|Type||Synthesizing and sharing information about amphibians to enable research, education, and conservation|
|Founded||2000, California, United States|
AmphibiaWeb is an American non-profit website that provides information about amphibians. It is run by a group of universities working with the California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco State University, the University of California at Berkeley, University of Florida at Gainesville, and University of Texas at Austin.
AmphibiaWeb's goal is to provide a single page for every species of amphibian in the world so research scientists, citizen scientists and conservationists can collaborate.It added its 7000th animal in 2012, a glass frog from Peru. As of 2022, it hosted more than 8,400 species located worldwide.
Scientist David Wake founded AmphibiaWeb in 2000. Wake had been inspired by the decline of amphibian populations across the world.He founded it at the Digital Library Project at the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. Wake came to consider AmphibiaWeb part of his legacy.
AmphibiaWeb provides information to the IUCN, CalPhotos, Encyclopedia of Life and iNaturalist,and the database is cited in scientific publications.
Amphibians are four-limbed and ectothermic vertebrates of the class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Thus amphibians typically start out as larvae living in water, but some species have developed behavioural adaptations to bypass this.
Salamanders are a group of amphibians typically characterized by their lizard-like appearance, with slender bodies, blunt snouts, short limbs projecting at right angles to the body, and the presence of a tail in both larvae and adults. All ten extant salamander families are grouped together under the order Urodela. Salamander diversity is highest in eastern North America, especially in the Appalachian Mountains; most species are found in the Holarctic realm, with some species present in the Neotropical realm.
A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" Triadobatrachus is known from the Early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their split from other amphibians may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforest. Frogs account for around 88% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. Warty frog species tend to be called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not from taxonomy or evolutionary history.
The Cryptobranchidae are a family of fully aquatic salamanders commonly known as the giant salamanders. They include the largest living amphibians. The family is native to China, Japan, and the eastern United States. They constitute one of two living families within the Cryptobranchoidea, one of two main divisions of living salamanders, the other being the Asiatic salamanders belonging to the family Hynobiidae.
Caecilians are a group of limbless, vermiform (worm-shaped) or serpentine (snake-shaped) amphibians. They mostly live hidden in soil or in streambeds, and this cryptic lifestyle renders caecilians among the least familiar amphibians. Modern caecilians live in the tropics of South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. Caecilians feed on small subterranean creatures such as earthworms. The body is cylindrical and often darkly coloured, and the skull is bullet-shaped and strongly built. Caecilian heads have several unique adaptations, including fused cranial and jaw bones, a two-part system of jaw muscles, and a chemosensory tentacle in front of the eye. The skin is slimy and bears ringlike markings or grooves, which may contain tiny scales.
The Batrachia are a clade of amphibians that includes frogs and salamanders, but not caecilians nor the extinct allocaudates. The name Batrachia was first used by French zoologist Pierre André Latreille in 1800 to refer to frogs, but has more recently been defined in a phylogenetic sense as a node-based taxon that includes the last common ancestor of frogs and salamanders and all of its descendants. The idea that frogs and salamanders are more closely related to each other than either is to caecilians is strongly supported by morphological and molecular evidence, they are for instance the only vertebrates able to raise and lower their eyes, but an alternative hypothesis exists in which salamanders and caecilians are each other's closest relatives as part of a clade called the Procera, with frogs positioned as the sister taxon of this group.
The Pipidae are a family of primitive, tongueless frogs. The 41 species in the family Pipidae are found in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Arthroleptidae are a family of frogs found in sub-Saharan Africa. This group includes African treefrogs in the genus Leptopelis along with the terrestrial breeding squeakers Arthroleptis, and several genera restricted to the Guinean forests of central and west Africa, such as the hairy frog (Trichobatrachus).
Batrachoseps is a genus of lungless salamanders (plethodontids) often called slender salamanders. They can be distinguished from other lungless salamanders by the four toes they have on each foot.
The red-bellied newt is a newt that is native to coastal woodlands in northern California and is terrestrial for most of its life.
Bolitoglossa is a genus of lungless salamanders, also called mushroom-tongued salamanders, tropical climbing salamanders, or web-footed salamanders, in the family Plethodontidae. Their range is between northern Mexico through Central America to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, northeastern Brazil, and central Bolivia. Neotropical salamanders of the Bolitoglossa make up the largest genus in the order Caudata, consisting of approximately one-fifth of all known species of salamanders. Adult salamanders range anywhere from 45mm to 200mm in length depending on their specific species. They are notorious for their ability to project their tongue at prey items, as indicated from their name. They are also known for their webbed feet, having significantly more webbing than any other species outside their genus with the exception of the cave-dwelling Mexican bolitoglossine Chiropterotriton magnipes. Although webbed feet are a common characteristic of these salamanders, only about half of the species in this genus contain webbed feet.
Oedipina is a genus of lungless salamanders, which is characterized by their absence of lungs; they instead achieve respiration through their skin and the tissues lining their mouth. Species of Oedipina are endemic to Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico. The common name of worm salamanders derives from the species' extraordinarily slender form with tiny limbs and digits.
Parvimolge is a genus of salamanders in the family Plethodontidae, the lungless salamanders. It is currently considered as monotypic, although this may yet change as molecular data suggest that it is embedded within a paraphyletic Pseudoeurycea. Parvimolge townsendi is endemic to the northern Sierra Madre de Oaxaca in central and southern Veracruz, Mexico, between 900 and 1900 meters elevation. It is represented by the species Parvimolge townsendi, commonly known as Townsend's dwarf salamander.
Pristimantis is a very large genus of frogs distributed in the southern Caribbean islands and in Central and South America from Honduras to northern Argentina and southern Brazil. With 596 described species, the genus had more species than any other genus of vertebrate animals. Many of these species genus are endemic to the Northwestern Andean montane forests ecoregion in north-western South America.
Craugastoridae, commonly known as fleshbelly frogs, is a family of New World direct-developing frogs. As delineated here, following the Amphibian Species of the World, it contains 129 species. They are found from the southern United States southwards to Central and South America.
Gracixalus is a genus of shrub frogs from south-eastern Asia.
The Alsodidae are a small family of frogs from South America between Patagonia and southern Brazil. It contains 30 species in three genera. This family, along with several other families, used to be included in the family Leptodactylidae. It was then a subfamily in the family Cycloramphidae, before being recognized as a family first in 2011.
Marvalee Hendricks Wake is an American zoologist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, known for her research in the biology of caecilians and vertebrate development and evolution. A 1988 Guggenheim Fellow, she has served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, International Union of Biological Sciences, and the International Society of Vertebrate Morphology. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Sciences, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.