Narrow-mouthed frogs (Anura: Microhylidae) are globally distributed and molecular data suggest the rapid evolution of multiple subfamilies shortly after their origin. Despite recent progress, several subfamilial relationships remain unexplored using phylogenomic data. We analysed 1,796 nuclear ultraconserved elements, a total matrix of 400,664 nucleotides, from representatives of most microhylid subfamilies. Summary method species-tree and maximum likelihood analyses unambiguously supported Hoplophryninae, as the earliest diverging microhylid and confirm Chaperininae as a junior synonym of Microhylinae. Given the emerging consensus that subfamilies from mainland Africa diverged early, microhylids have likely occupied the continent for more than 66 million years.