AMPHIBIAWEB

Rhinodermatidae

(see family information on Tree of Life site)
3 species in 2 genera

Commonly Called Mouth-brooding Frogs, Darwin's Frogs


Rhinoderma darwinii
Photo by Bert Willaert
(Click for family gallery)

Members of this family would be included within the Cycloramphidae if it were not for their strange modes of brooding their offspring. The eggs are laid on land and the tadpoles are carried to water in the mouth of the male (Rhinoderma rufum) or complete their development within the vocal sacs of the male (Rhinoderma darwinii). In the case of Rhinoderma darwinii, the larvae receive nutrition from viscous secretions within the male's vocal pouch, remaining within the pouch until they become froglets and emerge from the male's mouth. The etymology of their generic and familial name means "rhinoceros-nosed" referring to the proboscis-like extension that is present at the tip of the snout.

All members of this family are listed by IUCN as Vulnerable or Critically Endangered.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Terrestrial
  • Occurs in temperate wet forests and riparian corridors
  • Proboscis-like extension at the tip of the snout is present lending its family and generic name Rhinoderma
  • Egg-layers with parental care, including the extreme form of brooding and feeding wthin the vocal sacs of male Rhinoderma darwinii
  • Distribution limited to southwestern Argentina and Chile in South America

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.

Genus Insuetophrynus (1 species)
Insuetophrynus acarpicus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Rhinoderma (2 species)
Rhinoderma darwinii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Rhinoderma rufum AmphibiaWeb 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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