Frogs of the family Dicroglossidae were previously placed under Family Ranidae as the subfamily Dicroglossinae. But recent molecular analysis has shown that these frogs deserved to be in a separate family. There are very few external features that unites them. They have a free living tadpole stage whisch posesses keratinous mouth parts. Thirteen species in five genera (Euplyctis, Zakerana, Hoplobatrachus, Nannophrys, Sphaerotheca) are recorded from Sri Lanka. Most of the Sri Lankan species are associated with the aquatic environment except the genus Sphaerotheca.The genus Nannophrys is endemic to Sri Lanka.
Genus - Euphlyctis Fitzinger, 1843
These are entirely aquatic frogs. They have well developed webbing. Two species are known from Sri Lanka. Both species prefer still waters but E. cyanophlyctis is also seen in flowing waters. Euphlyctis cyanophlytis is distributed throughout Sri Lanka. This frog has the ability to skip over the surface of water and has earned the name 'Skipper frog'. Euphlyctis hexadactylus is distributed in the lowlands of Sri Lanka. It is the only known frog to feed on plant matter.
Species of Euplyctis in Sri Lanka
Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis (Schneider, 1799)
Genus - Zakerana Howlader, 2011
These are relatively small frogs and they grow upto a maximum of 45mm. Three species are known from Sri Lanka. Two are endemic to the island. Z. limnocharis is a very common species distributed throughout the island upto about 1500m above sea level. Zakerana kirtisinghei is distributed in the wet and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka upto about 1500m above msl. Zakerana greenii is distributed in the regions above 1500m above m.s.l. in the central hills of Sri Lanka.
Species of Zakerana in Sri Lanka
Zakerana greenii (Boulenger, 1905)E
Zakerana kirtisinghei (Manamendra-Arachchi and Gabadage, 1996)E
Zakerana limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829)
Genus - Hoplobatrachus Peters, 1863
Two species are recorded from Sri Lanka. Some researchers believe that H. tigerinus is extinct in Sri Lanka. However there are still unconfirmed reports to occurance of this species in Sri Lanka. Species of Hoplobatrachus are the largest frogs in Sri Lanka. H. crassus is known to reach about 100mm from snout to vent. H. tigerinus was previosly reported from the Coastal regions of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. H. crassus is distributed throughout lowlands of Sri Lanka upto about 700m above m.s.l. Tadpoles of Hoplobatrachus are carnivores and they often prey on other tadpoles. They are well adapted to this mode of life by having needle like mouth parts .
Species of Hoplobatrachus in Sri Lanka
Hoplobatrachus crassus (Jerdon, 1854)
Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (Daudin, 1802)
Genus - Nannophrys Gunther, 1869
Four species are known from Sri Lanka. The genus is endemic to the island making them relict species. One of the species (N. guentheri) is considered to be extinct. Nannophrys marmorata is an critically endangered species and it is restricted in distribution to the Knuckles mountain range in Sri Lanka. N. ceylonensis is distributed in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka upto about 1000m above m.s.l. The newly described N. naeyakai is restricted in distribution to the Uva and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The adult frogs are seen on wet rock surfaces close to streams. These interesting frogs have semi-terrestrial tadpoles and and the tadpoles are also found on wet rock surfaces. The mating frogs attach their eggs under wet rock surfaces and the eggs hatch in to a developed tadpole stage than other aquatic tadpoles.
Species of Nannophrys in Sri Lanka
Nannophrys ceylonensis Gunther, 1869E
Nannophrys guentheri Boulenger, 1882E,Ex
Nannophrys marmorata Kirtisinghe, 1946E,CR
Nannophrys naeyakai Fernando, Wickramasingha, and Rodrigo, 2007E,En
Two species are known from Sri Lanka. Both are restricted to the lowland intermediate and dry zones of Sri Lanka. They have a somewhat globular shape with short limbs. These frogs have the ability to burrow themselves in sand using their hind feet. The hind limbs have well developed showel shaped tarsal tubercles that aid in burrowing. They grow to about 60mm from snout to vent.
Species of Sphaerotheca in Sri Lanka
Sphaerotheca breviceps (Schneider, 1799)
Sphaerotheca rolandae (Dubois, 1983)
Abreviations in superscript
E- Endemic species, Ex- Extinct species, Cr- Critically Endangered species, En- Endangered species
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