Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

Bufonids are the true toads, although some are not particularly toadlike. The large genus Bufo has over 200 species and is naturally cosmopolitan except for Australia. The other genera are distributed in three tropical areas: South America, Africa, and southeast Asia. Some of these other genera are clearly derived from Bufo, but others belong to a major evolutionary lineage that is distinct from Bufo and its allies.

Bufonids range in size from 20 to more than 200 mm. No bufonids have teeth, although the absence of teeth occurs sporadically in other frog groups. Also, many bufonids (but not all) have a Bidder's organ, which is a mass of gonadal tissue in males that has the appearance of an immature testis. If the testis of a male is surgically removed, the Bidder's organ will enlarge and differentiate into a functional ovary.

Most toads of the genus Bufo are dull. However, Bufo periglenes is brightly colored and exhibits extreme color dimorphism between males and females. This rare toad lives in the cool wind-swept cloud forests of Costa Rica near Monteverde. It has not been observed in several years and may be extinct.

Species of the genus Atelopus, also called Harlequin Frogs, are brightly colored. Atelopus zeteki from Panama have skin toxins (Brown et al. 1977). Bufo spinulosus is among the highest ranging amphibians; it is known from about 5000 m elevation in the Andes of South America.

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Distribution

Geographic Distribution

The distribution of living members of the family Bufonidae is indicated in red.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Associations

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
larva of Lucilia bufonivora endoparasitises Bufonidae

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
larva of Lucilia silvarum endoparasitises Bufonidae

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Reproduction

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

  • Bufonidae
    • Adenomus
    • Altiphrynoides malcolmi
    • Andinophryne
    • Ansonia
    • Atelophryniscus chrysophorus
    • Atelopus
    • Bufo
    • Bufoides meghalayanus
    • Capensibufo
    • Crepidophryne epiotica
    • Dendrophryniscus
    • Didynamipus sjostedti
    • Frostius pernambucensis
    • Leptophryne
    • Melanophryniscus
    • Mertensophryne micranotis
    • Laurentophryne parkeri
    • Metaphryniscus sosae
    • Nectophryne
    • Nectophrynoides
    • Nimbaphrynoides
    • Oreophrynella
    • Osornophryne
    • Parapelophryne scalptus
    • Pedostibes
    • Pelophryne
    • Pseudobufo subasper
    • Rhamphophryne
    • Schismaderma carens
    • Spinophrynoides osgoodi
    • Stephopaedes
    • Truebella
    • Werneria
    • Wolterstorffina

Ford and Cannatella (1993) defined Bufonidae as the node-based name for the most recent common ancestor of living bufonids (Bufo, Frostius, etc., as listed in Frost [1985]), and all its descendants. Putative synapomorphies of Bufonidae are the presence of Bidder's organ (Duellman and Trueb, 1986); a unique pattern of insertion of the hyoglossus muscle; absence of the posterior constrictor muscle (Trewavas, 1933); the absence of teeth; origin of depressor mandibulae muscle solely from the squamosal, and associated angle of orientation of the squamosal (Griffiths, 1954; Starrett, 1968); and the presence of the "otic element," an independent ossification in the temporal region that fuses to the otic ramus of the squamosal (Griffiths, 1954).

The distribution of Bidder's organ was summarized by Roessler et al. (1990), and knowledge of the taxonomic distribution is reasonably good. No bufonids are known to have teeth, but teeth are absent in unrelated taxa, including some basal telmatobiine leptodactylids with no clear relationships to other taxa. Barring the close relationship of any of these taxa to Bufonidae, the absence of teeth is tentatively considered a synapomorphy of Bufonidae. The conformation of the hyoglossus muscle and absence of the constrictor posterior muscle were listed by Trewavas (1933) as possible diagnostic features of Bufonidae. These characters are virtually unique in bufonids among frogs, and Cannatella has confirmed the presence of these in several other bufonid genera, but greater taxonomic coverage is needed. Griffiths (1954) stated that the "otic element" is diagnostic of bufonids, but his observations on its development were limited to seven species of Bufo and two species of Atelopus.

Graybeal and Cannatella (1995) discussed the phylogenetic status of all of the bufonid genera.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:2851
Specimens with Sequences:3198
Specimens with Barcodes:1866
Species:195
Species With Barcodes:181
Public Records:410
Public Species:45
Public BINs:69
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

True toad

Song of Common toad or European toad, Bufo bufo.

