Evolution and Systematics
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
- Sooglossus gardineri
- Sooglossus sechellensis
- Nesomantis thomasseti
Ford and Cannatella (1993) defined Sooglossidae as a node-based name for the common ancestor of Nesomantis and Sooglossus, and all its descendants. The only published synapomorphy appears to be the presence of a sesamoid bone in the heel region (os sesamoides tarsale; Nussbaum, 1982), a feature shared with some petropedetine ranids. Sooglossids have been allied to ranoids (Griffiths, 1959a, 1963; Tyler, 1985) or to myobatrachids (Lynch, 1973). Duellman (1975) placed the sooglossids with ranoids on the basis of zoogeography. The two derived characters cited as evidence of a ranoid relationship (Griffiths, 1959a) are the semitendinosus tendon passing dorsal to the m. gracilis and partial fusion of the epicoracoid cartilages and sternum of the pectoral girdle. Nussbaum (1980) concluded that placement of Sooglossidae in Ranoidea was not supported, and preferred its placement near myobatrachids. Hay et al. (1995) placed Sooglossus in a trichotomy with 1) ranoids and 2) a clade composed of all other neobatrachians.
Ford and Cannatella (1993) described five shared derived characters allying sooglossids to myobatrachines. The first is a ventrally incomplete cricoid ring (Lynch, 1973); the ring is complete in Rheobatrachus and limnodynastines (Heyer and Liem, 1976). The second is the semitendinosus tendon inserting dorsal to the m. gracilis. This is shared with all myobatrachines except for Taudactylus, which has a ventral insertion (plesiomorphic); the insertion is also ventral in Rheobatrachus (Heyer and Liem, 1976). A third shared derived character is the horizontal pupil, which sooglossids share with myobatrachines, except for Uperoleia (also vertical in Rheobatrachus). Limnodynastines primitively have a vertical pupil, but several genera have horizontal ones (Heyer and Liem, 1976). A fourth derived character shared with myobatrachines and Rheobatrachus is the winglike alary processes of the hyoid (Griffiths, 1959a). The fifth is a divided sphenethmoid, which is present in sooglossids (Griffiths, 1959a) and myobatrachines but not limnodynastines (Lynch, 1971). Ford and Cannatella (1993) concluded that Sooglossidae is the sister taxon of Myobatrachinae (Table 1), and they treated the two as an unnamed more inclusive taxon.
A character of uncertain status is the presence of notochordal vertebrae (Lynch, 1973; but Noble  reported procoelous vertebrae), reported in myobatrachines and sooglossids, but not limnodynastines. The polarity is uncertain because 1) other presumably closely related taxa have not been characterized adequately, and 2) observations on dried specimens differ from those made from serial sections (Cannatella, personal observation). Sooglossids and myobatrachines share the plesiomorphic condition of inguinal amplexus. According to Heyer and Liem (1976), Mixophys is the only myobatrachid genus with axillary amplexus, but Lynch (1973) incorrectly reported that myobatrachines have inguinal amplexus and limnodynastines have axillary amplexus.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimen Records: 7
Specimens with Sequences: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Public Records: 5
Public BINs: 2
The Seychelles frogs (Sooglossidae) are a family of frogs found on the Seychelles Islands and India. Until recently, this family was believed to include the genera Nesomantis and Sooglossus, but following a major revision of amphibians in 2006, the genus Nesomantis was named a junior synonym of Sooglossus; conversely, the recently discovered purple frog, which was initially assigned to a distinct monotypic family (Nasikabatrachidae), is now included in the Sooglossidae.
All of the species are relatively small terrestrial frogs, about 4 cm (1.6 in) in length, hiding under fallen leaves or in rock crevices. They are unusual for the neobatrachials, in that they undertake inguinal amplexus, a primitive version of amplexus. They lay their eggs on moist ground, rather than in water. One species lacks tadpoles, with the eggs hatching directly into froglets, while the others carry the tadpoles on their backs until metamorphosis. The tadpoles of S. seychellensis are carried, abnormally, on the backs of the female frogs.
There is no fossil record for the family. Ancestors diverged when the Seychelles Islands split from India about 100 million years ago.
The family was first described in 1931 by Gladwyn Kingsley Noble (1894–1940).
- Genus Sooglossus (Seychelles frogs)
- Frost, Darrel R. 2006. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. Version 4.0 (17 August 2006). Electronic Database accessible at . American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
- Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
- Encyclopedia of Animals:Mammals,Birds,Reptiles,Amphibians
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