Scientific name Brevicipitinae
Higher classification Microhylidae
|Lower classifications Breviceps, Desert rain frog, Black rain frog, Breviceps adspersus, Cape rain frog|
Brevicipitidae or rain frogs is a small family of frogs, which as of November 2013 contains 34 species in 5 Genera. Formerly included as subfamily in Microhylidae (narrow-mouth frogs), phylogenetic research has indicated the brevicipitine frogs should be considered as a family with Hemisotidae (shovelnose frogs) as the most closely related sister taxon.
Most adult brevicipitine frogs are not easily seen as they spend extended periods of time in soil or leaf litter. However, some species might be partly arboreal at times. Many species show strong sexual size dimorphism, with females being much larger than males.
At least the frogs in Breviceps and Probreviceps genera breed by direct development, in which small froglets emerge from eggs without intervening aquatic tadpole phase. It is likely that the same applies to the other genera, too. The frogs lay small clutches of 13–56 fairly large eggs (4–8 mm diameter not including the protective capsule) in cover, often in underground burrows. With some species either male or female stays with eggs or close to the egg chamber, though the details and extent of brood care is poorly understood within Brevicipitidae as a whole.