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

33 species in 4 genera

Tongueless Frogs

There are 4 genera and over 30 species in this family. These frogs lack a tongue, have dorsoventrally flattened bodies, fully webbed hind feet, small dorsally placed eyes, and retain a lateral line system. Tadpoles resemble small catfish due to their paired anterior barbells (absent in Hymenochirus whose tadpoles are carnivorous). Males in this family lack vocal cords but are able to communicate underwater via “clicking” sounds generated through a modified laryngeal apparatus. The Surinam Toad, Pipa pipa, amplexes (mates) in a circular motion underwater, allowing for the eggs to be deposited on the female's back. The fertilized eggs are later enveloped by skin and complete their development within the female's dorsal skin, so that eventually froglets emerge fully formed. Members of this family can be found in almost every kind of water body in Africa and South America. Two members of the genus Xenopus have become model lab organisms (the tetraploid Xenopus laevis and more recently the smaller, diploid Xenopus tropicalis), due to their hardiness and ability to be easily maintained in a laboratory, as well as ease of inducing ovulation and mating year-round by gonadotropin injection. The early development of Xenopus laevis has been studied by developmental biologists for over a hundred years. Characters for the Pipidae are: 1) epipubis present; 2) unpaired epipubic muscle; 3) quadratojugal absent; 4) free ribs in larvae; 5) sacrococcygeal articulation fused; 6) short, stocky sacrum; 7) elongate septomaxillae; 8) lateral line system present in adults; 9) tongues absent; 10) non-pedicellate teeth in Xenopus and some Pipa (other Pipa are edentate – have very few or no teeth).


Pipa pipa
Photo by Hugo Classen
(Click for details)

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Genus Hymenochirus (4 species)
Hymenochirus boettgeri AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Hymenochirus boulengeri no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Hymenochirus curtipes no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Hymenochirus feae no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Pipa (7 species)
Pipa arrabali no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pipa aspera no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pipa carvalhoi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pipa myersi AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pipa parva AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Pipa pipa AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pipa snethlageae no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Pseudhymenochirus (1 species)
Pseudhymenochirus merlini no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Xenopus (21 species)
Xenopus amieti no AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Xenopus andrei no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus borealis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus boumbaensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus clivii no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus epitropicalis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Xenopus fraseri no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus gilli AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus itombwensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus laevis AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Xenopus largeni no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus lenduensis AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Xenopus longipes AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus muelleri AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus petersii no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus pygmaeus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Xenopus ruwenzoriensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Xenopus tropicalis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Xenopus vestitus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos sound/video
Xenopus victorianus no AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Xenopus wittei no AmphibiaWeb account no photos 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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