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Gastrotheca excubitor.jpg
Gastrotheca excubitor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hemiphractidae
Genus: Gastrotheca
Fitzinger, 1843
Some 50 species

Gastrotheca is a genus of frogs (family Hemiphractidae) found in Central and South America. Most species occur in the American Cordillera from southern Costa Rica to northwestern Argentina. This genus makes up the bulk of marsupial frog diversity; formerly it was placed in the "Leptodactylidae" assemblage.

Marsupial frogs are so-called because they possess a dorsal brood pouch. In some species the eggs are fertilized on the female's lower back, and are inserted in her pouch with the aid of the male's toes. The eggs remain in contact with the female's vascular tissue, which provides them oxygen.

Gastrotheca guentheri (Guenther's marsupial frog) is the only known frog with true teeth in its lower jaw. Gastrotheca riobambae (Andean marsupial tree frog) is kept as pet and is used in scientific experiments.


There are 68 recognized species:[1]


  1. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Gastrotheca Fitzinger, 1843". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 


  • Duellman, W.E., Catenazzi, A. & Blackburn, D.C. (2011): A new species of marsupial frog (Anura: Hemiphractidae: Gastrotheca) from the Andes of southern Peru. Zootaxa 3095: 1-14.
  • Faivovich, J., Haddad, C.F.B., Garcia, P.C.O., Frost, D.R., Campbell, J.A. & Wheeler, W.C. (2005): Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 294: 1-240.

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