Poyntonophrynus Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Bufonidae > Genus: Poyntonophrynus
10 species

English Names

None noted.


Arid lowlands of Somalia through eastern and southern Ethiopia to eastern South Sudan and Kenya; thence south through Tanzania to Angola, northern Nambia, Botswana, Rep. South Africa, and Swaziland.


Poyntonophrynus is the former Bufo vertebralis group of Blair, 1972, Evol. Genus Bufo: 356. See Bufonidae record for access to relevant literature that would have addressed these species as part of African "Bufo". Smith and Chiszar, 2006, Herpetol. Conserv. Biol., 1: 6-8, implied that this taxon should be considered a subgenus of Bufo; see comment under Bufonidae. Van Bocxlaer, Biju, Loader, and Bossuyt, 2009, BMC Evol. Biol., 9 (e131): 1-10, did not address this genus, but in a subsequent analysis Van Bocxlaer, Loader, Roelants, Biju, Menegon, and Bossuyt, 2010, Science, 327: 679-682, suggested that Poyntonophrynus is the sister taxon of Mertensophryne. See comment under Amietophrynus urunguensis, which likely belongs in this taxon. Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 156-171, provided a key and accounts for the species of southern Africa. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543-583, in their study of Genbank sequences, provided interesting results that suggests that Poyntonophrynus is polyphyletic, with Poytonophrynus vertebralis, the type of the genus, being imbedded withint Amietophrynus and the other exemplars of nominal Poyntonophrynus (Poytonophrynus fenoulheti, Poytonophrynus dombensis, and Poytonophrynus damaranus) forming a monophyletic group that is the likely sister taxon of Mertensophryne. Given the morphologically compact nature of Poyntonophrynus, this result of polyphyly begs to be evaluated carefully. The molecular data (12S and 16S mtDNA only) employed by Pyron and Wiens (2011) for "Bufo" vertebralis were provided by Graybeal, 1997, Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 119: 297-338. Cunningham and Cherry, 2004, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 32: 681, noted that Graybeal's 12S DNA sequences of her Bufo vertebralis (U52730; employed by Pyron and Wiens, 2011, who apparently were unaware of the Cunningham and Cherry, 2004, paper) are actually of Amietophrynus maculatus, and they caste doubt on all of her 16S sequences. So, for the moment, one has to entertain the possibility of the polyphyly of Poyntonophrynus, but the alternative, that this result is based on misidentified sequences seems to be the more likely explanation. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 150–152, reported on comparative tadpole morphology. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 150–152, reported on comparative tadpole morphology.

Contained taxa (10 sp.):

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