Megophryids are the largest and most diverse family-level group of non-neobatrachian frogs. They are found in India, Pakistan, and eastward into southeast Asia, Borneo and the Philippines to the Sunda Islands. They range in size from about 20 to 125 mm.
Some are large, cryptic, forest-floor dwellers with adaptations for large prey. Their skin is modified so that they resemble dead leaves on the forest floor. Some species have points of skin on the eyelids, which further enhances the illusion (Megophrys montana). Others, such as Leptobrachella mjobergi, are small, with digital discs and are found on rocks along streams.
Some megophryids have pond-type tadpoles; others have stream-dwelling tadpoles, some with surface-feeding mouths and some with large buccal areas for clinging to rocks.
All megophryids for which data are available have unusually ossified intervertebral disks, and hyoid plates that lack most of the ceratohyals. There are no known fossils.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Life History and Behavior
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
Evolution and Systematics
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
Ford and Cannatella (1993) defined the node-based name Megophryidae to be the common ancestor of living megophryines (Atympanophrys, Brachytarsophrys, Leptobrachella, Leptobrachium, Leptolalax, Megophrys, and Scutiger), and all its descendants. Putative synapomorphies include the complete or almost complete absence of ceratohyals in adults, intervertebral cartilages with an ossified center, and paddle-shaped tongue (Regal and Gans, 1976). Only two of the seven genera were analyzed by Cannatella (1985), but ongoing studies of other taxa by Cannatella corroborate these synapomorphies. The monophyly of megophryids has not been questioned.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:195
Specimens with Barcodes:155
Species With Barcodes:56
The Megophryidae (commonly known as the litter frogs) are a large family of frogs native to the warm southeast of Asia, from the Himalayan foothills eastwards, south to Indonesia and the Greater Sunda Islands in Maritime Southeast Asia, and extending to the Philippines. As of 2014[update] it encompasses 180 species of frogs divided between 9 genera. For lack of a better vernacular name, they are commonly called megophryids.
The megophryids are notable for their camouflage, especially those that live in forests, which often look like dead leaves. The camouflage is accurate to the point of some having skin folds that look like leaf veins, and at least one species, the long-nosed horned frog (Megophrys montana) has sharp projections extending past the eye and nose, which disguise the frog shape.
Megophryids range in size from 2 to 12.5 cm (0.79 to 4.92 in) in length. The adults' tongues are noticeably paddle-shaped. Their tadpoles can be found in a variety of waters, but especially ponds and streams. The tadpoles are extremely diverse in form because of the variety of habitats they inhabit.
Family Megophryidae includes the following nine genera:
- Borneophrys Delorme, Dubois, Grosjean & Ohler, 2006 (rough horned frogs, formerly in Megophrys)
- Brachytarsophrys Tian and Hu, 1983 (Karin Hills frogs)
- Leptobrachella Smith, 1925 (Borneo frogs)
- Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838 (Eastern spadefoot toads)
- Leptolalax Dubois, 1980 (Asian toads)
- Megophrys Kuhl and Van Hasselt, 1822 (Asian horned toads)
- Ophryophryne Boulenger, 1903 (mountain toads)
- Oreolalax Myers and Leviton, 1962
- Scutiger Theobald, 1868 (cat-eyed toads)
Of these, Borneophrys is monotypic. Genera no longer recognized include Atympanophrys (now in Megophrys) and Vibrissaphora (now in Leptobrachium). Furthermore, genus Xenophrys Günther, 1864 has recently been merged to Megophrys to resolve the paraphyly of Xenophrys, awaiting a better solution. This makes Megophrys the most speciose genus within Megophryidae. However, other sources continue to recognize Xenophrys.
- Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
- Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Megophryidae Bonaparte, 1850". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Megophryidae". AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Megophryidae.|
- Cogger, H.G; Zweifel, R.G. & Kirschner, D. (2004): Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians (2nd ed.). Fog City Press. ISBN 1-877019-69-0
- Heying, H. (2003): Animal Diversity Web – Megophryidae. Retrieved 2006-MAY-08.
- "Asian Toadfrogs (Megophryidae)". Amy Lathrop. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Ed. Michael Hutchins, Arthur V. Evans, Jerome A. Jackson, Devra G. Kleiman, James B. Murphy, Dennis A. Thoney, et al. Vol. 6: Amphibians. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2004. p109-117.
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