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Information Bank for Leptodactylus Frogs  

Goal of this Leptodactylus Site

Our planet is currently experiencing an alarming rate of species disappearance, commonly referred to as the 'Biodiversity Crisis.' Among the problems observed by scientists is the declining of frog populations around the world, and hence the increased possibility of species extinction. Consequently, one of the clear tasks that biologists are faced with is answering: why is this happening? In order to properly answer this question, we must first know how many species are living currently. Furthermore, we must assess the evolutionary relationships among them if we are to understand the historical components that resulted in their origin and current distributions.

We are working towards deciphering the genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships in a large group of South and Central American frogs, the genus Leptodactylus. These frogs exhibit an array of different reproductive strategies that undoubtedly has contributed to their success and survival over the last several million years. Understanding the genetic diversity among the species of Leptodactylus is a prerequisite to understanding their evolutionary relationships and identifying conservation priorities, both in terms of groups and geographic areas that would be critical to protect.

Frogs of the genus Leptodactylus occur from southern Texas, USA to Peru west of the Andes, throughout most of South America east of the Andes to mid-Argentina, and in the Greater and Lesser Antilles. The number of species in the genus is not known yet and requires further research. There are likely more than 70 species.

The goal of this web site is to present as much information as possible on the species of Leptodactylus relating to understanding their taxonomy, relationships, and distributions assembled as part of an ongoing research project by Rafael O. de Sá and W. Ronald Heyer.



Leptodactylus lepfur

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