In 1980 the skin of certain frogs belonging to the genus Phyllomedusinae was found to contain two new peptides that proved to be selective mu-opioid agonists, and named dermorphins. Since 1987 deltorphins, a family of highly selective delta-opioid peptides were identified either by cloning of the cDNA from frog skins or isolation of the peptides. The distinctive feature of opioid peptides is the presence of a naturally occurring D-enantiomer at the second position in their common N-terminal sequence, Tyr-D-Xaa-Phe. The discovery of the amphibian opiate peptides, provided new insights into the functional role of the mu- and delta-opiate systems. It also provided models for novel analgesics with enhanced therapeutic benefits and reduced toxicity.