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Temporal range: early Miocene to Recent
|Eastern narrowmouth toad (Gastrophryne)|
|Distribution of Microhylidae (in black)|
As suggested by their name, microhylids are mostly small frogs. Many species are below 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) in length. Though some species are as large as 9 centimetres (3.5 in). They can live in trees or on land. Some will even live close to water. The ground dwellers are often found under leaf litter within forests. The sometimes go out at night to hunt. There are two main shapes for the microhylids. One shape is with wide bodies and narrow mouths. The other shape is with normal frog proportions. Those with narrow mouths generally eat termites and ants, and the others have diets typical of most frogs.
The microhylids of New Guinea and Australia do not have a tadpole stage. Those who live in trees can lay the eggs in trees, and never go to the ground. Where species do have tadpoles, these almost always do not have the teeth or horny beak typical of the tadpoles of other families.
Frogs from Microhylidae live throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of North America, South America, Africa, eastern India, Sri Lanka, south-east Asia, through New Guinea and Australia. Although most are found in tropical or sub-tropical regions, a few species can be found in arid or non-tropical areas. They are the majority frog species in New Guinea and Madagascar.
- Blackburn D.C. & Wake D.B. (2011). "Class Amphibia (Gray, 1825). In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness". Zootaxa 3148: 39–55. http://mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03148p055.pdf.
- Cogger H.G. & Zweifel R.G., ed. (1998). Encyclopedia of reptiles and amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 102–103. .
- Zug, George R.; Laurie J. Vitt and J.P. Caldwell (2001). Herpetology: an introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles 2nd Edition. Academic Press.