Elachistocleis ovalis (Schneider, 1799)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Microhylidae > Subfamily: Gastrophryninae > Genus: Elachistocleis > Species: Elachistocleis ovalis

Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, Hist. Amph. Nat.: 131. Type(s): "Musei Ducalis Brunovicensis", "Museo Barbyensi", "Gronovius Musei" and frogs illustrated by Gronovius, 1763, Zoophyl. Gronov.: no. 65, and Seba, 1734, Locuplet. Rer. Nat. Thesaur. Descript. Icon. Exp. Univ. Phys. Hist., 2: Pl. 37, fig. 3, by original designation; Daudin, 1802 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Rain. Gren. Crap., Quarto: 92, and Daudin, 1803 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Gen. Part. Rept., 8: 187, reported the holotype to be in the collection of the "duc de Brunswick", the current status of this specimen not known. Type locality: Not stated. See discussion by Lavilla, Vaira, and Ferrari, 2003, Amphibia-Reptilia, 24: 269-284.

Bufo ovalisDaudin, 1802 "An. XI", Hist. Nat. Rain. Gren. Crap., Quarto: 92.

Engystoma ovalisFitzinger, 1826, Neue Class. Rept.: 65; Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 51. (Disagreement in gender.)

Microps unicolor Wagler, 1828, Isis von Oken, 21: 744. Holotype: RMNH. Type locality: "unbekannt" (= unknown). Reported by XXX as a substitute name for Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, by XXX, but this is incorrect. Synonymy by Wagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 200; Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86; Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 8: 741.

Dactylethra ovalisCuvier, 1829, Regne Animal., Ed. 2, 2: 112, by implication (see Cuvier, 1831, Animal Kingdom (M'Murtrie), 2: 84).

Microps ovalisWagler, 1830, Nat. Syst. Amph.: 200.

Stenocephalus microps Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86. Type(s): RMNH. Type locality: not designated. Possibly a substitute name for Rana ovalis Schneider, 1799, and Microps unicolor Wagler, 1828. Synonymy by Tschudi, 1838, Classif. Batr.: 86; Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 8: 741.

Engystoma micropsDuméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 8: 744; Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920, Rev. Mus. Paulista, São Paulo, 12: 282.

Engystoma ovaleHensel, 1867, Arch. Naturgesch., 33: 140.

Engystoma ovale var. puncticulatum Steindachner, 1902, Denkschr. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 72: 110. Holotype: Not located; not in ZSM according to Glaw and Franzen, 2006, Spixiana, München, 29: 183, and not noted in recent NHMW type lists. Type locality: "Bodega Central am Rio Magdalena", Colombia. See comments by Glaw and Franzen, 2006, Spixiana, München, 29: 183. Description does not appear in Steindachner, 1901, Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 38: 194, contrary to other authors.

Gastrophryne ovalisStejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 166.

Gastrophryne micropsStejneger, 1910, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 23: 166.

Engystoma ovalisNieden, 1926, Das Tierreich, 49: 66.

Elachistocleis ovale ovaleParker, 1927, Occas. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 187: 4.

Elachistocleis ovaleMertens, 1930, Folia Zool. Hydrobiol., Riga, 1: 163.

Synapturanus micropsBokermann, 1966, Lista Anot. Local. Tipo Anf. Brasil.: 38.

English Names

Oval Frog (Shaw, 1802, Gen. Zool., 3(1): 111).

Common Oval Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 89).

Slate Burrowing Frog (Eterovick and Sazima, 2004, Anf. Serra do Cipó: 115).


Nominally, Elachistocleis ovalis is a nomen inquirenda (see comment), not applied to a biological population. But, pending revision, this name is applied to populations from Panama, Trinidad, and Colombia southward, east of the Andes, to Bolivia, but excluding Brazil, where all populations are assigned to other names.


See comments under Elachistocleis and Elachistocleis bicolor. See account by Rivero, 1961, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 126: 177. Lescure and Marty, 2000, Collect. Patrimoines Nat., Paris, 45: 272–273, provided a photo and brief account for French Guiana. Köhler, 2000, Bonn. Zool. Monogr., 48: 143–145, provided a brief account. Gorzula and Señaris, 1999 "1998", Scient. Guaianae, 8: 82–83, commented on geographic variation and difficulty sorting species in Venezuela. Lavilla, Vaira, and Ferrari, 2003, Amphibia-Reptilia, 24: 278–279, regarded this nominal form to cover a complex of species. Kenny, 1969, Stud. Fauna Curaçao and other Caribb. Is., 29: 68–70, and Murphy, 1997, Amph. Rept. Trinidad Tobago: 92–93, provided accounts for Trinidad. Eterovick and Sazima, 2004, Anf. Serra do Cipó: 115–116, provided a photograph and brief account (as Elachistocleis cf ovalis). Canelas and Bertoluci, 2007, Iheringia, Zool., 97: 21–26, provided a record for the Serra do Caraça, southern end of the Serra do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Brusquetti and Lavilla, 2006, Cuad. Herpetol., 20: 25, suggested that this species is only found north of the Amazon River and that records south of there are referrable to Elachistocleis bicolor. See comment under Elachistocleis skotogaster and Elachistocleis surinamensis. Silva, Santos, Alves, Sousa, and Annunziata, 2010, Sitientibus, Ser. Cienc. Biol., 7: 334–340, provided records for Piauí, Brazil. Caramaschi, 2010, Bol. Mus. Nac., Rio de Janeiro, N.S., Zool., 527: 1–30, considered the name Rana ovalis to be a nomen inquirenda and applied alternative names to all populations from Brazil; the status of populations outside of Brazil remains unsettled. See account for Surinam population by Ouboter and Jairam, 2012, Amph. Suriname: 278–281, discussed that all specimens referred to this species from Surinam are assignable to Elachistocleis surinamensisKöhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 285, provided a brief summary of natural history for Elachistocleis "ovalis".

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