Added September 2003

Family Microhylinae


The subfamily Microhylinae contains 25 genera and 450 or so species. The following is a list of the genera and their general characteristics and distribution.

Microhylid frogs differ from the true frogs (Ranidae) and tree frogs (Rhacophoridae) in the absence of teeth in the upper jaw and in their tongue, and are distinguished from the true toads (Bufonidae) in their circular or oval tongue, the circular or vertical pupil, and their smooth skin. The main generic characters in the family are the presence or absence of ridges on the palate in front of the pharynx and the presence or absence of disc-like dilations on the fingertips.

Please note that due to the general paucity of readily available knowledge about these creatures, this list is an ongoing work and will probably take some time to complete. Links will be provided from genus names to a list of their species when such information is available.

Adelastes Altigius Arcovomer
Chaperina Chiasmocleis Ctenophryne
Dasypops Dermatonotus Elachistocelis
Gastrophryne, Narrow-Mouthed Toads Gastrophrynoides Glyphoglossus
Hamptophryne Hyophryne Hypopachus
Kalophrynus Kaloula, Kaloulas Metaphrynella
Microhyla, Microhylids Micryletta Myersiella
Nelsonophryne Otophryne Phrynella
Ramanella Relictivomer Stereocyclops
Synapturanus Syncope Uperodon, Balloon Frogs

Genus Common Name No. of species Distribution Notes
Adelastes   1    
Altigius   1    
Arcovomer   1    
Chaperina   1    
Chiasmocleis   17    
Ctenophryne   2    
Dasypops   1 1  
Dermatonotus ? 1    
Elachistocleis   5    
Gastrophryne Narrow-Mouthed Toads 5 North America  
Gastrophrynoides ? 1    
Glyphoglossus   1    
Hamptophryne   1    
Hyophryne   1    
Hypopachus ? 2    
Kalophrynus   13    
Kaloula Kaloulas 12    
Metaphrynella   2    
Microhyla Microhylids  24    
Micryletta   2    
Myersiella   1    
Nelsonophryne   2    
Otophryne   3    
Phrynella   1    
Ramanella   8    
Relictivomer   1    
Stereocyclops   1    
Synapturanus   3    
Syncope   2    
Uperodon Balloon Frogs  2 India  


Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa, W Kästle, H H Schleich and K Kabisch, Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany 1996. Outstanding review of N African herpetofauna giving detailed account of each species.

Keeping and Breeding Amphibians, Chris Mattison, Blandford Press,

The Proper Care of Amphibians, John Coborn, TFH, 1992. Although I have been often critical of Coborn's books in the past - some, notably on lizards, have contained erroneous information - this is not a bad one. It is very useful for an oversight of all the amphibian families and contains some information on many species which are rarely seen in captivity.

Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs, RD and Patricia P Bartlett, Barron's Educational Series, 1996. This is a good book for details on the captive husbandry of the most common anurans you are likely to see offered in the pet trade.

Urania Tierreich: Fische, Lurche, Kriechtiere (various authors, but edited I believe by Professor Kurt Deckert: amphibian contributor was Dr Günther Freytag), Urania-Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig. Part of a 6-volume encyclopedia set on the animal kingdom and perhaps comparable to Grzimek's volumes, this volume provides a very useful overview of all the genera and many representative species.

Herpetology of China, Er-mi Zhao and Kraig Adler, SSAR, 1993. Catalogue of practically every reptile and amphibian species found in mainland China, Hongkong, Macao, Tibet and Taiwan. There are few details of the ecology of the animals, but readers are referred to a very comprehensive bibliography, and colour plates are provided for many of the creatures listed.


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