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Introduction

Microhylids are called Narrow-Mouthed Frogs, althought not all of the species have the very narrow mouths and pointed heads seen in the New World species. This family has the largest number of genera, with more than 60. They are found principally in tropical regions of the world: South America, Africa, Madagascar, SE Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia (NE only). They also are found in the more temperate regions of North America and Africa. The two genera in the United States are Gastrophryne and Hypopachus.

  

In size they range from tiny forms (10 mm) to moderately large animals (100 mm). In many the body form is tear-drop-shaped, with a narrow, pointed snout and rather rounded body. However, some are more treefrog like, with expanded digital tips, such as Kaloula.

  

Breviceps, the Rain Frogs of Africa, have a very short face; during amplexus the male becomes attached to the female by sticky skin secretions. Many microhylids are burrowers, emerging only after heavy rains. Most are dull, but are few such as Dyscophus may be brightly colored. As a group they tend to be ant and termite-specialists. Some exhibit a commensal relationship with burrowing spiders (Crocroft and Hambler, 1989). Phrynomerus, the Rubber Frogs, have intercalary elements in the digits and have often been placed in a separate family Phrynomeridae.

  

The most informative reference remains (Parker, 1934).

 

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