Hylids (treefrogs) are one of the largest families of frogs. There are about 37-39 genera. These are arranged in four subfamilies, the first three of which are distinctive: Pelodryadinae, Phyllomedusinae, Hemiphractinae, and Hylinae.
Among the most bizarre hyline frogs are certain casque-headed genera, such as Triprion and Trachycephalus, in which the skull bones are elaborated into a solid helmet. Certain casque-headed species use their bony heads to block the entrances to their burrows and reduce evaporative water loss.
The name Hylidae was defined by Ford and Cannatella (1993) as node-based name for the most recent ancestor of Hemiphractinae, Phyllomedusinae, Pelodryadinae, and Hylinae, and all of its descendants. The single synapomorphy known is claw-shaped terminal phalanges; these are also found in some hyperoliids (see below). Another commonly mentioned diagnostic feature of hylids is the presence of intercalary elements, but these are also present in centrolenids and pseudids, among the non-ranoid neobatrachians (see below). Savage (1973), Laurent (1979, 1986) and Dubois (1983, 1984) recognized the Australian hylids (Pelodryadinae) as a distinct family.
The monophyly of Hylidae is questionable if Allophryne ruthveni is included. See the account under Allophryne ruthveni.
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University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA
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- Content changed 24 July 2006
Citing this page:
Cannatella, David. 2006. Hylidae. Treefrogs. Version 24 July 2006 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hylidae/16950/2006.07.24 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/