Morphology of Southeast Asian Tadpoles: Hoplobatrachus chinensis (Dicroglossidae), Leptolalax pelodytoides (Megophryidae), and Other Megophryids

Ronald Altig, Amy Lathrop, Robert W. Murphy


The structure and development of the large, spike-like, biserial teeth of the tadpole of Hoplobatrachus chinensis are unique. The presently erupted, conical tooth has at least 5 replacement teeth of decreasing sizes stacked inside, and the whole assembly projects only slightly into the oral epithelium. The ventrolateral abdominal wall of Leptolalax pelodytoides has well delineated, lymphatic spaces that presumably aid in stabilizing the tadpole among rocky substrates. The external narial apertures of megophryid tadpoles have a diversity of ornamentations that range from a simple rim, a lobate rim or a distinct tube.


tadpole; morphology; mouthparts; Hoplobatrachus; Leptolalax; Megophryidae

Full Text:



Altig R. (2007), «A primer for the morphology of anuran tadpoles», Herpetol. Cons. Biol., 2, 73 – 76.

Altig R. and McDiarmid R. W. (1999), «Body plan: development and morphology», in: R. W. McDiarmid and R. Altig (eds.), Tadpoles: The Biology of Anuran Larvae, Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 24 – 51.

Altig R. and McDiarmid R. W. (2006), «Descriptions and biological notes on three unusual mantellid tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura: Mantellidae) from southeastern Madagascar», Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. (USA), 19, 279 – 286.

Altig R. and Pace W. L. (1974), «Scanning electron photomicrographs of tadpole labial teeth», J. Herpetol., 8, 247 – 251.

Amiet J.-L. (1971), «Le têtard d’Astylosternus corrugatus Boulenger (Amphibien Anoure)», Ann. Fac. Sci. Cameroun, 1971, 85 – 98.

Arthur W. (2004), Biased Embryos and Evolution, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK.

Bossuyt F. and Milinkovitch M. C. (2000), «Convergent adaptive radiations in Madagascar and Asian ranid frogs reveal covariation between larval and adults traits», Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 97, 6586 – 6590.

Cannatella D. C. (1985), A Phylogeny of Primitive Frogs (Archaeobatrachians). Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence.

Cei J. M. (1968), «Notes on the tadpoles and breeding ecology of Lepidobatrachus», Herpetologica, 24, 141 – 146.

Channing A. (2001), Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa, Comstock Publ. Ass., Ithaca (NY).

Chou W.-H. and Lin J.-Y. (1997), «Tadpoles of Taiwan», Spec. Publ. Natl. Mus. Taiwan, 7, 1 – 98.

Dziminski M. A. and Anstis M. 2004, «Embryonic and larval development of the sunset frog, Spicospina flammocaerulea (Anura: Myobatrachidae), from southwestern Australia», Copeia, 2004, 896 – 902.

Gosner K. L. (1960), «A simplified table for staging anuran embryos and larvae with notes on identification», Herpetologica, 16, 183 – 190.

Grosjean S., Glos J., Teschke M., Glaw F., and Vences M. (2007), «Comparative larval morphology of Madagascar toadlets of the genus Scaphiophryne: phylogenetic and taxonomic inferences», Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 151, 555 – 576.

Grosjean S., Vences M., and Dubois A. (2004), «Evolutionary significance of oral morphology in the carnivorous tadpoles of tiger frogs genus Hoplobatrachus (Ranidae)», Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 81, 171 – 181.

Hosoi M., Niida S., Yoshiko Y., Suemune S., and Maeda N. (1995), «Scanning electron microscopy of horny teeth in the anuran tadpole Rhacophoridae, Rhacophorus arboreus and Rhacophorus schlegelii», J. Electron Microsc., 44, 351 – 357.

Huang Y.-Z. and Fei L. (1981), «Two new species of amphibians in Tibet», Acta Zootaxon. Sinica, 6, 211 – 215.

Inger R. F. and Gritis P. A. (1983), «Variation in Bornean frogs of the Amolops jerboa species group, with descriptions of two new species», Fieldiana Zool. New Ser., 19, 1 – 13.

Khan M. S. (2004), «Riparian tadpoles: Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (Daudin, 1802) with notes on breeding habits and feeding ecology», Bull. Chicago Herpetol. Soc., 39, 101 – 104.

Maglia A. M., Pugener L. A., and Trueb L. (2001), «Comparative development of anurans: using phylogeny to understand ontogeny», Am. Zool., 41, 538 – 551.

McCranie J. R., Jr., Wilson L. D., and Williams K. L. (1989), «A new genus and species of toad (Anura: Bufonidae) with an extraordinary stream-adapted tadpole from northern Honduras», Occ. Pap. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas, 129, 1 – 18.

Pan J. and Liang D. (1990), «Studies of the early embryonic development of Rana rugulosa Wiegmann», Asiatic Herpetol. Res., 3, 85 – 100.

Peixoto O. L., Caramaschi U., and Freire E. M. X. (2003), «Two new species of Phyllodytes (Anura: Hylidae) from the state of Alagoas, northeastern Brazil», Herpetologica, 59, 235 – 246.

Pyburn W. F. (1980), «An unusual anuran larvae from the Vaupés region of southeastern Colombia», Pap. Avulsos Zool., 33, 231 – 238.

Quinzio S. I., Fabrezi M., and Faivovich J. (2006), «Redescription of the tadpole of Chacophrys pierottii (Vellard, 1948)(Anura: Ceratophryidae)», South Am. J. Herpetol., 1, 202 – 209.

Viertel B. and Richter S. (1999), «Anatomy: viscera and endocrines», in: R. W. McDiarmid and R. Altig (eds.), Tadpoles: The Biology of Anuran Larvae, Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 92 – 148.

Visser J. (1985), «The fang-like teeth of the early larvae of some Heleophryne», South Afr. J. Sci., 81, 200 – 202.

Wager V. A. (1965), The Frogs of South Africa, Purnell and Sons, Cape Town.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email