AmphibiaWeb - Eleutherodactylidae
AMPHIBIAWEB

Eleutherodactylidae

232 species in 4 genera

Commonly Called New World Rain Frogs


An adult Eleutherodactylus iberia, one of the smallest known frogs at just 10.5 mm
Eleutherodactylus iberia
Photo by Ansel Fong
(Click for family gallery)

This family is an assemblage of four genera of direct-developing frogs found throughout the West Indies, in peninsular Florida (where it may be either native or introduced), and from southern Texas (USA) south to northwestern Ecuador, with some genera in northeastern South America and in the Amazon Basin. Frogs of the family Eleutherodactylidae range in size from 10.5 mm snout-vent length in female Eleutherodactylus iberia to 88 mm in female Eleutherodactylus inoptatus (Hedges et al. 2008). Eleutherodactylus iberia is one of the smallest frogs in the world. Miniaturization has occurred across five families of frogs (Brachycephalidae, Eleutherodactylidae, Leptodactylidae, Microhylidae, and Sooglossidae), and with it come constraints in morphological development, including digital reduction and loss of vomerine teeth. Miniaturized frog species also tend to have high-frequency calls (>5 kHz) and to have clutches with very small numbers of eggs (sometimes only one egg).

An unusual species is Eleutherodactylus jasperi, the only ovoviviparous eleutherodactylid, which retains developing embryos within eggs in the oviduct, giving birth to live froglets. This species is endemic to southern Puerto Rico, but is thought to be extinct as it has not been seen since 1981.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Inhabits forests and heavy vegetation
  • Internal fertilization in at least a few species (Eleutherodactylus coqui, E. jasperi)
  • Eggs are deposited terrestrially or arboreally and undergo direct development; ovoviviparity exists in at least one species (Eleutherodactylus jasperi)
  • Amplexus axillary
  • Species in this family share the following characters: (1) cartilaginous sternum; (2) vertebral shield not present; (3) transverse processes of posterior presacral vertebrae not expanded broadly; (4) cervical cotyles widely spaced; (5) eight presacral vertebrae, with Presacrals I and II not fused; (6) cranial elements not co-ossified with overlying skin; (7) omosternum present; (8) sacral diapophyses rounded to barely dilated; (9) maxillary arch usually dentate, with blunt, pedicellate teeth; (10) alary processes of premaxillae broadened at base, usually directed dorsally or posterodorsally; (11) palatal shelf of premaxilla usually broad, may be indented or not; (12) pars facialis of maxilla usually deep, not exostosed; (13) palatal shelf of maxilla moderately broad, may bear pterygoid process or not; (14) maxillary arch complete; maxillae tapering posteriorly; quadratojugal slender; (15) nasals usually large with broad median contact; (16) nasals usually not in contact with maxillae or pterygoids; (17) nasals not in contact with frontoparietals; (18) frontoparietal fontanelle usually absent; (19) frontoparietals usually not exostosed; cranial crests present in some Eleutherodactylus; (20) frontoparietals fused with prootics or not; (21) temporal arcade absent; (22) epiotic eminences prominent to indistinct; (23) carotid artery passes dorsal to cranial elements; (24) zygomatic ramus of squamosal broad to slender, usually not in contact with maxilla; (25) otic ramus of squamosal short to elongate, may be expanded into otic plate or not; (26) squamosal-maxilla angle 44 - 67°; (27) columella present, except in fenestra ovalis directed laterally; (28) vomers varying in size; dentigerous processes absent in Eleutherodactylus (subgenus Syrrhophus), and some diminutive species of Eleutherodactylus (subgenus Euhyas); (29) neopalatines usually broad; slender in Eleutherodactylus (subgenus Syrrhophus); (30) sphenethmoid usually entire, divided in some Eleutherodactylus (subgenus Syrrhophus); (31) anterior ramus of parasphenoid narrow to broad, no keel; (32) parasphenoid alae either present at right angle to axis of skull or deflected posteriorly, usually not overlapped by pterygoids; (33) pterygoid lacks ventral flange; anterior ramus does not reach neopalatine; (34) occipital condyles small to large, widely separated medially, may be stalked or not; (35) odontoids lacking; (36) terminal phalanges T-shaped; (37) usually three phalanges in Finger IV (two in some Adelophryne); (38) Toe I fully developed and free; (39) alary process of hyoid plate may be on slender stalk or not; (40) mandibular ramus of trigeminal nerve passes lateral to the m. adductor mandibulae (condition unknown in Adelophryne); (41) prominent external body glands usually absent, though lumbar glands are present in some Eleutherodactylus; (42) males have single or paired subgular vocal sac, single pectoral vocal sac, or no vocal sac; (43) males hav vocal slits (or not) and lack nuptial pads; (44) hands unwebbed; feet usually unwebbed or webbed basally, but foot webbing is extensive in some Eleutherodactylus; (45) terminal digits usually expanded with pads set off by distinct circumferential grooves; digits apically pointed in Adelophryne and some Diasporus; grooves present only laterally in Phyzelaphryne; (46) inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present, inner tubercle not spade-like; (47) tympanic membrane and annulus well differentiated or not
  • Distribution through the Caribbean, including Florida and southern Texas in the United States, Central America and south to Ecuador, and the Amazon Basin in Brazil.
Eleutherodactylidae Richness map

Cartography Credit: Zoe Yoo, UC Berkeley
Range maps sources: AmphibiaWeb, UC Berkeley, and IUCN RedList

Relevant Reference

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.

