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Pelodytidae are the "Parsley Frogs." The name comes from Pelodytes punctatus, a species whose green coloration makes the frog look like it is garnished with parsley. There is one living genus, Pelodytes, with two species, in western Europe and the Caucasus mountains. Fossil taxa are also known, from the Eocene to Pleistocene.

Pelodytes punctatus of Europe is a small (4 cm), gracile and agile frog with prominent eyes. It is mostly nocturnal and terrestrial, but breeds in water, with males apparently calling from under water. The tadpoles have beaks, denticles, and a sinistral spiracle (Orton Type 4).

The group is recognized as a family mainly because of the fused astragalus and calcaneum, an unusual feature in frogs (also known in centrolenid frogs). Another distinctive feature is the presence of a parahyoid bone in the hyoid apparatus. Among frogs in the Pipanura this character is known only in rhinophrynids and palaeobatrachids.


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