Cacosternum Boulenger, 1887

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pyxicephalidae > Subfamily: Cacosterninae > Genus: Cacosternum
16 species

Cacosternum Boulenger, 1887, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 20: 51. Type species: Cacosternum nanum Boulenger, 1887, by monotypy. Placed on the Official List of Generic Name by Opinion 1921, Anonymous, 1999, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 56: 96-100.

English Names

Dainty Frogs (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 167; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 6; Lambiris, 1990 "1989", Monogr. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino, 10: 131).

Froglets (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 16).

Cacos (Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 6; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 180).

Metal Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 98).


Southern and eastern Africa.


Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 145–151, provided accounts for the species of South Africa, as did Lambiris, 1988, Lammergeyer, 39: 109–114, for the species of Natal. Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 286–294, and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 362–385, provided keys and accounts for species of southern Africa and noted two unnamed species in KwaZulu-Natal, Rep. South Africa. van der Meijden, Crottini, Tarrant, Turner, and Vences, 2011, Afr. J. Herpetol., 60: 1–12, provided a tree of exemplar species followed by Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, in their molecular study, who suggested that Cacosternum is paraphyletic with respect to Microbatrachella. Channing, Schmitz, Burger, and Kielgast, 2013, Zootaxa, 3701: 518–550, reported on molecular phylogenetics, and also noted the GenBank sequences previous assigned to Microbatrachella are assignable to misidentified Cacosternum, and revised the genus. The lack of assignment of some reported populations of Cacosternum to species suggests that a number of species remain to be named north of South Africa. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 331–337, provided information on comparative larval morphology. Conradie, 2014, Zootaxa, 3785: 438–452, reported on the molecular phylogenetics of the group. Channing and Rödel, 2019, Field Guide Frogs & Other Amph. Afr.: 368–373, provided brief accounts, photographs, and range maps for the species. Portik, Streicher, and Wiens, 2023, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 188 (107907): 66, repeated the claim of paraphyly of Cacosternum with respect to Microbatrachella, without commenting on the earlier paper by Channing, Schmitz, Burger, and Kielgast, 2013, Zootaxa, 3701: 518–550, who noted the GenBank sequences previous assigned to Microbatrachella are assignable to misidentified Cacosternum

Contained taxa (16 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.