AmphibiaWeb - Sooglossidae


(Translations may not be accurate.)


4 species in 2 genera

Commonly Called Seychelles Frogs

Sechellophryne gardineri
Photo by Justin Gerlach
(Click for family gallery)

This family of small frogs is comprised of two genera, Sechellophryne and Sooglossus. Members of this family are generalized small- to medium-sized frogs that are endemic to the Seychelles and most closely related to the family Nasikabatrachidae, making them a primitive group of frogs. These two families are some of the only members of Neobatrachia to display inguinal amplexus (a primitive form of amplexus). Sooglossids are secretive frogs that hide in leaf litter and rock crevices. Generally, they are not active on the surface except during rains. Each species has a distinctive call. Females of Sooglossus sechellensis and Sechellophryne gardineri display parental care. Both direct and larval development occur in this family. Sooglossids possess tarsal sesamoid bones.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Terrestrial but found under cover of leaflitter or rocky crevices
  • Inguinal amplexus
  • Direct development (Sechellophryne) and endotrophic tadpoles which develop on the backs of parents (Sooglossus)
  • Some of the smallest species of frogs, 10-40 mm snout-vent length
  • Morphological features include: tarsal sesamoid bones
  • Distribution limited to Seychelles Islands, off the coast of Africa
Sooglossidae Richness map

Cartography Credit: Zoe Yoo, UC Berkeley
Range maps sources: AmphibiaWeb, UC Berkeley, and IUCN RedList

Relevant Reference

Pough, F. H., R. M. Andrews, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K. D. Wells, and M. C. Brandley. 2015. Herpetology. Fourth Edition. Massachusetts: Sinauer.

Vitt, L. J., and J. P. Caldwell. 2013. Herpetology. An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Fourth Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Genus Sechellophryne (2 species)
Sechellophryne gardineri account photos no sound/video
Sechellophryne pipilodryas no account photos no sound/video

Genus Sooglossus (2 species)
Sooglossus sechellensis account photos no sound/video
Sooglossus thomasseti account photos no sound/video

Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: (Accessed:

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