List of Anuran families

This list of Anuran families shows all extant families of Anura. Anura is an order of animals in the class Amphibia that includes frogs and toads. More than 5,000 species are described in the order. The living anurans are typically divided into three suborders: Archaeobatrachia, Mesobatrachia, and Neobatrachia. This classification is based on such morphological features as the number of vertebrae, the structure of the pectoral girdle, and the morphology of tadpoles.


The archaeobatrachians are the most primitive of frogs. These frogs have morphological characteristics which are found mostly in extinct frogs, and are absent in most of the modern frog species. Most of these characteristics are not common between all the families of Archaeobatrachia, or are not absent from all the modern species of frogs. However, all archaeobatrachians have free vertebrae, whereas all other species of frogs have their ribs fused to their vertebrae.

The Neobatrachia comprise the most modern species of frogs. Most of these frogs have morphological features which are more complex than those of the mesobatrachians and archaeobatrachians. The neobatrachians all have a palatine bone, which braces the upper jaw to the neurocranium. This is absent in all Archaeobatrachia and some Mesobatrachia. The third distal carpus is fused with the remaining carpal bones. The adductor longus muscle is present in the neobatrachians, but absent in the archaeobatrachians and some mesobatrachians. It is believed to have differentiated from pectineus muscle, and this differentiation has not occurred in the primitive frogs.

The Mesobatrachia are considered the evolutionary link between the Archaeobatrachia and the Neobatrachia. The families within the mesobatrachian suborder generally contain morphological features typical of both the other suborders. For example, the palatine bone is absent in all archaeobatrachians, and present in all neobatrachians. However, within the mesobatrachians families, it can be dependent on the species as to whether the palatine bone is present.

Due to the many morphological features which separate the frogs, many different systems are used for the classification of the anuran suborders. These different classification systems usually split the Mesobatrachia suborder.


Archaeobatrachia - four families, six genera, 27 species
Family Genera Common names Example species Example photo
Fejérváry, 1923
1 Tailed frogs Tailed frog (Ascaphus truei)  
Gray, 1825
2 Fire-belly toads European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina)  
Günther, 1858
3 Painted frogs or disc-tongued frogs Portuguese or Iberian painted frog (Discoglossus galganoi)  
Mivart, 1869
1 New Zealand primitive frogs Hochstetters frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri)  
Mesobatrachia - six families, 21 genera, 168 species
Family Genera Common names Example species Example photo
Bonaparte, 1850
11 Litter frogs or short-legged toads Long-nosed horned frog (Megophrys nasuta)  
Bonaparte, 1850
1 European spadefoot toads Common spadefoot (Pelobates fuscus)  
Bonaparte, 1850
1 Parsley frogs Common parsley frog (Pelodytes punctatus)  
Gray, 1825
5 Tongueless frogs or clawed frogs African dwarf frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri)  
Günther, 1859
1 Mexican burrowing toad Mexican burrowing toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis)  
Cope, 1865
2 American spadefoot toads Western spadefoot toad (Spea hammondii)  
Neobatrachia - 21 families, more than 5,000 species
Family Genera Common names Example species Example photo
Goin, Goin, and Zug, 1978
1 Tukeit Hill frog Tukeit Hill frog (Allophryne ruthveni) -
Boulenger, 1882
2 Marsupial frogs Marsupial frog (Gastrotheca excubitor)  
Mivart, 1869
8 Screeching frogs or squeakers Buea screeching frog (Arthroleptis variabilis)  
Günther, 1858
1 Saddleback toads Pumpkin toadlet (Brachycephalus ephippium)  
Gray, 1825
35 True toads Common toad (Bufo bufo)  
Taylor, 1951
3 Glass frogs Bare-hearted glass frog (Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum)  
Cope, 1865
9 Poison dart frogs Yellow-banded poison dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas)  
Noble, 1931
1 Ghost frogs Natal ghost frog (Heleophryne natalensis)  
Cope, 1867
1 Shovelnose frogs Marbled snout-burrower or mottled shovelnose frog (Hemisus marmoratus)  
Rafinesque, 1815
42 Tree frogs White's tree frog (Litoria caerulea)  
Laurent, 1943
20 Sedge frogs or bush frogs Big-eyed tree frog (Leptopelis vermiculatus)  
Werner, 1896
49 Southern frogs or tropical frogs Cliff chirping frog (Eleutherodactylus marnockii)  
Laurent, 1946
12 - Golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)  
Günther, 1858
62 Narrow Mouthed Frogs Eastern narrow-mouthed toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)  
Schlegel In Gray, 1850
20 Australian ground frogs Great barred frog (Mixophyes fasciolatus)  
Rafinesque, 1814
52 True frogs American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)  
Hoffman, 1932
9 Moss frogs Malabar gliding frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus)  
Bonaparte, 1850
1 Darwin's frogs Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)  
Noble, 1931
2 Seychelles frogs Gardiner's Seychelles frog (Sooglossus gardineri)  


  • Myers, P.; R. Espinosa; C. S. Parr; T. Jones; G. S. Hammond; T. A. Dewey (2006). "Order Anura (frogs and toads)". The Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 2006-05-13.
  • Duellman, William E.; Linda Trueb (1994). Biology of Amphibians. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-4780-X.
  • Cannatella, David; Ford, Linda; Bockstanz, Lori (1995). "Neobatrachia". Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved 2006-05-19.