Leiopelmatidae

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New Zealand primitive frogs
Temporal range: 200–0 Ma
Early Jurassic – Recent
Hochstetters Frog on Moss.jpg
Hochstetter's Frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Suborder:
Family:
Leiopelmatidae

Mivart, 1869
Genus:
Leiopelma

Fitzinger, 1861
Species

See text.

Leiopelmatidae range zoomed.png
Distribution of Leiopelmatidae (in black)

Leiopelmatidae, or New Zealand and North American primitive frogs, is a family belonging to the suborder Archaeobatrachia. There are only four Leiopelma and two Ascaphus species alive now.[1] Leiopelma are only found in New Zealand.[2] Ascaphus are only found in North America.[3]

Overview[change | change source]

Leiopelmatidae have an extra vertebrae. They have the remains of the tail muscles.

When Leiopelmatid jump, they land in a "belly flop". After landing, Ascaphus skids to a halt before recovering.

They are very small frogs, only 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length. Most species lay their eggs in moist ground, typically under rocks or plants. After hatching the tadpoles nest in the male's back. They do not need standing or flowing water. Life span may be long at more than 30 years.[4]

Species[change | change source]

Family LEIOPELMATIDAE

Extinct species[change | change source]

Three extinct species are known by subfossil remains, also from New Zealand. They became extinct during the past 1,000 years.

Much older fossils, dating back to the Jurassic, have been found in Argentina, such as Notobatrachus.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Leiopelma". tolweb.org.
  2. "DOC: Photo-stage and Archey's Frog". Retrieved 2005-12-05.
  3. "Ascaphus". tolweb.org.
  4. Bell, Ben D.; et al. (2004). "The fate of a population of the endemic frog Leiopelma pakeka (Anura: Leiopelmatidae) translocated to restored habitat on[Maud Island, New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Zoology 31 (2): 123–131. doi:10.1080/03014223.2004.9518366. 
  5. "Holotype of Leiopelma markhami". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  6. "Holotype of Leiopelma waitomoensis". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 17 July 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]