Arrow Poison and Arrow without Poison

Central and South America are home to a remarkable diversity of frogs, coming in nearly all the shapes and sizes a frog can possibly come in. Among this diversity, probably the most famous representatives are the arrow-poison frogs of the Dendrobatidae. Two dendrobatid frogs of two different subfamilies: dyeing dart frog Dendrobates tinctorius (Dendrobatinae, left)… Continue reading Arrow Poison and Arrow without Poison

Trematosauria

Reconstruction of Metoposaurus krasiejowensis, copyright Dmitry Bogdanov. Belongs within: Stereospondylomorpha. The Trematosauria are a clade of temnospondyls defined by Yates & Warren (2000) as including all species closer to Trematosaurus than Parotosuchus. Synapomorphies (from Yates & Warren 2000): Interorbital space greater than 50% of skull width at mid orbital level; stapedial foramen absent; sharp rimmed… Continue reading Trematosauria

Arthroleptinae

Female Arthroleptis reichei, copyright Vincenzo Mercurio. Belongs within: Laurentobatrachia. The Arthroleptinae are a group of frogs found in sub-Saharan Africa, males of which often have hyperelongate third fingers. <==Arthroleptinae [Arthroleptina, Arthroleptini] FG06     |–Coracodichus FG06     |–Cardioglossa Boulenger 1900 FG06     |    |–+–C. gracilis PW11     |    |  `–C. schioetzi PW11     |    `–+–C. elegans PW11     |       `–+–C. gratiosa PW11     |          `–+–+–C. leucomystax PW11     |            … Continue reading Arthroleptinae

Laurentobatrachia

Peacock tree frog Leptopelis vermiculatus, copyright Dawson. Belongs within: Ranoidea. Contains: Arthroleptinae, Hyperolius, Heterixalus. The Laurentobatrachia are a clade of frogs found in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Characters (from Frost et al. 2006): Larval m. levator manidbulae externus in two portion; commissura proximalis III absent; intercalary elements absent; external metatarsal tubercle poorly developed or absent;… Continue reading Laurentobatrachia

Limnodynastinae

Spawning striped marsh frogs Limnodynastes peronii, copyright Froggydarb. Belongs within: Neobatrachia. The Limnodynastinae are a group of small to medium-sized toad-like terrestrial frogs found in Australia and New Guinea. They have an inguinal amplexus and many are foam-nesters (Frost et al. 2006). <==Limnodynastinae [Limnodynastidae, Limnodynastini]     |  i. s.: Opisthodon Steindachner 1867 FG06     |           |–O. ornatus (Gray… Continue reading Limnodynastinae

Neobatrachia

Table Mountain ghost frog Heleophryne rosei, copyright Vincent Carruthers. Belongs within: Anura. Contains: Ranoidea, Hyloidea, Limnodynastinae, Myobatrachinae. The Neobatrachia are a clade containing the majority of living frogs, united by features such as the presence of a neopalatine bone in the skull. Synapomorphies (from Frost et al. 2006): Neopalatine bone present; third distal carpal fused… Continue reading Neobatrachia

Eleutherodactylus

Eleutherodactylus guantanamera, copyright Ariel Rodriguez. Belongs within: Hyloidea. Eleutherodactylus is a very diverse genus of directly developing, mostly small frogs found in Central and South America. Eleutherodactylus Duméril & Bibron 1841 [incl. Pelorius Hedges 1989; Eleutherodactylini] FG06     |–+–+–E. counouspeus (Schwartz 1964) PW11, FG06 [=Euhyas counouspea FG06]     |  |  `–+–+–E. inoptatus Barbour 1914 PW11, FG06 [=Pelorius inoptatus FG06]… Continue reading Eleutherodactylus

Brachycephalidae

Steindachner’s robber frog Ischnocnema guentheri, copyright Mario Sacramento. Belongs within: Hyloidea. The Brachycephalidae are a group of small, leaf-litter dwelling frogs found in southern Brazil (Frost et al. 2006). Characters (from Frost et al. 2006): Distinguishable sternum absent through fusion; epicoracoid cartilages completely ossified with coracoids and clavicles; digits reduced; axillary amplexus; direct development with… Continue reading Brachycephalidae

Hydromantes: Salamanders in Different Places

There are times when biogeography is able to throw us some real puzzlers: organisms whose distribution seems to defy expectations. Among these mysteries, special mention must be made of the salamanders of the genus Hydromantes. Gene’s cave salamanders Hydromantes genei courting, copyright Salvatore Spano. Hydromantes is a genus containing a dozen species from among the… Continue reading Hydromantes: Salamanders in Different Places