Under Construction


Arthroleptid Frogs

David Cannatella
from Frost (1985)
Containing group: Neobatrachia


This group includes 8 genera in the subfamilies Arthroleptinae and Astylosterninae. The group is restricted to sub-Saharan Africa. Some arthroleptines have terrestrial development. Astylosternines have vertical pupils. Arthroleptids have cartilaginous sterna, in contrast to ranids. Trichobatrachus robustus is the Hairy Frog. Its skin has hairlike projections that are used in cutaneous respiration in the water. There are no fossils.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The arthroleptids (arthroleptines and astylosternines) were separated as a distinct family by Dubois (1981). Duellman and Trueb (1986) recognized Arthroleptinae and Astylosterninae as subfamilies of Ranidae. According to Laurent (1986), they are distinctive among ranids, but similar to hyperoliids, in having a cartilaginous sternum, vertical pupil, a free second distal carpal, a free second distal tarsal. The last two of these are questionable (see account under "Ranidae"). Ford and Cannatella (1993) treated Arthroleptidae* as a metataxon and did not provide a phylogenetic definition, because no synapomorphies of the group are known.

Other Names for Arthroleptidae


Click here for general list of references

About This Page
If you are interested in authoring or co-authoring the page for this taxon, or some part of it (even a species), contact David Cannatella.

David Cannatella
University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to David Cannatella at

Page: Tree of Life Arthroleptidae. Arthroleptid Frogs. Authored by David Cannatella. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Cannatella, David. 1995. Arthroleptidae. Arthroleptid Frogs. Version 01 January 1995 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Arthroleptidae/16957/1995.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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