AmphibiaWeb - Brachycephalidae
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  Brachycephalidae (see family information on Tree of Life site)

54 species in 2 genera

This family is an assemblage of direct-developing frogs from Brazil and northern Argentina, and is composed of two genera, Brachycephalus and Ischnocnema. The family Brachycephalidae is defined primarily by molecular characters; no unique morphological characters are shared by these genera. Members of this family range in size from 10.2 mm SVL in females of Brachycephalus didactylus to 54 mm in females of Ischnocnema guentheri (Hedges et al. 2008).

Frogs of the genus Brachycephalus are known as “Saddle-back Toads,” due to the presence of bony shields above their vertebrae, or “Pumpkin Toads,” from the bright orange coloration of some of the members of this family. At first they were considered to be Bufonids, but absence of a Bidder’s organ (ovarian tissue on the testes, a synapomorphy of Bufonidae) led to their recognition as an independent family. Due to their small size and large genomes (an amphibian characteristic), these frogs have “lost” some of their digits (2 on the hand and 3 or 4 on the feet). These frogs are direct developers with inguinal or axillary amplexus. Brachycephalus ephippium is known to possess tetrodotoxin, a strong toxin also found in newts of the genus Taricha and in puffer fish.


Brachycephalus ephippium
Photo by Germano Woehl Jr.
(Click for details)

Frogs of the genus Ischnocnema are found throughout the Atlantic Coastal Forest in eastern Brazil, and in the Araucaria forest in extreme southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina (Hedges et al. 2008).

Literature cited:
Hedges, S. B., Duellman, W. E., and Heinicke, M. P. (2008). New World direct-developing frogs (Anura: Terrarana): Molecular phylogeny, classification, biogeography, and conservation. Zootaxa 1737: 1-182.

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Genus Brachycephalus (21 species)
Brachycephalus alipioi AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus atelopoide no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus brunneus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus bufonoides no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus crispus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus didactylus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus ephippium AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus ferruginus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus garbeana no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus guarani no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus hermogenesi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus izecksohni no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus margaritatus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus nodoterga no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus pernix AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus pitanga no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus pombali no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus pulex no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus toby no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus tridactylus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brachycephalus vertebralis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Ischnocnema (33 species)
Ischnocnema abdita no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema bolbodactyla no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Ischnocnema concolor no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema epipeda no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema erythromera no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema gehrti no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema gualteri no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema guentheri AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Ischnocnema henselii no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema hoehnei no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema holti AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Ischnocnema izecksohni no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema juipoca no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema karst no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema lactea no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema manezinho no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema melanopygia no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema nanahallux no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema nasuta no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema nigriventris no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema octavioi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema oea no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema paranaensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema parva no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema penaxavantinho no AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Ischnocnema pusilla no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema randorum no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema sambaqui no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema spanios no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema surda no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema venancioi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema verrucosa no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ischnocnema vizottoi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video


Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2014. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: http://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed: 2014).

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