List of Anuran families

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This list of Anuran families shows all extant families of Anura. Anura is an order of animals in the class Amphibia that includes frogs and toads. More than 5,000 species are described in the order. The living anurans are typically divided into three suborders: Archaeobatrachia, Mesobatrachia, and Neobatrachia. This classification is based on such morphological features as the number of vertebrae, the structure of the pectoral girdle, and the morphology of tadpoles.



The archaeobatrachians are the most primitive of frogs. These frogs have morphological characteristics which are found mostly in extinct frogs, and are absent in most of the modern frog species. Most of these characteristics are not common between all the families of Archaeobatrachia, or are not absent from all the modern species of frogs. However, all archaeobatrachians have free vertebrae, whereas all other species of frogs have their ribs fused to their vertebrae.

The Neobatrachia comprise the most modern species of frogs. Most of these frogs have morphological features which are more complex than those of the mesobatrachians and archaeobatrachians. The neobatrachians all have a palatine bone, which braces the upper jaw to the neurocranium. This is absent in all Archaeobatrachia and some Mesobatrachia. The third distal carpus is fused with the remaining carpal bones. The adductor longus muscle is present in the neobatrachians, but absent in the archaeobatrachians and some mesobatrachians. It is believed to have differentiated from pectineus muscle, and this differentiation has not occurred in the primitive frogs.

The Mesobatrachia are considered the evolutionary link between the Archaeobatrachia and the Neobatrachia. The families within the mesobatrachian suborder generally contain morphological features typical of both the other suborders. For example, the palatine bone is absent in all archaeobatrachians, and present in all neobatrachians. However, within the mesobatrachians families, it can be dependent on the species as to whether the palatine bone is present.

Due to the many morphological features which separate the frogs, many different systems are used for the classification of the anuran suborders. These different classification systems usually split the Mesobatrachia suborder.


Archaeobatrachia - four families, six genera, 27 species
FamilyGeneraCommon namesExample speciesExample photo
Fejérváry, 1923
1Tailed frogs Tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) Tailed frog.gif
Gray, 1825
2Fire-belly toads European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina) Bombina bombina 1 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
Günther, 1858
3Painted frogs or disc-tongued frogsPortuguese or Iberian painted frog (Discoglossus galganoi) Discoglossus galganoi rechts.jpg
Mivart, 1869
1New Zealand primitive frogs Hochstetters frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri) Hochstetters Frog on Moss.jpg
Mesobatrachia - six families, 21 genera, 168 species
FamilyGeneraCommon namesExample speciesExample photo
Bonaparte, 1850
11Litter frogs or short-legged toads Long-nosed horned frog (Megophrys nasuta) Megophrys.nasuta.7035.jpg
Bonaparte, 1850
1European spadefoot toads Common spadefoot (Pelobates fuscus) Pelobates fuscus 2 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
Bonaparte, 1850
1Parsley frogs Common parsley frog (Pelodytes punctatus) Pelodytes punctatus side.jpg
Gray, 1825
5Tongueless frogs or clawed frogs African dwarf frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri) Amplexus of ADF.jpg
Günther, 1859
1Mexican burrowing toad Mexican burrowing toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis) Rhinophrynus dorsalis.jpg
Cope, 1865
2American spadefoot toads Western spadefoot toad (Spea hammondii) Spea hammondii 1.jpg
Neobatrachia - 21 families,352 genera, more than 5,000 species
FamilyGeneraCommon namesExample speciesExample photo
Goin, Goin, and Zug, 1978
1Tukeit Hill frog Tukeit Hill frog (Allophryne ruthveni)-
Boulenger, 1882
2Marsupial frogs Marsupial frog (Gastrotheca excubitor) Gastrotheca excubitor.jpg
Mivart, 1869
8Screeching frogs or squeakers Buea screeching frog (Arthroleptis variabilis) Buea Screeching Frog (Arthroleptis variabilis) (7706657930).jpg
Günther, 1858
1Saddleback toads Pumpkin toadlet (Brachycephalus ephippium) Brachycephalus ephippium02.jpg
Gray, 1825
35True toads Common toad (Bufo bufo) Bufo bufo couple during migration(2005).jpg
Taylor, 1951
3Glass frogs Bare-hearted glass frog (Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum) Cricket Glass Frog - Hylinobatrachium colymbiphyllum Plantation Road.jpg
Cope, 1865
9Poison dart frogs Yellow-banded poison dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) Gelbgebanderter Baumsteiger Dendrobates leucomelas.jpg
Noble, 1931
1Ghost frogs Natal ghost frog (Heleophryne natalensis) Hadromophryne natalensis.jpeg
Cope, 1867
1Shovelnose frogs Marbled snout-burrower or mottled shovelnose frog (Hemisus marmoratus) Hemisus marmoratus.jpg
Rafinesque, 1815
42Tree frogs White's tree frog (Litoria caerulea) Australia green tree frog (Litoria caerulea) crop.jpg
Laurent, 1943
20Sedge frogs or bush frogs Big-eyed tree frog (Leptopelis vermiculatus) Leptopelis vermiculatus2.jpg
Werner, 1896
49Southern frogs or tropical frogs Cliff chirping frog (Eleutherodactylus marnockii) Eleutherodactylus marnockii2.jpg
Laurent, 1946
12- Golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) Golden mantella.JPG
Günther, 1858
62Narrow Mouthed Frogs Eastern narrow-mouthed toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) Gastrophryne carolinensis.jpg
Schlegel In Gray, 1850
20Australian ground frogs Great barred frog (Mixophyes fasciolatus) M fasciolatus.jpg
Rafinesque, 1814
52True frogs American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) North-American-bullfrog1.jpg
Hoffman, 1932
9Moss frogs Malabar gliding frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus) Rhacophorus amplexus.jpg
Bonaparte, 1850
1Darwin's frogs Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) Rhinoderma darwinii.jpg
Noble, 1931
2Seychelles frogs Gardiner's Seychelles frog (Sooglossus gardineri) Sechellophryne gardineri.jpg

