AmphibiaWeb - Neblinaphrynidae


(Translations may not be accurate.)


1 species in 1 genus

Known only from the elevated mountaintop (tepui) called the Neblina massif in northern Brazil, the family Neblinaphrynidae was described in 2023 by Fouquet et al. It is distinguishable from all other families in Brachycephaloidea mostly on the basis of molecular characters (Fouquet et al 2023).

This family represents an ancient lineage of frogs known only from an isolated massif which Fouquet et al (2023) characterize as 'museums' or evolutionary refugia for "the diversification of Brachycephaloidea and of Neotropical biotas more broadly, in line with the influential 'Plateau theory'" or 'Lost World Theory' (named after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous story of the same name). This postulates that fragmented areas of repeated geographic, climatic, or other environmental isolation over long periods of time may favor allopatric speciation and maintain lineages through time.

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Notable Family Characteristics

  • Morphological characters include: presence of arciferal pectoral girdles, partially fused calcanea and astragali, absence, or at least highly vestigial, septomaxillae and pointed terminal phalanges
  • Currently monotypic with one known species
  • All known specimens found above 2,000 m asl, and mostly around 2,600 m, on Neblina massif in Brazil

Relevant Reference

Fouquet A, Kok PJR, Recoder RS, Prates I, Camacho A, Marques-Souza S, Ghellere JM, McDiarmid RW, Rodrigues MT. 2023. Relicts in the mist: Two new frog families, genera and species highlight the role of Pantepui as a biodiversity museum throughout the Cenozoic. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 191,

Genus Neblinaphryne (1 species)
Neblinaphryne mayeri no account no photos no sound/video

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