Micropholis (amphibian)

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For the flowering plant genus, see Micropholis. The brittle star genus described as Micropholis has been renamed Microphiopholis.
Temporal range: Early Triassic
Micropholis stowi.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Temnospondyli
(unranked): Euskelia
Superfamily: Dissorophoidea
Family: Amphibamidae
Genus: Micropholis
Huxley, 1876
  • M. stowi Huxley, 1859 (type)
  • Petrophryne Owen, 1856

Micropholis (Greek 'mikros' = small and 'pholis' = scale) is an extinct genus of dissorophoid temnospondyl. Fossils have been found from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Karoo Basin in South Africa, and date back to the Early Triassic. Micropholis was the last known member of the family Amphibamidae, as well as the only one to have been present from Gondwana.

Skull of M. stowi in the Field Museum of Natural History.

Many specimens have been found, and two distinct morphotypes are evident, differing in skull width and palatal dentition.[1] The smaller morph tends to have a broader head than the larger. Both morphs had large fangs protruding from the palate that were inwardly curving. The genus Petrophryne ('rock toad'), named by Richard Owen in 1856, is synonymous with Micropholis. Micropholis stowi is named for George William Stow, the South African geologist and ethnologist.


  1. ^ Schoch, R. R. and Rubidge, B. S. (2005). The amphibamid Micropholis from the Lystrosaurus assemblage zone of South Africa. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25(3):502-522.

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