Amolops

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"Cascade frog" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Cascades frog.
"Sucker frog" redirects here. For the frog in the Odorrana genus, see Vietnam sucker frog.
Cascade frogs
Amolops formosus.jpg
Amolops formosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Subclass: Lissamphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Superfamily: Ranoidea
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Amolops
Cope, 1865
Species

Many, see text

Amolops (commonly known as cascade frogs or sucker frogs) is a quite large genus of true frogs (family Ranidae) native mainly to eastern and southeastern Asia. These frogs are quite closely related to such genera as Huia, Meristogenys, Odorrana, Pelohylax and Rana, but still form a distinct lineage among the core radiation of true frogs.[1] They are commonly known as "torrent frogs" after their favorite habitat - small rapid-flowing mountain and hill streams - but this name is used for many similar-looking frogs regardless of whether they are loosely related.

Several species are highly convergent with other Ranidae "torrent frogs". A. archotaphus and its relatives for example very much resemble Odorrana livida. In another incidence of convergent evolution yielding adaptation to habitat, the tadpoles of Amolops, Huia, Meristogenys as well as Rana sauteri have a raised and usually well-developed sucker on their belly. This is useful in keeping in place in rocky torrents, where these frogs grow up. But as Odorrana and Staurois from comparable habitat prove, this sucker is by no means a necessity and other means of adaptation to torrent habitat exist.[2]

Selected species[edit]

The delimitation of this genus has proven complicated, with many species believed to belong elsewhere. Due to the degree of convergent evolution, DNA sequence studies are very helpful in assigning species to the genera, though the possibility of past hybridization cannot be discounted in Ranidae.[1]

New species are described on a regular basis. At least one undescribed species is known to exist, a very distinct form from Phetchaburi in Thailand that is possibly closer to A. marmoratus than to most others.[3]

A. mengyangensis is a junior synonym of Odorrana nasica, the Long-snout Torrent Frog. The Concave-eared Torrent Frog, formerly A. tormotus, is now Odorrana tormota.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cai et al. (2007), Stuart (2008)
  2. ^ Stuart (2008)
  3. ^ Cai et al. (2007)

References[edit]