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Breviceps Merrem, 1820

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Brevicipitidae > Genus: Breviceps
16 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.

Contained taxa (16 sp.):

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