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Ischnocnema izecksohni.jpg
Ischnocnema izecksohni
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Brachycephalidae
Reinhardt and Lütken, 1862
Type genus
Hedges, Duellman, & Heinicke, 2008
2 genera

The Brachycephalidae are a family of small frogs confined to cloud forests in southern Brazil. The family is composed of two externally quite different genera: the colourful and plump saddleback toads (Brachycephalus), and the slimmer and more drab genus Ischnocnema, with some species also ranging into northeast Argentina. The family is mainly defined by molecular characteristics, and are linked by few anatomical features.[1] It was erected from two genera of the previously large family Eleutherodactylidae, which is now split into four families.[2]

The Brachycephalidae all have direct development and hatch like miniature adults rather than as tadpoles like most frogs. They are all very diminutive animals, with many species under 1 cm (0.39 in) in length.[3]


  1. ^ "Brachycephalidae". AmphibiaWeb. University of Berkley. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Hedges, S. B.; Duellman, W. E. & Heinicke, M. P. (2008). "New World direct-developing frogs (Anura: Terrarana): Molecular phylogeny, classification, biogeography, and conservation" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1737: 1–182. 
  3. ^ Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G., eds. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 103. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.