AmphibiaWeb - Myobatrachidae
AMPHIBIAWEB

Myobatrachidae

133 species in 21 genera

Commonly Called Australian Water Frogs, Australian Froglets, Toadlets, Ground Frogs, Turtle Frogs


Limnodynastes dumerilii
Photo by Sean Schoville
(Click for family gallery)

This assemblage of frogs is made up of 21 genera, distributed in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. They range in size from 20 - 110 mm snout-vent length. Developmental life histories vary from having aquatic larvae to terrestrial direct developing to eggs/tadpoles which are brooded within 2 slit-like pouches at the hip region (e.g., Assa darlingtoni). Members of the now extinct genus Rheobatrachus were able to 'swallow' their eggs and brood the developing larvae in their stomach while shutting off gastric production. Different morphotypes exist within this family, from squat, short-legged, thick-snouted forward burrowers to backward burrowers and unmodified terrestrial or semi-aquatic body forms. Much is still to be discovered about their natural histories.

Many species are endangered and several are listed as extinct, including the gastric-brooding species of genus Rheobatrachus and Taudactylus diurnus.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Terrestrial most, and a few fossorial
  • Inhabits a variety of forests, open grasslands, streamsides
  • A variety of reproductive modes, especially development from aquatic larvae to terrestrial direct development to brooded tadpoles in specialized pouches or in the stomachs of the parent
  • Morphological characters for this family are: 1) lack of fusion of the first two presacral vertebrae; 2) broad and wing-like shape of alary processes of the hyoid (except in Rheobatrachus); 3) small or absent finger/toe discs; 4) presence of the periaxial sheath enclosing the axial fiber of the sperm flagellum.
  • Distribution limited to Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea
Myobatrachidae Richness map

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

Relevant Reference

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 Limnodynastinae (65 species)

Genus Adelotus (1 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Adelotus brevis account photos no sound/video

Genus Heleioporus (6 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Heleioporus albopunctatus account photos no sound/video
Heleioporus australiacus account photos no sound/video
Heleioporus barycragus account no photos no sound/video
Heleioporus eyrei account photos no sound/video
Heleioporus inornatus account no photos no sound/video
Heleioporus psammophilus account no photos no sound/video

Genus Lechriodus (4 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Lechriodus aganoposis account no photos no sound/video
Lechriodus fletcheri account photos no sound/video
Lechriodus melanopyga no account no photos no sound/video
Lechriodus platyceps no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Limnodynastes (11 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Limnodynastes convexiusculus account photos sound/video
Limnodynastes depressus account no photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes dorsalis account photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes dumerilii account photos sound/video
Limnodynastes fletcheri account photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes interioris account no photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes lignarius account photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes peronii account photos sound/video
Limnodynastes salmini account photos no sound/video
Limnodynastes tasmaniensis account photos sound/video
Limnodynastes terraereginae account photos sound/video

Genus Mixophyes (8 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Mixophyes balbus account photos no sound/video
Mixophyes carbinensis account photos no sound/video
Mixophyes coggeri account photos no sound/video
Mixophyes fasciolatus account photos no sound/video
Mixophyes fleayi account photos sound/video
Mixophyes hihihorlo no account no photos no sound/video
Mixophyes iteratus account photos no sound/video
Mixophyes schevilli account photos sound/video

Genus Neobatrachus (9 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Neobatrachus albipes account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus aquilonius account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus fulvus account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus kunapalari account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus pelobatoides account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus pictus account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus sudellae account photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus sutor account no photos no sound/video
Neobatrachus wilsmorei account no photos no sound/video

Genus Notaden (4 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Notaden bennettii account photos no sound/video
Notaden melanoscaphus account photos sound/video
Notaden nichollsi account photos no sound/video
Notaden weigeli account photos no sound/video

Genus Philoria (6 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Philoria frosti account no photos no sound/video
Philoria kundagungan account photos no sound/video
Philoria loveridgei account no photos no sound/video
Philoria pughi account photos no sound/video
Philoria richmondensis account photos no sound/video
Philoria sphagnicolus account no photos no sound/video

Genus Platyplectrum (2 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Platyplectrum ornatum account photos sound/video
Platyplectrum spenceri account photos no sound/video

Genus Pseudophryne (14 species)    [subfamily Limnodynastinae]
Pseudophryne australis account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne bibronii account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne coriacea account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne corroboree account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne covacevichae account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne dendyi account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne douglasi account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne guentheri account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne major account photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne occidentalis account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne pengilleyi account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne raveni account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne robinsoni no account no photos no sound/video
Pseudophryne semimarmorata account no photos no sound/video
Subfamily Myobatrachinae (68 species)

Genus Arenophryne (2 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Arenophryne rotunda account photos no sound/video
Arenophryne xiphorhyncha no account photos no sound/video

Genus Assa (1 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Assa darlingtoni account photos no sound/video

Genus Crinia (17 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Crinia bilingua account photos no sound/video
Crinia deserticola account photos sound/video
Crinia fimbriata no account no photos no sound/video
Crinia flindersensis account no photos no sound/video
Crinia georgiana account photos no sound/video
Crinia glauerti account no photos no sound/video
Crinia insignifera account no photos no sound/video
Crinia nimbus account no photos no sound/video
Crinia parinsignifera account photos sound/video
Crinia pseudinsignifera account no photos no sound/video
Crinia remota account photos no sound/video
Crinia riparia account no photos no sound/video
Crinia signifera account photos sound/video
Crinia sloanei account photos no sound/video
Crinia subinsignifera account photos no sound/video
Crinia tasmaniensis account no photos no sound/video
Crinia tinnula account photos no sound/video

Genus Geocrinia (7 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Geocrinia alba account no photos no sound/video
Geocrinia laevis account no photos no sound/video
Geocrinia leai account no photos no sound/video
Geocrinia lutea account no photos no sound/video
Geocrinia rosea account no photos no sound/video
Geocrinia victoriana account photos no sound/video
Geocrinia vitellina account no photos no sound/video

Genus Metacrinia (1 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Metacrinia nichollsi account no photos no sound/video

Genus Myobatrachus (1 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Myobatrachus gouldii account photos no sound/video

Genus Paracrinia (1 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Paracrinia haswelli account no photos no sound/video

Genus Rheobatrachus (2 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Rheobatrachus silus account photos no sound/video
Rheobatrachus vitellinus account no photos no sound/video

Genus Spicospina (1 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Spicospina flammocaerulea account photos no sound/video

Genus Taudactylus (6 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Taudactylus acutirostris account no photos sound/video
Taudactylus diurnus account photos no sound/video
Taudactylus eungellensis account photos no sound/video
Taudactylus liemi account photos no sound/video
Taudactylus pleione account no photos no sound/video
Taudactylus rheophilus account no photos sound/video

Genus Uperoleia (29 species)    [subfamily Myobatrachinae]
Uperoleia altissima account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia arenicola account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia aspera account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia borealis account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia capitulata account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia crassa account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia daviesae no account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia fusca account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia glandulosa account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia inundata account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia laevigata account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia lithomoda account photos sound/video
Uperoleia littlejohni account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia mahonyi no account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia marmorata account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia martini account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia micra account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia micromeles account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia mimula account photos sound/video
Uperoleia minima account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia mjobergii account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia orientalis account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia rugosa account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia russelli account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia saxatilis no account photos no sound/video
Uperoleia stridera no account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia talpa account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia trachyderma account no photos no sound/video
Uperoleia tyleri 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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