–1231 (although both papers considered all of these taxa to be parts of Ranidae [sensu lato]). The monophyly of Ptychadeninae was strongly corroborated by Scott, 2005, Cladistics, 21: 526. Laurent, 1997, in Van Wyk (ed.), Proc. FitzSimons Comm. Symp.: 183–188, discussed phylogenetics of the taxonomic group (as Ptychadenini). Roelants, Gower, Wilkinson, Loader, Biju, Guillaume, Moriau, and Bossuyt, 2007, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 887–892, discussed the phylogenetic placement of this taxon. Measey, Vences, Drewes, Chiari, Melo, and Bourles, 2007, J. Biogeograph., 34: 7–20, reported on phylogenetics of this taxon as part of a study of Ptychadena newtoni. 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. Wiens, Sukumaran, Pyron, and Brown, 2009, Evolution, 63: 1217–1231, found Ptychadenidae (as Ranidae, Ptychadeninae) to be the sister taxon of all other ranoids and suggested substantial structure within this unit; Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed this. 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 life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 300–317, provided information on comparative larval morphology. 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 (63 sp.):

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.