Breviceps Merrem, 1820

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Brevicipitidae > Genus: Breviceps
19 species

Breviceps Merrem, 1820, Tent. Syst. Amph.: 177. Type species: Rana gibbosa Linnaeus, 1758, by monotypy.

Engystoma Fitzinger, 1826, Neue Class. Rept.: 39-40. Type species: Rana gibbosa Linnaeus, 1758, by original designation, or Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, by subsequent designation of Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 8: 740. Dubois, 1987, Alytes, 6: 75-84, interpreted Fitzinger's denotation of Rana gibbosa as "Repräsentant" as not constituting an original type designation (although this is inherently controversial—see discussion by Stejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 165-168). If Dubois' argument is accepted, the subsequent designation by Duméril and Bibron renders Engystoma an objective senior synonym of Elachistocleis Parker, 1927. Dubois has submitted to the International Commission a petition to conserve Elachistocleis. Synonymy by Stejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 165.

Systoma Wagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 205. Type species: Breviceps gibbosus Merrem, 1820 (= Rana gibbosa Linnaeus, 1758), by monotypy. Objective synonym of Breviceps as based on the same type species.

English Names

Blaasops (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 117; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 4).

Rain Frogs (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 117; Broadley, 1971, Puku, 6: 111; Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 15; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 4; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 82; Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 217).

Short-heads (Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 4).

Short-headed Frogs (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 15; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 87).

Distribution

Arid to semiarid East and southern Africa.

Comment

See short discussion of taxonomic characters by Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 26: 516-517. Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 209-229, and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 102-133, provided keys and accounts for the species of southern Africa, and Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 217-220, provided a key and accounts for East Africa. Nielsen, Daniels, Conradie, Heinicke, and Noonan, 2018, J. Biogeograph., 45: 2067–2079, reported on the molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the species in the genus, recognizing two species groups: Breviceps mossambicus group (Breviceps adspersus, Breviceps bsgginsi, Breviceps carruthersi, Breviceps fichus, Breviceps mossambicus, Breviceps passsmorei, Breviceps pentheri, Breviceps poweri, and Breviceps sopranus) and Breviceps gibbosus group (Breviceps acutirostris, Breviceps branchii, Breviceps fuscus, Breviceps gibbosus, Breviceps macrops, Breviceps montanus, Breviceps namaquensis, Breviceps rosei, Breviceps sylvestris, and Breviceps verrucosus). 

Contained taxa (19 sp.):

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