Arthroleptid FrogsDavid Cannatella
IntroductionThis 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 RelationshipsThe 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.
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University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA
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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/