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Temporal range: Cenomanian–Recent
African dwarf frog
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Clade: Pipoidea
Clade: Pipimorpha
Family: Pipidae
Gray 1825
Distribution of Pipidae in black

The Pipidae are a family of primitive, tongueless frogs. There are 41 species in the family, found in tropical South America (genus Pipa) and sub-Saharan Africa (the three other genera).


Pipid frogs are highly aquatic and have numerous morphological modifications befitting their habitat. For example, the feet are completely webbed, the body is flattened, and a lateral line system is present in adults.[1] In addition, pipids possess highly modified ears for producing and receiving sound under water. They lack a tongue or vocal cords, instead having bony rods in the larynx that help produce sound. They range from 4 to 19 cm (1.6 to 7.5 in) in body length.[2]


Family Pipidae Gray 1825[3]

  • Hymenochirus Boulenger 1896 - dwarf clawed frogs (4 species)
  • Pipa Laurenti 1768 - Surinam toads (7 species)
  • Pseudhymenochirus Chabanaud 1920 - Merlin's dwarf gray frog or Merlin's clawed frog (1 species)
  • Xenopus Wagler 1827 - clawed frogs (29 species)[4]
    • Subgenus (Silurana) Wagler 1827 - common clawed frogs
    • Subgenus (Xenopus) Gray 1864 - tropical clawed frogs

Fossil record[edit]

The oldest fossil records of frogs more closely related to pipid frogs than to other extant frog families (Pipimorpha) extends into the Early Cretaceous. The oldest known crown group pipids are Oumtkoutia and Pachycentrata from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco and Niger, respectively.[5]

Included taxa after A. M. Aranciaga Rolando et al. 2019[6]


  1. ^ "AmphibiaWeb: Pipidae". Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  2. ^ Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 86–87. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
  3. ^ Pipidae at the Amphibian Species of the World 6.0 - AMNH
  4. ^ Evans et al., 2015
  5. ^ Gómez, Raúl O. (July 2016). "A new pipid frog from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia and early evolution of crown-group Pipidae". Cretaceous Research. 62: 52–64. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.02.006.
  6. ^ Rolando, Alexis M. Aranciaga; Agnolin, Federico L.; Corsolini, Julián (October 2019). "A new pipoid frog (Anura, Pipimorpha) from the Paleogene of Patagonia. Paleobiogeographical implications". Comptes Rendus Palevol. 18 (7): 725–734. doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2019.04.003. S2CID 197581931.


External links[edit]

  • Data related to Pipidae at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Pipidae at Wikimedia Commons