The true toads are the family Bufonidae, members of the order Anura (frogs and toads). They are the only family of anurans in which all members are known as "toads". The bufonids now comprise more than 35 genera, Bufo being the most widespread and well known.

Characteristics[edit]

True toads are widespread and are native to every continent except Australia and Antarctica, inhabiting a variety of environments, from arid areas to rainforest. Most lay eggs in paired strings that hatch into tadpoles, although, in the genus Nectophrynoides, the eggs hatch directly into miniature toads.[1]

True toads are toothless and generally warty in appearance. They have a pair of parotoid glands on the back of their heads. These glands contain an alkaloid poison which the toads excrete when stressed. The poison in the glands contains a number of toxins causing different effects. Bufotoxin is a general term. Different animals contain significantly different substances and proportions of substances. Some, like the cane toad Bufo marinus, are more toxic than others. Some "psychoactive toads", such as the Colorado River toad Bufo alvaris, have been used recreationally for the effects of their bufotoxin.

Male toads possess a Bidder's organ. Under the right conditions, the organ becomes an active ovary and the toad, in effect, becomes female.[2]

Taxonomy[edit]

The Bufonidae family contains about 500 species among 37 genera.

Genus Latin name and authorCommon nameSpecies
Adenomus Cope, 1861Dwarf toads
3
Altiphrynoides Dubois, 1987Ethiopian toads
2
Amietophrynus Frost et al., 2006
38
Anaxyrus
22
Andinophryne Hoogmoed, 1985Andes toads
3
Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870Stream toads
25
Atelopus Duméril & Bibron, 1841Stubfoot toads
82
Bufo Laurenti, 1768Toads
37
Bufoides Pillai & Yazdani, 1973Mawblang toad
1
Capensibufo Grandison, 1980Cape toads
2
Churamiti Channing & Stanley, 2002
1
Crepidophryne Cope, 1889Cerro Utyum toads
3
Dendrophryniscus Jiménez de la Espada, 1871Tree toads
7
Didynamipus Andersson, 1903Four-digit toad
1
Duttaphrynus Frost et al., 2006
6
Epidalea Cope, 1864Natterjack toad
1
Frostius Cannatella, 1986Frost's toads
2
Ingerophrynus Frost et al., 2006
11
Laurentophryne Tihen, 1960Parker's tree toad
1
Leptophryne Fitzinger, 1843Indonesia tree toads
2
Melanophryniscus Gallardo, 1961South American redbelly toads
20
Mertensophryne Tihen, 1960Snouted frogs
20
Metaphryniscus Señaris, Ayarzagüena & Gorzula, 1994
1
Nectophryne Buchholz & Peters, 1875African tree toads
2
Nectophrynoides Noble, 1926African live-bearing toads
13
Nimbaphrynoides Dubois, 1987Nimba toads
2
Oreophrynella Boulenger, 1895Bush toads
8
Osornophryne Ruiz-Carranza & Hernández-Camacho, 1976Plump toads
6
Parapelophryne Fei, Ye & Jiang, 2003
1
Pedostibes Günther, 1876Asian tree toads
6
Pelophryne Barbour, 1938Flathead toads
9
Pseudepidalea Frost, et al. 2006
16
Pseudobufo Tschudi, 1838False toad
1
Rhinella Fitzinger, 1826Beaked toads
72
Schismaderma Smith, 1849African split-skin toad
1
Truebella Graybeal & Cannatella, 1995
2
Werneria Poche, 1903Smalltongue toads
6
Wolterstorffina Mertens, 1939Wolterstorff toads
3
Xanthophryne Biju, Van Bocxlaer, Giri, Loader & Bossuyt, 2009
2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 91–92. ISBN 0-12-178560-2. 
  2. ^ Brown, Federico D., Eugenia M. Del Pino, and Georg Krohne. "Bidder's organ in the toad Bufo marinus: Effects of orchidectomy on the morphology and expression of lamina-associated polypeptide 2." Development, Growth & Differentiation. Wiley Online Library. Volume 44, Issue 6, pages 527–535, December 2002.
  • "Amphibian Species of the World 5.1 - Bufonidae". Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  • Stebbins, Robert. Western Reptiles & Amphibians (3rd ed.). Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003.
  • Halliday, Tim R., and Kraig Adler (editors). The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians. Facts on File, New York, 2002.
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