Sedge and Bush FrogsDavid Cannatella
Ford and Cannatella (1993) defined Hyperoliidae as the node-based name for the common ancestor of the hyperoliid taxa listed in Duellman and Trueb (1986:547) (Acanthixalus, Afrixalus, etc.), and all of its descendants. The two synapomorphies listed by Drewes (1984) were the lack of fusions of the second distal carpal and second tarsal elements, a condition he considered paedomorphic; these were not shared with any ranids. As discussed above, Laurent's data on these characters differed. Channing (1989) reanalyzed Drewes' (1984) data (slightly modified) on hyperoliids and a subset of Liem's (1970) data on hyperoliids and rhacophorids (including mantellines). Channing concluded that hyperoliids and rhacophorids (including mantellines) were each monophyletic and that they were sister-groups. However, given that he included no ranids in his analysis, Channing would be unable to demonstrate that they were not each others' closest relatives, even if one were paraphyletic with respect to the other.
Channing's re-analysis of Drewes' (1984) data assumed monophyly of Hyperoliidae, so synapomorphies were not listed. Channing's (1989:Fig. 1) analysis of Liem's (1970) combined data on hyperoliids and rhacophorids yielded 13 synapomorphies of Hyperoliidae including (1) presence of a dentomentalis muscle, (2) absence of a nuptial pad, (3) claw-shaped terminal phalanges, (4) absence of the posterolateral process of the hyoid, (5) vertical pupil, and (6) a cartilaginous sternum. Drewes (1984) did not examine characters 1 and 2, differed from Channing in the description of character 3, and indicated that characters 4, 5, and 6 were present in a more inclusive clade, including arthroleptines and astylosternines. Because Channing used "ranids" as the outgroup, without discriminating states in arthroleptines and astylosternines from other ranids, the number of synapomorphies for Hyperoliidae is likely inflated.
Duellman and Trueb (1986) used the presence of three tarsalia (unfused second tarsal; character Q) to unite hyperoliids and mantellines. However, Liem (1970) stated that the second tarsal was fused in all mantellines examined (three species of Mantidactylus and one of Aglyptodactylus). However, he indicated the second carpal was not fused in these taxa, a feature shared with hyperoliids.
Hyperolius puncticulatus; photo © David Cannatella
Kassina maculata; photo © David Cannatella
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University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA
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Cannatella, David. 1995. Hyperoliidae. Sedge and Bush Frogs. Version 01 January 1995 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hyperoliidae/16959/1995.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/