The Megophryidae (commonly known as the litter frogs) are a large family of frogs native to the warm southeast of Asia, from the Himalayan foothills eastwards, south to Indonesia and the Greater Sunda Islands in Maritime Southeast Asia, and extending to the Philippines. Fossil remains are also known from North America. As of 2014[update] it encompasses 180 species of frogs divided between 9 genera. For lack of a better vernacular name, they are commonly called megophryids.
|Java spadefoot toad (Leptobrachium hasseltii)|
About 9, see text
|Global range (black)|
The megophryids are notable for their camouflage, especially those that live in forests, which often look like dead leaves. The camouflage is accurate to the point of some having skin folds that look like leaf veins, and at least one species, the long-nosed horned frog (Megophrys montana) has sharp projections extending past the eye and nose, which disguise the frog shape.
Megophryids range in size from 2 to 12.5 cm (0.79 to 4.92 in) in length. The adults' tongues are noticeably paddle-shaped. Their tadpoles can be found in a variety of waters, but especially ponds and streams. The tadpoles are extremely diverse in form because of the variety of habitats they inhabit.
Family Megophryidae includes the following nine genera:
- Borneophrys Delorme, Dubois, Grosjean & Ohler, 2006 (rough horned frogs, formerly in Megophrys)
- Brachytarsophrys Tian and Hu, 1983 (Karin Hills frogs)
- Leptobrachella Smith, 1925 (Borneo frogs)
- Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838 (Eastern spadefoot toads)
- Leptolalax Dubois, 1980 (Asian toads)
- Megophrys Kuhl and Van Hasselt, 1822 (Asian horned toads)
- Ophryophryne Boulenger, 1903 (mountain toads)
- Oreolalax Myers and Leviton, 1962
- Scutiger Theobald, 1868 (cat-eyed toads)
Of these, Borneophrys is monotypic. Genera no longer recognized include Atympanophrys (now in Megophrys) and Vibrissaphora (now in Leptobrachium). Furthermore, genus Xenophrys Günther, 1864 has recently been merged to Megophrys to resolve the paraphyly of Xenophrys, awaiting a better solution. This makes Megophrys the most speciose genus within Megophryidae. However, other sources continue to recognize Xenophrys.
- Borneophrys and Leptobrachella are endemic to Borneo.
- Megophrys (including the merged genus Xenophrys) is spread throughout the Himalayan region and Sundaland.
- Ophryophryne is endemic to Mainland Southeast Asia.
- Brachytarsophrys is in southern China and Mainland Southeast Asia.
- Leptobrachium and Leptolalax have widespread Sundaland distributions, including both Mainland Southeast Asia and Island Southeast Asia.
- Oreolalax and Scutiger are located primarily in the Eastern Himalayas, especially in Sichuan province, China.
- Megophrys binchuanensis: NW Yunnan
- Megophrys daweimontis: Mount Dawei, Pingbian Miao Autonomous County, Yunnan
- Leptobrachium promustache: Mount Dawei, Pingbian Miao Autonomous County, Yunnan
- Megophrys gigantica: Jingdong Yi Autonomous County and Yongde County, southwestern Yunnan
- Oreolalax granulosus: Ailao Mountains, Jingdong County, Yunnan
- Oreolalax jingdongensis: Ailao Mountains, Jingdong County, Yunnan
- Leptobrachium ailaonicum: Ailao Mountains, Jingdong County, Yunnan
- Leptolalax alpinus: Wuliangshan National Nature Reserve, Jingdong County, Yunnan
- Megophrys nankiangensis: northern Sichuan and southern Gansu
- Scutiger brevipes: Dawu County, Sichuan
- Scutiger jiulongensis: Jiulong County, Sichuan
- Scutiger maculatus: Garze, Sichuan and Jiangda, Tibet
- Oreolalax nanjiangensis: Mount Guangwu (光雾山), Nanjiang County, Sichuan
- Oreolalax chuanbeiensis: Pingwu County and Mao County, Sichuan
- Scutiger pingwuensis: Pingwu County, Sichuan
- Oreolalax liangbeiensis: Puxiong (普雄镇), Yuexi County, Sichuan
- Oreolalax puxiongensis: Puxiong (普雄镇), Yuexi County, Sichuan
- Oreolalax pingii: Zhaojue County and Yuexi County, Sichuan
- Megophrys binlingensis: Binling, Hongya County, Sichuan
- Megophrys wawuensis: Mount Wawu, Hongya County, Sichuan
- Oreolalax multipunctatus: Emeishan and Hongya counties, Sichuan
- Oreolalax omeimontis: Emeishan and Hongya counties, Sichuan
- Scutiger chintingensis: Mount Emei area, Sichuan
- Oreolalax major: central Sichuan
- Oreolalax schmidti: central Sichuan
- Oreolalax weigoldi: Washan, Sichuan
- Scutiger muliensis: Muli County, Sichuan
- Scutiger wanglangensis: Sichuan
- Brachytarsophrys chuannanensis: Junlian County and Hejiang County, Sichuan
- Ningxia, China
- Shaanxi, China
- Northeast India
- Megophrys megacephala: East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
- Megophrys oropedion: East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
- Megophrys serchhipii: Serchhip, Mizoram
- Megophrys zunhebotoensis: Nguti (Sukhalu), Zunheboto District, Nagaland
- Megophrys vegrandis: West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh
- Megophrys ancrae: Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh
- Scutiger sikimmensis: Sikkim
The origin of this group of frogs was largely unknown, due to the lack of members of this family in the fossil record. While the family was originally considered to have originated in the early-mid Cretaceous (100-126 mya) via fossils of related frog groups, a study in early 2017 revealed that this was likely an overestimation. Using DNA sequencing, the study indicated the group more likely originated much later during the Cretaceous period, around 77 mya. The study also indicated that there are likely many more new species in the family that are currently unknown to science.
While the family is currently restricted to Asia, fossils indicate that it once had a much wider distribution extending to North America. The earliest known fossils of this family are from the Eocene of Wyoming in the United States.
- Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-12-178560-4.
- "Fossilworks: Megophryidae". fossilworks.org. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
- Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Megophryidae Bonaparte, 1850". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Megophryidae". AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- R. Alexander Pyron; John J. Wiens (2011). "A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 61 (2): 543–583. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.06.012. PMID 21723399.
- "https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170223114828.htm". www.sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26. External link in
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Megophryidae.|
- "Asian Toadfrogs (Megophryidae)". Amy Lathrop. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Ed. Michael Hutchins, Arthur V. Evans, Jerome A. Jackson, Devra G. Kleiman, James B. Murphy, Dennis A. Thoney, et al. Vol. 6: Amphibians. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2004. p109-117.