Family Friday

Leiopelmatidae

Suborder: Archaeobatrachia
Number of Genera: 1 – Leiopelma
Number of Species: 4 –  Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma archeyi), Hamilton’s Frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni), Hochstetter’s Frog, (Leiopelma hochstetteri), and Maud Island frog (Leiopelma pakeka) 

Leiopelmatidae is one of the most primitive frog families. They have an extra vertebrae making them have 9 in total, only frogs of the family Ascaphidae (Tailed Frogs) also have 9.  They also still have tail muscles. The family Leiopelmatidae is endemic to New Zealand. The members of the family are in poor conservation shape.

Archey’s Frog by David M. Green

The Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma archeyi) is one of the most endangered frogs in the world. It is only found in two locations in New Zealand now.

Hamilton’s Frog  (Leiopelma hamiltoni) is the largest frog native to New Zealand but is still rather small, only getting up to 2 inches long. The frog is not as endangered as the Archey’s Frog but it’s still not in great shape, sadly.

Photo by the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust

Hochstetter’s Frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri) is doing the best out of the four species but even then, it has lost a lot of it’s range.

The Maud Island Frog (Leiopelma pakeka) lives on Maud Island in New Zealand as the name suggests. It is listed as vulnerable.

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