AmphibiaWeb - Hemiphractidae
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Hemiphractidae

120 species in 6 genera

Commonly Called Horned Frogs, Marsupial Frogs


Flectonotus pygmaeus
Photo by Mauricio Rivera Correa
(Click for family gallery)

The family Hemiphractidae is known for its direct-development with a unique means of parental care. These species bear the developing eggs on the back until they hatch, sometimes also carrying its tadpoles and froglets. Frogs of the genera Flectonotus, Fritziana, and Gastrotheca are known as "marsupial" frogs since they carry the developing embryos in a dorsal pouch. Cryptobatrachus, Hemiphractus, and Stefania lacks a dorsal pouch and carry their eggs and tadpoles on their back. All members of this family except for Flectonotus pygmaeus have embryos with two pairs of bell-shaped gills, which derive from the first and second branchial arches. Frogs of the genus Hemiphractus have distinct triangle-shaped heads and spiky protuberences above their eyes, on their rostrum, legs and sides.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Terrestrial
  • Tropical rainforests
  • Direct development; specialized dorsal pouch houses the eggs until they hatch as froglets (Flectonotus, Fritziana, Gastrotheca), or eggs, tadpoles are carried on the back (Cryptobatrachus, Hemiphractus, Stefania)
  • Hemiphractus have distinct triangle-shaped heads and spiky protuberences above their eyes, on their rostrum, legs and sides
  • Distribution in South and Central America, in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama.
 Richness map

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

Relevant Reference

Duellman, W. E. 2015. Marsupial Frogs. Gastrotheca & Allied Genera. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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.

Genus Cryptobatrachus (7 species)
Cryptobatrachus boulengeri no account photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus conditus no account no photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus fuhrmanni no account photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus nicefori no account no photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi no account no photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus remotus no account no photos no sound/video
Cryptobatrachus ruthveni no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Flectonotus (2 species)
Flectonotus fitzgeraldi account photos no sound/video
Flectonotus pygmaeus no account photos no sound/video

Genus Fritziana (7 species)
Fritziana fissilis no account photos no sound/video
Fritziana goeldii no account photos no sound/video
Fritziana izecksohni no account no photos no sound/video
Fritziana mitus no account no photos no sound/video
Fritziana ohausi no account photos no sound/video
Fritziana tonimi no account no photos no sound/video
Fritziana ulei account no photos no sound/video

Genus Gastrotheca (76 species)
Gastrotheca abdita account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca aguaruna no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca albolineata no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca andaquiensis account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca angustifrons no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca antomia no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca antoniiochoai account photos sound/video
Gastrotheca aratia no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca argenteovirens no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca atympana no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca aureomaculata no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca bufona no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca carinaceps no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca christiani no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca chrysosticta no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca coeruleomaculatus no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca cornuta account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca cuencana no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca dendronastes no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca dissimilis no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca dunni no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca dysprosita no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca elicioi no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca ernestoi no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca espeletia no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca excubitor no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca fissipes no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca flamma no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca fulvorufa no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca galeata no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca gemma no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca gracilis no account photos sound/video
Gastrotheca griswoldi no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca guentheri no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca helenae no account photos sound/video
Gastrotheca lateonota no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca litonedis no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca lojana no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca longipes no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca marsupiata no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca megacephala no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca microdiscus no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca monticola no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca nebulanastes account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca nicefori no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca ochoai no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca oresbios no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca orophylax account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca ossilaginis no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca ovifera no account photos sound/video
Gastrotheca pacchamama account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca pachachacae account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca peruana no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca phalarosa no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca phelloderma account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca piperata no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca plumbea no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca prasina no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca pseustes no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca psychrophila no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca pulchra no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca rebeccae no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca recava no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca riobambae account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca ruizi no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca spectabilis no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca splendens no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca stictopleura no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca testudinea no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca trachyceps account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca turnerorum no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca walkeri no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca weinlandii no account photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca williamsoni no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca yacuri no account no photos no sound/video
Gastrotheca zeugocystis no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Hemiphractus (9 species)
Hemiphractus bubalus no account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus elioti no account no photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus fasciatus no account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus helioi account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus johnsoni no account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus kaylockae no account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus panamensis no account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus proboscideus account photos no sound/video
Hemiphractus scutatus no account photos no sound/video

Genus Stefania (19 species)
Stefania ackawaio no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania ayangannae no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania breweri no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania coxi no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania evansi no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania ginesi no account photos no sound/video
Stefania goini no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania marahuaquensis no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania neblinae no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania oculosa no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania percristata no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania riae no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania riveroi no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania roraimae no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania satelles no account photos no sound/video
Stefania scalae no account photos no sound/video
Stefania schuberti no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania tamacuarina no account no photos no sound/video
Stefania woodleyi 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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