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Cape rain frog (Breviceps gibbosus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Clade: Afrobatrachia
Family: Brevicipitidae
Bonaparte, 1850
Type genus
Merrem, 1820
Type species
Rana gibbosa

See text.

Brevicipitidae or rain frogs are a family of frog species. They live in eastern and southern Africa. As of 2020, scientists say there are 37 species in 5 genera in Brevicipitidae.[1][2] Scientists used to think of Brevicipitidae as a subfamily in the family Microhylidae (narrow-mouth frogs). By studying phylogenetics, the scientists changed their minds. Now they think brevicipitine frogs are their own family. Their closest relatives are the frogs in family Hemisotidae (shovelnose frogs).[3][4][5]

Most adult brevicipitine frogs are not easy to see. They dig into the soil or dead leaves. Sometimes, some of these frogs climb trees.[6] In most of these frogs, the adult female frog is much bigger than the adult male frog.[1]

The frogs in Breviceps and Probreviceps do direct development. That means their eggs hatch into in small frogs. They are never tadpoles. When it is time for the male frog to fertilize the female frog's eggs, frogs in Breviceps glue themselves together using sticky chemicals from the holocrine glands on their bellies and backs.[7] The frogs lay small clutches of 13–56 eggs (4–8 mm diameter not including the protective capsule). Sometimes, the frog digs a burrow, or hole, for the eggs. In some species, one parent stays near the eggs.[6]

Genera[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2013. Berkeley, California: Brevicipitidae. AmphibiaWeb, available at (Accessed: 30 November 2013).
  2. Frost, Darrel R. (2013). "Brevicipitidae Bonaparte, 1850". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  3. Van Der Meijden, A.; Vences, M.; Hoegg, S.; Meyer, A. (2005). "A previously unrecognized radiation of ranid frogs in Southern Africa revealed by nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 37 (3): 674–685. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.001. PMID 15975829.
  4. Frost, D. R.; Grant, T.; Faivovich, J. N.; Bain, R. H.; Haas, A.; Haddad, C. L. F. B.; De Sá, R. O.; Channing, A.; Wilkinson, M.; Donnellan, S. C.; Raxworthy, C. J.; Campbell, J. A.; Blotto, B. L.; Moler, P.; Drewes, R. C.; Nussbaum, R. A.; Lynch, J. D.; Green, D. M.; Wheeler, W. C. (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 297: 1–291. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/5781.
  5. Pyron, A. R.; Wiens, J. J. (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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Müller, H.; Loader, S. P.; Ngalason, W.; Howell, K. M.; Gower, D. J. (2007). "Reproduction in brevicipitid frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Brevicipitidae)—Evidence from Probreviceps m. macrodactylus". Copeia. 2007 (3): 726–733. doi:10.1643/0045-8511(2007)2007[726:RIBFAA]2.0.CO;2.
  7. Visser, J.; Cei, J.M.; Gutierrez, L.S. (1982). "The histology of dermal glands of mating Breviceps with comments on their possible functional value in microhylids (Amphibia: Anura)". African Zoology. 17 (1).