Bombinatoridae is a family of toads found in Eurasia. Species of the family have flattened bodies and some are highly toxic.

Temporal range: Maastrichtian–Recent
Bombina variegata1.jpg
Bombina variegata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Archaeobatrachia
Family: Bombinatoridae
Gray, 1825

See text

Bombinatoridae map.PNG
Distribution of Bombinatoridae (in black)

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

Fossil specimens of the genus Bombina are known from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The earliest fossil specimens are Eobarbourula from the Eocene of India, and Hatzegobatrachus from Late Cretaceous of Hateg island, Romania. The genus Barbourula was considered to be situated intermediate between Discoglossus and Bombina, but closer to the latter, so was added to the Bombinatoridae when that family was split from the Discoglossidae.


Currently, there are two extant and at least two extinct genera recognised in the family Bombinatoridae:[1]


Bombina species are warty, aquatic toads about 7 cm (2.8 in) in length, and most noted for their bright bellies. They often display the unken reflex when disturbed; the animal will arch its back and limbs to expose the bright belly, and may turn over on its back. This acts as a warning to predators.[2] The vocal behavior of some Bombina species are unusual in that the call is produced during inhalation rather than exhalation as in other frogs. They lay pigmented eggs in ponds.

Distribution and habitatEdit

Species of the genus Barbourula occur in the Philippine Islands and Borneo, while species of the genus Bombina are found throughout Eurasia. They are slightly less colored than Bombina spp., and possess webbed fingers in addition to webbed toes. Characteristics of tadpoles of Barbourula spp. are unknown.


  1. ^ Bombinatoridae at the American Museum of Natural History's Amphibian Species of the World website
  2. ^ Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.