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Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod 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.

Frog Order of amphibians

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" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins 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. There are about 7,300 recorded species, which 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.

A tadpole is the larval stage in the life cycle of an amphibian. Most tadpoles are fully aquatic, though some species of amphibians have tadpoles that are terrestrial. Tadpoles have some features that may not be found in adult amphibians such as a lateral line, gills, and tails. As they undergo metamorphosis, the diet of tadpoles changes and they will start to breathe air.

Tailed frog Genus of amphibians

The tailed frogs are two species of frogs in the genus Ascaphus, the only taxon in the family Ascaphidae. The "tail" in the name is actually an extension of the male cloaca. The tail is one of two distinctive anatomical features adapting the species to life in fast-flowing streams. These are the only North American frog species that reproduce by internal fertilization.

<i>Leiopelma</i> Genus of amphibians

Leiopelma is a genus of New Zealand primitive frogs, belonging to the suborder Archaeobatrachia. It is the only genus in the monotypic family Leiopelmatidae. The leiopelmatids' relatively primitive form indicates they have an ancient lineage. While some taxonomists have suggested combining the North American frogs of the genus Ascaphus in the family Ascaphidae with the New Zealand frogs of the genus Leiopelma in the family Leiopelmatidae, the current consensus is that these two groups constitute two separate families. The four extant species of Leiopelmatidae are only found in New Zealand.

Archaeobatrachia Suborder of amphibians

Archaeobatrachia is a suborder of the order Anura containing various primitive frogs and toads. As the name literally suggests, these are the most primitive frogs. Many of the species show certain physiological characteristics which are not present in other frogs and toads, thus giving rise to this group. They are largely found in Eurasia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Borneo, and are characteristically small. In addition, the family Ascaphidae is found in the Pacific Northwest and northern rocky mountains of the United States, and is only represented by two species. The taxon is considered paraphyletic.

Mesobatrachia Order of amphibians

The Mesobatrachia are the second-largest of the Anura suborders of amphibians. At the end of 2016, it contained 3 superfamilies, 6 families, 16 genera, and 244 species. Recognized as a group in 1993, the name is contrasted with the primitive Archaeobatrachia and the more diverse and advanced Neobatrachia.

Neobatrachia Suborder of amphibians

The Neobatrachia are a suborder of the Anura, the order of frogs and toads.

Labyrinthodontia Subclass of early amphibious tetrapods

Labyrinthodontia is an extinct amphibian subclass, which constituted some of the dominant animals of late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. The group evolved from lobe-finned fishes in the Devonian and is ancestral to all extant landliving vertebrates. As such it constitutes an evolutionary grade rather than a natural group (clade). The name describes the pattern of infolding of the dentin and enamel of the teeth, which are often the only part of the creatures that fossilize. They are also distinguished by a heavily armoured skull roof, and complex vertebrae, the structure of which were used in older classifications of the group.

Batrachomorpha Clade of amphibians

Batrachomorpha is a name traditionally given to recent and extinct amphibians that are more closely related to modern amphibians than they are to reptiles. It most often includes the extinct groups Temnospondyli and Lepospondyli. The first tetrapods were all amphibians in the physiological sense that they laid their eggs in water, and are colloquially sometimes referred to as labyrinthodonts or stegocephalians. In this scheme, batrachomorphs composed one branch of these early amphibians, while the reptiliomorphs composed the other. While the actual phylogeny of the modern amphibians is not well understood, their ancestors are descended from one line of batrachomorphs. All other living tetrapods are descended from one branch of reptiliomorphs, the amniotes. Amniotes achieved dominance, while all other reptiliomorphs and most batrachomorphs have gone extinct.

