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Megophryidae Bonaparte, 1850

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Megophryidae
181 species

Megalophreidina Bonaparte, 1850, Conspect. Syst. Herpetol. Amph.: 1 p. Type genus: Megalophrys Wagler, 1830 (= Megophrys Kuhl and Van Hasselt, 1822).

MegalophryinaeFejérváry, 1922 "1921", Arch. Naturgesch., Abt. A, 87: 25.

MegophryinaeNoble, 1931, Biol. Amph.: 492.

MegalophryninaeTamarunov, 1964, in Orlov (ed.), Osnovy Paleontologii, 12: 129.

Leptobrachiini Dubois, 1980, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 49: 471. Type genus: Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838.

MegophryiniDubois, 1980, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 49: 471.

LeptobrachiinaeDubois, 1983, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 52: 272; Dubois, 1983, Alytes, 2: 147.

Oreolalaxinae Tian and Hu, 1985, Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, N.S.,, 4 (3): 221. Type genus: Oreolalax Myers and Leviton, 1962. Considered a synonym of Leptobrachiinae by Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 173-174; Fei and Ye, 2005, in Fei et al. (eds.), Illust. Key Chinese Amph.: 56.

OreolalaginaeDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 173-174. Justified emendation.

MegophryidaeFord and Cannatella, 1993, Herpetol. Monogr., 7: 94-117.

English Names

Asian Toads (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 85; Li, Zhao, and Dong, 2010, Amph. Rept. Tibet: 14).

Litter Frogs (Iskandar, 1998, Amph. Java Bali: 35).

Leaf-litter Frogs (Grismer, 2012, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Seribuat Arch.: 39).

Asian Toadfrogs (Halliday and Adler, 2002, New Encyclop. Rept. Amph.: 82).

Short-legged Toads (Anders, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 163).


Pakistan and western China east to the Philippines and the Greater Sunda Islands.


Because of ongoing differences of opinion regarding the delimitation of genera, none based on explicitly supported phylogenetic hypotheses, in this catalog all taxa recognized at generic rank by some authors are recognized here as genera. Rao and Yang, 1997, Asiat. Herpetol. Res., 7: 92-102, discussed karyology and phylogenetic relationships. Lathrop, 1997, Asiat. Herpetol. Res., 7: 68-79, and Haas, 2003, Cladistics, 19: 23-89, discussed relationships within Pelobatoidea and suggested that Megophryidae is the sister taxon of Pelobatidae and regarded them as subfamilies of Pelobatidae. Maglia, 1998, Sci. Pap. Nat. Hist. Mus. Univ. Kansas, 10: 1-19, suggested a relationship of (((Pelobatidae) (Pelodytidae)) Megophryidae). Dubois and Ohler, 1998, Dumerilia, 4: 1-32, discussed the classification of this taxon (ranked as a subfamily, Megophryinae, by Dubois and Ohler). Xie and Wang, 2000, Cultum Herpetol. Sinica, 8: 356-370, reviewed the taxonomy of this group (as part of Pelobatidae). Xu, 2005, Sichuan J. Zool., 24: 337-339, discussed karyotypes in Megophryidae and made taxonomic suggestions. Manthey and Grossmann, 1997, Amph. Rept. Südostasiens: 68-82, provided accounts and identification table for the species of the Sunda Shelf region. Anders, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 163-181, provided a key and accounts for the species in Nepal. Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 8, considered Megophryidae to be a subfamily of Pelobatidae, containing two tribes, Leptobrachiini and Megophryini. Li and Hu, 2005, Herpetol. Sinica, 10: 359-368, reported on karyological diversification within Megophryidae. Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, and Green, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297, provided taxonomic history and a partial phylogenetic analysis and rejected subfamilies, although they did note that the clade (former Megophryinae) composed of Atympanophrys, Brachytarsophrys, Megophrys, Ophryophryne, and Xenophrys is presumably monophyletic. Delorme, Dubois, Grosjean, and Ohler, 2006, Alytes, 24: 6-21, provided a working taxonomy of the group based on a number of lines of previously published evidence, in which they formulated a system of generally paired taxa, one diagnosed on apomorphies, one on plesiomorphies. While this taxonomy does provide "chunks" to discuss these units, the plesiomorphic units should be used with caution (DRF). The system proposed is of three subfamilies: Leptobrachiinae (diagnosed on plesiomorphies shared with Megophryidae); Leptolalaginae (Leptobrachella, Leptolalax); and Megophryinae (containing Megophryini and Xenophryini [diagnosed on plesiomorphies shared with Megophryinae]). Within the aggregate Leptobrachiinae (= Megophryidae that are not members of Leptolalaginae and Megophryinae), two tribes are recognized, both suggested to be based on apomorphies: Leptobatrachiini (Leptobrachium) and Oreolalagini (Oreolalax and Scutiger). Within Megophryinae the tribe Megophryini (Borneophrys, Brachytarsophrys, and Megophrys) is suggested to rest on apomorphies, while Xenophryini (Ophryophryne + Xenophrys [which is also based on plesiomorphes, rendering it diagnostically equivalent to Megophryinae]) is based solely on characters primitive for Megophryinae. See other comments in the relevant generic records. Li, Guo, and Wang, 2011, Curr. Zool., Chengdu, 57: 93100, provided a molecular analysis of Chinese species that suggested that Xenophrys is strongly paraphyletic with respect to at least Atympanophrys, Brachytarsophrys, and Ophryophryne (Megophrys sensu stricto not studied). The result is that any attempt to make Xenophrys monophyletic by use of synonymy with other megophryine genera will like require lumping all Megophryinae into one genus (for which the oldest name is Megophrys). Fu, Weadick, and Bi, 2007, J. Zool., London, 273: 315-325, reported on the molecular phylogenetics of Leptobrachium, Vibrissaphora, Oreolalax, and Scutiger, as did Rao and Wilkinson, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 46: 61-73, with denser taxon sampling and more data. Brown, Siler, Diesmos, and Alcala, 2010 "2009", Herpetol. Monogr., 23: 1-44, reported on molecular phylogenetics of Leptobrachium and additional provided evidence that the taxonomic arrangement of Delorme et al., 2006, is poorly correlated with phylogeny. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543-583, in their study of Genbank sequences confirmed the position of Megophryidae being the sister taxon of Pelobatidae and otherwise provided the best data-based estimate of phylogeny to date. Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39-55, discussed briefly the taxonomic history of the group.Vitt and Caldwell, 2013, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy.

Contained taxa (181 sp.):

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