Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

This small group of tiny frogs is found in forests of southeastern Brazil. The Gold Frog (Brachycephalus ephippium) is the best known member of this family, and is distinctive because of its color and possession of bony dorsal shields that are fused to the vertebrae. However, other populations of Brachycephalus (currently synonymized) have less ossification. With a snout-vent length of only 9.8 mm, Psyllophryne didactyla is one of the world's smallest amphibians. Both genera exhibit reduction of the number of digits. The two genera are united by the absence of a sternum. There are no fossil brachycephalids.

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Distribution

Geographic Distribution

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

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

  • Brachycephalidae
    • Brachycephalus ephippium
    • Psyllophryne didactyla
from Frost (1985)

Ford and Cannatella (1993) defined Brachycephalidae to be the most recent common ancestor of Brachycephalus and Psyllophryne, and all its descendants. Synapomorphies include the absence of a sternum, digital reduction, and complete ossification of epicoracoid cartilages with coracoids and clavicles (data from Izecksohn, 1971).

  

Brachycephalids have always been considered to be neobatrachians. A photo in Halliday and Adler (1986:38-39) shows Brachycephalus ephippium in inguinal amplexus, a behavior that is rare in Neobatrachia (Nussbaum, 1980).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 195
Specimens with Sequences: 220
Specimens with Barcodes: 182
Species: 35
Species With Barcodes: 35
Public Records: 3
Public Species: 2
Public BINs: 3
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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