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Type: Review
Published: 2021-05-28
Page range: 57–69
Abstract views: 433
PDF downloaded: 276

Amphibians in Zootaxa: 20 years documenting the global diversity of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians

Grupo Herpetológico de Antioquia - GHA and Semillero de Investigación en Biodiversidad - BIO, Universidad de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia
Laboratorio de Genética Evolutiva, Instituto de Biología Subtropical (CONICET-UNaM), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Químicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Posadas, Misiones, Argentina
Unidad Ejecutora Lillo, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas - Fundación Miguel Lillo, 4000 San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
Laboratório de Herpetologia Tropical, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Rodovia Jorge Amado Km 16 45662-900 Ilhéus, Bahia, Brasil
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA
Laboratório de Sistemática de Vertebrados, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga 6681, Prédio 40, sala 110, 90619-900, Porto Alegre, Brasil
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, 117377 Singapore
Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Herpetologia e Comportamento Animal, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Avenida Esperança, s/n – Campus Samambaia, 74690-900, Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, UK
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, 117377 Singapore
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2010, Australia & Centre for Ecosystem Science; School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia
Faculty of Biological Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue Str. 13, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Zoological Institute, Braunschweig University of Technology, Mendelssohnstr. 4, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Amphibia Anura Caudata Gymnophiona natural history taxonomy systematics


Zootaxa is a mega-journal that since its inception, 20 years ago, has contributed to the documentation of the planet’s biodiversity. Its role concerning terrestrial vertebrates has been crucial especially for amphibians, which are the most threatened class of vertebrates. As current editors of the Amphibia section, we reviewed the state of knowledge of taxonomic publications on amphibians over the last two decades (from 2001 to 2020). Our review reveals that 2,533 frogs, 259 salamanders, and 55 caecilians have been named in these 20 years, mainly in the tropical regions of South America, Asia, and Africa. More than half (57%) of these species descriptions were published in only 10 journals. At least 827 species of the new amphibians (29% of the total) were described in Zootaxa. This mega-journal has served also as a place of publication for monographs and systematic reviews, in addition to short articles documenting the vocalizations of anurans and the morphology of embryos and larvae. Its efficient evaluation process, the freedom of manuscript length, including full-color figures, and free of cost for the authors, has made Zootaxa a favorite for amphibian researchers. In an era of accelerating rates of biodiversity loss, documenting, describing, naming, and proposing evolutionary scenarios for species is, more than ever, an urgent task.



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