Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family PELODRYADIDAE Günther, 1859

Compiler and date details

August 2012 - P. Horner, Queensland (updated)

Novemebr 2022 - ABRS


A large family of frogs found throughout most of the tropical and temperate regions of the world. Usually termed tree frogs because many species possess sticky discs on the tips of their fingers and toes which make them agile climbers. The family contains about 640 species in 40 genera of which 77 species and three genera occur in Australia. Proposals to recognise a regional family, the Pelodryadidae, to accommodate the Australasian forms, have not gained widespread acceptance.

Following from Duellman et al. (2016) and the Australian Herpetological Society we recognise Pelodryadidae for Australian frogs previously placed in the family Hylidae.



Characterised in Australia by: arciferal pectoral girdle; intercalary cartilages usually present; finger and toe discs usually present, though sometimes very poorly developed; sacral diapophyses dilated; maxillary teeth present.


General References

Barker, J., Grigg, G. & Tyler, M. 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Chipping Norton, NSW : Surrey Beatty & Sons 1995 edn xi, 407 pp.

Brattstrom, B.H. 1970. Thermal acclimation in Australian amphibians. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 35: 69-103

Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney : Reed New Holland 6th edition, 808 pp.

Copland, S.J. 1957. Presidential address. Australian tree frogs of the genus Hyla. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 82: 9-108

Duellman, W.E., Marion, A.B. & Hedges, S.B. 2016. Phylogenetics, classification, and biogeography of the treefrogs (Amphibia: Anura: Arboranae). Zootaxa 4104(1): 1–109

Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., de Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M. & Wheeler, W.C. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370 + Fig. 50 foldout [65, 130, 204]

Frost, D.R. (ed.) 1985. Amphibian Species of the World; a taxonomic and geographical reference. Lawrence, Kansas : Allen Press & Assoc. Systematics Collections v 732 pp.

Glasby, C.J., Ross, G.J.B. & Beesley, P.L. (eds) 1993. Fauna of Australia: Amphibia and Reptilia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 2A vii 439 pp.

Tyler, M.J. 1970. Patterns of distribution and the origins of the Papuan hylid frog fauna. Search 1: 246-247

Tyler, M.J. 1999. Australian Frogs. Sydney : Reed New Holland pp. 1-192.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
04-Feb-2023 AMPHIBIA 08-Dec-2022 MODIFIED
31-Jan-2017 ANURA Fischer von Waldheim, 1813 29-Mar-2017 MODIFIED
31-Jan-2017 13-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)