Pough, F. H., R. M. Andrews, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K. D. Wells, and M. C. Brandley. 2015. Herpetology. Fourth Edition. Massachusetts: Sinauer.

Vitt, L. J., and J. P. Caldwell. 2013. Herpetology. An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Fourth Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Subfamily Eleutherodactylinae (218 species)

Genus Diasporus (16 species)    [subfamily Eleutherodactylinae]
Diasporus amirae no account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus anthrax no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus citrinobapheus account photos sound/video
Diasporus darienensis account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus diastema no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus gularis no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus hylaeformis no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus igneus no account photos sound/video
Diasporus majeensis no account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus pequeno account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus quidditus no account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus sapo no account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus tigrillo no account no photos no sound/video
Diasporus tinker no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus ventrimaculatus no account photos no sound/video
Diasporus vocator no account photos no sound/video

Genus Eleutherodactylus (202 species)    [subfamily Eleutherodactylinae]
Eleutherodactylus geitonos account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus maculabialis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus sentinelus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) abbotti account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) amplinympha no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) antillensis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) audanti no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) auriculatoides no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) auriculatus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) barlagnei no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) bartonsmithi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) brittoni account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) cattus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) cochranae account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) cooki account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) coqui account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) diplasius no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) eileenae no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) eneidae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) flavescens no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) fowleri no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) glamyrus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) gryllus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) guantanamera account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) haitianus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) hedricki account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) ionthus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) jasperi account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) johnstonei account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) juanariveroi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) karlschmidti no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) lamprotes no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) leberi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) locustus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) mariposa account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) martinicensis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) melacara account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) melatrigonum no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) minutus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) montanus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) notidodes no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) olibrus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) parabates no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) patriciae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) pinchoni account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) pituinus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) poolei no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) portoricensis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) principalis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) richmondi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) ronaldi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) schwartzi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) sommeri no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) staurometopon no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) unicolor account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) varians no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) wetmorei no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) wightmanae account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) acmonis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) adelus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) albipes account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) alcoae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) alticola no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) amadeus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) andrewsi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) apostates no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) armstrongi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) atkinsi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) bakeri no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) beguei account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) blairhedgesi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) bresslerae account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) brevirostris no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) caribe no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) casparii no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) cavernicola no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) corona no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) cubanus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) cundalli no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) cuneatus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) darlingtoni no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) dimidiatus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) dolomedes no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) emiliae no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) erythroproctus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) etheridgei account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) eunaster no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) feichtingeri account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) furcyensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) fuscus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) glandulifer no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) glanduliferoides no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) glaphycompus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) glaucoreius no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) goini no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) gossei no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) grabhami no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) grahami no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) greyi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) griphus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) guanahacabibes no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) gundlachi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) heminota no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) iberia account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) intermedius account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) jamaicensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) jaumei no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) jugans no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) junori no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) klinikowskii no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) lentus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) leoncei no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) ligiae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) limbatus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) limbensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) lucioi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) luteolus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) maestrensis no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) michaelschmidi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) monensis no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) neiba no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) nubicola no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) orcutti no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) orientalis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) oxyrhyncus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) pantoni no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) paralius no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) paulsoni no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) pentasyringos no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) pezopetrus account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) pictissimus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) pinarensis no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) planirostris account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) probolaeus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) rhodesi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) ricordii account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) riparius no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) rivularis no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) rogersi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) rucillensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) rufifemoralis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) schmidti no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) sciagraphus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) semipalmatus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) simulans account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) sisyphodemus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) tetajulia account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) thomasi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) thorectes no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) toa no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) tonyi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) turquinensis account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) varleyi account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) ventrilineatus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) warreni no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) weinlandi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) zugi no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) aporostegus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) bothroboans no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) chlorophenax no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) hypostenor no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) inoptatus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) nortoni account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) parapelates no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) ruthae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Pelorius) tychathrous no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Schwartzius) counouspeus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) albolabris no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) angustidigitorum no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) campi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) colimotl no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) cystignathoides account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) dilatus no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) erendirae no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) erythrochomus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) floresvillelai no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) grandis no account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) grunwaldi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) guttilatus account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) interorbitalis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) jaliscoensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) leprus no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) longipes no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) manantlanensis no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) marnockii account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) maurus no account photos sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) modestus no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) nietoi no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) nitidus no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) orarius no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) pallidus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) pipilans account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) rubrimaculatus no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) rufescens no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) saxatilis no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) symingtoni account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) syristes no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) teretistes no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) verrucipes no account photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) verruculatus no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) wixarika no account no photos no sound/video
Eleutherodactylus (Syrrhophus) zeus no account photos no sound/video
Subfamily Phyzelaphryninae (14 species)

Genus Adelophryne (12 species)    [subfamily Phyzelaphryninae]
Adelophryne adiastola account photos no sound/video
Adelophryne amapaensis no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne baturitensis no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne glandulata account photos no sound/video
Adelophryne gutturosa account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne maranguapensis account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne meridionalis no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne michelin no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne mucronatus no account photos no sound/video
Adelophryne nordestina no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne pachydactyla no account no photos no sound/video
Adelophryne patamona no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Phyzelaphryne (2 species)    [subfamily Phyzelaphryninae]
Phyzelaphryne miriamae account photos no sound/video
Phyzelaphryne nimio no account no photos no sound/video


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

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