Saddleback toad Genus of amphibians

The saddleback toads (Brachycephalus) are a genus of tiny toads and frogs in the family Brachycephalidae in the order Anura, ranging from south Bahia to Santa Catarina in southeastern Brazil. The genus includes two main groups, the often brightly coloured pumpkin toadlets, and the overall brown and more frog-like flea frogs, which once were placed in their own genus Psyllophryne. Some pumpkin toadlets are toxic and their often bright colours are considered aposematic. At about 1 cm (0.4 in) or less in snout–to–vent length, the flea frogs are some of the smallest frogs in the world.

Temnospondyli Ancestors of modern amphibians adapted to life on land

Temnospondyli is a diverse order of small to giant tetrapods—often considered primitive amphibians—that flourished worldwide during the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic periods. A few species continued into the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Fossils have been found on every continent. During about 210 million years of evolutionary history, they adapted to a wide range of habitats, including fresh water, terrestrial, and even coastal marine environments. Their life history is well understood, with fossils known from the larval stage, metamorphosis, and maturity. Most temnospondyls were semiaquatic, although some were almost fully terrestrial, returning to the water only to breed. These temnospondyls were some of the first vertebrates fully adapted to life on land. Although temnospondyls are considered amphibians, many had characteristics, such as scales, claws, and armour-like bony plates, that distinguish them from modern amphibians.

True toad Family of amphibians

A true toad is any member of the family Bufonidae, in the order Anura. This is the only family of anurans in which all members are known as toads, although some may be called frogs. The bufonids now comprise more than 35 genera, Bufo being the best known.

Hochstetters frog Species of amphibian

Hochstetter's frog or Hochstetter's New Zealand frog is a primitive frog native to New Zealand, one of only four extant species belonging to the taxonomic family Leiopelmatidae. They possess some of the most ancient features of any extant frogs in the world.

Plains spadefoot toad Species of amphibian

The plains spadefoot toad is a species of American spadefoot toad which ranges from southwestern Canada, throughout the Great Plains of the western United States, and into northern Mexico. Like other species of spadefoot toads, they get their name from a spade-like projections on their hind legs which allow them to dig into sandy soils. Their name, in part, comes from their keratinized metatarsals, which are wide instead of "sickle shaped". The species name translates as buzzing leaf shaped. This refers to the species distinguishing features; its buzzing mating call, and its leaf-shaped digging metatarsals. First described by Cope in 1863.

Hyloidea Superfamily of amphibians

Hyloidea is a superfamily of frogs. Hyloidea accounts for 54% of all living anuran species. The superfamily Hyloidea branched off from a common ancestor from the suborder Neobatrachia during the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction 66 million years ago. The fossil evidence found during this period of extinction could not determine the effects upon the frogs, due to the lack of fossils. Increased forestation erupted after this extinction, possibly leading to more arboreal adaptations of these anurans to be best suited for this habitat.

Pelobatoidea Superfamily of amphibians

The Pelobatoidea are a superfamily of frogs. They typically combine a toad-like body shape with a frog-like, pointed face. Phylogenetically they stand between primitive frogs on the one side and higher frogs on the other and are therefore – among other things by characteristics of bone construction – in the suborder Mesobatrachia.

Doleserpeton is an extinct, monospecific genus of dissorophoidean temnospondyl within the family Amphibamidae that lived during the Upper Permian, 285 million years ago. Doleserpeton is represented by a single species, Doleserpeton annectens, which was first described by John R. Bolt in 1969. Fossil evidence of Doleserpeton was recovered from the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The genus name Doleserpeton is derived from the initial discovery site in Dolese quarry of Oklahoma and the Greek root "serp-", meaning "low or close to the ground". This transitional fossil displays primitive traits of amphibians that allowed for successful adaptation from aquatic to terrestrial environments. In many phylogenies, lissamphibians appear as the sister group of Doleserpeton.

<i>Liaobatrachus</i> Extinct genus of amphibians

Liaobatrachus is a genus of prehistoric spadefoot toads, the first fossil specimen of which was recovered from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. It was the first Mesozoic era frog ever found in China. Later discoveries were named Callobatrachus sanyanensis and Mesophryne beipiaoensis until both were classified as synonymous with Liaobatrachus. It is a discoglossoid anuran. Fossils were found in the Sihetun locality of the western part of Liaoning province, in the lower part of the Yixian Formation, and date to approximately 124.6 Ma. Another specimen was collected near Heitizigou, 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Beipiao. The specimen has a snout–vent length of 69 millimetres (2.7 in). Liaobatrachus is considered to be the most basal member of Discoglossidae based on phylogenetic analysis.

Salientia Order of amphibians

The Salientia are a total group of amphibians that includes the order Anura, the frogs and toads, and various extinct proto-frogs that are more closely related to the frogs than they are to the Urodela, the salamanders and newts. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago.